Healthcare in India
According to various reports, India still continues to have the lowest health insurance penetration in the world. The steady increase of healthcare costs in India warrants having health insurance. For most Indians getting access to timely care and advanced treatments is too expensive.
With a population of 1.4 billion, implementing important measures like preventive healthcare can be challenging as it requires educating the masses constantly. The government’s continuous focus towards health schemes, new initiatives like, Ayushman Bharat Yojana, and capital expenditure towards healthcare will however turnaround the situation for better in the long run.
Need for healthcare
With life being full of uncertainties, health risks can occur any time. It could be due to the exposure of toxicities in air, water and food. Industrial workers need to eke out a living under all circumstances and can end up being regularly exposed to various biohazards, chemicals and wastes. Lifestyle changes that include daily commute, tight work schedules and untimely eating habits also contribute to declining quality of life.
Among the employed, most full-time salaried employees have basic health insurance coverage but contractors and minimum wage workers are likely to miss out. Also, basic coverage allows a limited number of treatments at select healthcare centers. This may prove to be costly when it comes to curing a sick person who requires a more advanced treatment. Needless to say, advanced treatments generally come at a higher cost and people end up spending from their savings to fund these healthcare situations or allow the situation to go out of hand when they lack funds.
Securing savings with affordable healthcare
Earlier health insurance was not the priority for most Indians. Things are a lot different today. With affordable health insurance plans, one can be prepared for securing their finances even amidst uncertainties.
What is Health Insurance?
Health insurance is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical expenses incurred by the insured. Health insurance can reimburse the insured for expenses incurred from illness or injury, or pay the care provider directly. There are different types of health insurance plans, such as individual health insurance, family health insurance, critical illness insurance, personal accident insurance, hospicash, Super top up etc. Purchasing health insurance is an integral part of financial planning. However, the health insurance premium that one has to pay to avail a good insurance policy is based on a number of different factors.
Key benefits of getting a health insurance:
- Coverage of pre and post hospitalization expenses: Not only mainstream medical costs, but also the cost of OPD (out-patient department) expenses, diagnostic tests have also risen in recent times which have made it even more vital for one to buy a health insurance policy. It is noteworthy that the medical policies not only cover the hospitalization costs but also the expenses incurred towards OPD and diagnostic tests before and after a stipulated time period as prescribed by the policy.
- Income tax benefit: Payments made towards health insurance premiums are eligible for tax deductions under section 80D of the Indian Income Tax Act.
- Early bird advantage: If one buys a health insurance policy at an early age, one will have to pay less for the policy. Premiums for a health policy increase with one’s age; that’s because the associated risk increases. Premiums for health plans are determined by the age, medical history, city of residence, etc. of the insured. So, if you buy a health plan early it will help you save on the premiums you will pay.
Important Coverage to consider while buying a health insurance
Also, when you are buying health insurance, buying critical illness insurance is suggested as well. A critical illness policy is a cover that offers to pay you a fixed sum once you are diagnosed with a critical illness that is covered by the policy. You can opt to buy a critical illness policy as standalone insurance, or you can buy it as a rider when you buy your regular health insurance. Critical illness insurance acts as a very valuable addition to the basic health cover in case you are diagnosed with a serious illness. While you can use your regular individual or family health insurance to cover your hospitalization bills, the lump sum amount that you receive from the critical illness cover can fund other essential expenses associated with your critical illness.
Availability of affordable health insurance
FinTechs such as MyShubhLife offer a host of insurance policies digitally. Hospicash, Critical Illness Insurance, Personal Accident and Super Top Up are some of the health insurance policies offered by them in partnership with licensed insurance providers. You can choose from a range of plans based on pricing of the coverage or the sum insured itself.