Health Insurance – The Secret Behind Affordable Health Care

Importance of health insurance

Your costs of healthcare services have been rising at an equal pace as your risk of developing various lifestyle diseases. This two-pronged situation has made owning a health insurance plan a necessity in the modern day. A joint report published in 2017 by the World Health Organisation and World Bank showed that over half of the people in India are forced into poverty due to medical expenditures.

Considering the severity of the situation, the Government of India has also taken measures to provide health insurance to the underprivileged under the National Health and Protection Scheme (NHPS). Under this facility, vulnerable families shall receive an insurance cover of up to Rs. 5 lakhs. This health insurance policy has been planned to provide for over 10 crore such families seeking medical assistance in secondary and tertiary care hospitals. The NHPS comes under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme which has a Rs.1,200 crore preventive component. The objective of this scheme is to strengthen the primary healthcare sector by converting rural healthcare centres into preventive healthcare institutions.

Why You Must Have a Health Insurance

Health Insurance is not a necessity just for the underprivileged. With an exponential increase in medical expenses, securing the health and finance of yourself and your loved ones by investing in health insurance plans  is equally important for the Indian Middle Class and HNIs. For your better understanding, here is a list of various healthcare services and how much they cost:

  1. A bypass surgery with a hospitalisation of 4-6 days costs around Rs.1,90,500 to Rs.6,03,250.
  2. The cost for Kidney Transplant could be anything in between Rs.3,17,500 and Rs.13,97,000 (inclusive of a 7-9 day hospitalization)
  3. A hip replacement surgery of both the hip joints inclusive of a hospitalisation of 7 days will cost you about Rs.5,08,000 to Rs.9,33,450
  4. Admission to a day care or a 1 day hospitalisation for a cataract surgery with lens may cost around Rs.50,800 to Rs.1,27,000.
  5. Chemotherapy cycles may cost Rs.63,500 to Rs.1,90,500 per cycle.
  6. If you undergo a laparoscopic surgery for hysterectomy, you may need  hospitalisation of 3 to 4 days which could cost you around Rs.95,250 to Rs.3,81,000

Such expenditures can jeopardise your financial planning or even wash away your entire life’s savings. A health insurance takes care of your healthcare and makes treatment affordable.

Disadvantages of Employee Health Insurance

You must consider the following points before you bank solely on the health coverage that your employer is providing:

  • The position you are working in will affect the amount of coverage you receive, which is not in your hand to choose.
  • Your insurance plan goes away with your job if you make a switch or lose the job.
  • Your insurance coverage after your retirement remains doubtful as most insurance companies do not sell insurance to anyone above the age of 65 years. Those that will let you purchase one, set the premium rate extremely high and do not typically provide full coverage.

Health Insurance and Out Patient Department (OPD) Bills

There are certain insurance plans, which also cover the expenditures that you incur during OPD visits such as medicine bills, doctor’s fees, diagnostic tests, etc. They come under either OPD plans or as a part of OPD coverage in in-patient insurance plans. This broadens the spectrum of the utility of insurance while also making another compelling case for investing in health insurance.

Additional Benefits of a Health Insurance

Your investment plan may include a no claim bonus. This shall add a certain amount to your sum insured as a bonus if you do not file any health insurance claim in a policy year.

Another way you may benefit from your health insurance plan is by a savings kitty. In this a certain sum of money apart from your sum insured is saved for expenditures such as expenses at OPD, at dentist’s visit etc. This further provides you a bonus amount at the time of renewal.

You must purchase a medical insurance at an early age. You get a better premium rate when you are in the best of health. Also when you buy a health insurance at a younger age you pass the waiting period (the interval between the time you buy the insurance and the time you can actually start availing of its benefits) before you can file a claim as you have significantly lesser odds of developing health problems in that duration. Choose your health insurance plan wisely as it shall remain as a protection for your overall emotional, physical, and financial well-being.

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