Currently, there are 70 million diabetics in India and WHO estimates that this figure will skyrocket by almost 45% to 101 million by 2030.
The intensifying occurrence of diabetes is largely impacting people’s lives – physically and financially. Known as the ‘silent killer’, this disease of the old has now become a disease that has started to impinge people in their twenties and thirties. India has already been labelled as the ‘global diabetes capital’ but things might escalate badly in the coming days. Currently, there are 70 million diabetics in India and the World Health Organisation estimates that this figure will skyrocket by almost 45% to 101 million by 2030.
Impact of modern lifestyle on youth and diabetes
The typical corporate workforce works ten hours a day, most of which is spent on a desk or in a cubicle. Easily accessible, fast and processed food has replaced wholesome, home-cooked meals. Lack of sleep coupled with constant stress to outshine at work and social affairs has taken its toll. In spite of being aware of all the drawbacks, taking care of one’s health often takes a backseat when it comes to the instant gratification of needs and desires. This is the major cause of lifestyle diseases like strokes, depression, hypertension, and diabetes.
Diabetes impacts one’s finances
Diabetes is a chronic disease that impacts the entire body. Being diagnosed with diabetes especially in one’s youth brutally impacts one’s work, and going ahead, financial sanctuary. Diabetes may not be as perilous as cancer or cardiac ailments, but the cure is still expensive. The yoke of treatment, growing medical costs and the dread of losing one’s hard-earned income due to health impediments can leave one medically and financially weak. Diabetes also makes the patient prone to additional complications like heart disease, kidney failure, strokes, loss of vision, nerve damage, and foot problems. Death from heart ailments is the foremost cause of death among people afflicted with Type II diabetes.
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The need for Diabetes-specific insurance plan
For a healthy human being, having a health cover plan with the ample sum insured could be sufficient to meet the hospitalisation costs incurring out of a diabetic situation. However, for a diabetes patient, an insurance plan that is diabetes-specific can attend to the hospitalisation issues better. Therefore, when diabetes is diagnosed, a diabetes-specific insurance plan helps. Diabetes is a prolonged ailment and thus the average claim size is 90% higher in contrast to costs related to other diseases. Usually, health insurance plans consider diabetes as a pre-existing disease and put a waiting period on the policy, which is around 12 months to two years but can sometimes go up to four years. So it is wise to buy a diabetes-specific policy which is further more inclusive than the health plans and also covers various intricacies.
Benefits of a diabetes-specific insurance plan
Today, with the rising occurrences and claims, it is sensible to buy a health insurance plan early on, to cover the disease and financial stress that comes with it. It also helps one save on costs in terms of premiums. A hale and hearty person can buy a health insurance cover of Rs 7,000 to Rs 9,000 a year while it can shoot up to Rs 18,000 to Rs 20,000 per year for a diabetic patient. When it comes to buying insurance, it is prudent to look for a policy that covers not only the treatment but also the cost of hospitalisation. A policy that has a large network of connected hospitals, and also reimburses if one needs medical care outside of this network is the best one.
This comes in handy in times of emergency when one is more likely to rush to the closest hospital for medical help. In addition to this, there are policies which also cover non-diabetic health issues that crop up while being treated for diabetes. While some insurers don’t allow a diabetes cover if one already has contracted the disease, there are a few policies that provide cover to such patients as well. It is imperative that all these aspects are taken into consideration when one decides to invest money into a policy that covers diabetes.
Diabetes plans provide crucial and specialised covers for such a grave disease. It is, hence, worth spending in a specialised health insurance plan for diabetes as an additional cover to one’s regular health insurance plan. However, it is worthwhile to make lifestyle changes, stay healthy, do regular exercises, eat healthily, and have regular health check-ups. An early diagnosis unquestionably helps in preventing the damage, both physically and financially.
(By Anand Roy, Joint Managing Director, Star Health and Allied Insurance)