World Diabetes Day: Here’s why you should buy health insurance for diabetes

November 13, 2021 10:50 AM

World Diabetes Day: Contributing towards diabetes care can make a huge impact on your savings thereby affecting your other major household expenses such as child’s education, repaying loans, etc.

diabetes health insuranceRepresentative image

By Amit Chhabra

Every year, World Diabetes Day is observed on November 14. The origin of this day dates back to 1991 when International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organization brought it into being to raise awareness about the risks associated with diabetes such as heart ailments. However, this day became official in 2007 when United Nations General Assembly passed the resolution 61/225 recognizing November 14 as World Diabetes Day.

Diabetes is an ailment that takes place when your blood sugar (also known as blood glucose) is immoderate. The main source of energy in your body is derived by blood glucose that comes from the food consumed. The pancreas make a hormone called Insulin that helps glucose from food absorbed into your cells to be used for energy. However, at times your body doesn’t make enough insulin.

The glucose then remains in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells. Eventually, high content of glucose in your body leads to ailments including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, etc. Diabetes is of three types of diabetes namely Type I, Type II and gestational diabetes.

The cost of chronic illnesses such as diabetes are skyrocketing. 25% of household income may be spent for diabetes in India as per studies. Contributing towards diabetes care can make a huge impact on your savings thereby affecting your other major household expenses such as child’s education, repaying loans, etc. Estimates say that the direct health-care spending on diabetes across the world will be between $213-396 billion in 2025. In some countries, this will be as much as 40% of their total financial estimate. Thus, a comprehensive health insurance plan can come handy to protect yourself financially in case of a health emergency.
There is a perception among consumers that people suffering from a pre-existing disease don’t get health insurance. This is the reason that they often procrastinate to buy health insurance. However, this notion is definitely not true. Even if you have a pre-existing disease, you can easily get health insurance.

Product innovations

Nowadays, insurers are offering health insurance plans that provide early coverage or coverage from even day 1 for pre-existing diseases. Traditionally, there is a waiting period for coverage of PEDs which is usually 3-4 years. This means that you can not make a claim for coverage of treatment for a PED before this duration. There are plans such as Aditya Birla Activ Health Platinum Enhanced (Diabetes) and Activ Health Platinum Essential (Diabetes) which provide early coverage for diabetes. In these plans, OPD benefits are covered from Day 1 and hospitalization expenses are covered after 30 days for any complication arising due to Diabetes. It has a free chronic management programme that gets activated if you develop a chronic condition after buying the policy. It offers doctor consultation – 3 visits, Diagnostic Tests – HBA1c and Creatinine. You also get reward points for staying healthy that reduce your premium. It also offers access to experts on medical, nutritional, fitness, mental counselling session, homoeopathy teleconsultation.

Similarly, Star Health offers a plan called Diabetes Safe Plan- B which has only 12 months waiting for hospitalization expenses arising due to complications of diabetes. Any person with Type I or Type II Diabetes Mellitus can opt for this plan. The plan covers hospitalization expenses due to complications of diabetes such as room charges, surgeon’s fees, blood, oxygen and diagnostic expenses, cost of medicine and drugs etc. It also covers the cost of fasting and post prandial and HbA1C tests – once every six months – up to Rs.750 per event up to Rs.1500 per policy period.

Disclose your PED before buying health insurance

It is very important to disclose your medical history when buying health insurance. Often people make the mistake of not disclosing it. However, this can lead to serious consequences resulting in the rejection of claims later on. If you have a PED, always read the terms and conditions of a policy carefully before buying it. Check for sub-limits, co-payments and room rent charges so that you don’t have to shell out money from your own pocket at the time of hospitalization. Lastly, prefer buying health insurance online because it is faster and reduces chances of misselling. Nowadays, telemedicals and videomedicals have been introduced which help in speedier issuance of policies.

(Amit Chhabra is Head – Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com. Views expressed are personal)

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