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Importance of Health Insurance

Know the importance of health insurance to buy one for yourself.

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We live in a time where the number of health threats is relentlessly increasing each day. A significant health emergency can burn a massive hole in a person's pocket and, most probably, exceed the amount of savings. In such a situation, the importance of health insurance has become unavoidable.

No one wants to depend on someone else to meet the healthcare expenses in a time of crisis. Hence, there is a growing need to stay financially prepared for such circumstances as early as possible. Before you make the required decision, it is essential to understand why health insurance is important in detail. A variety of factors contribute to the importance of health insurance in India.

Let's discuss the need for health insurance and how it gives you the necessary financial security. 

What is Health Insurance?

For understanding the importance of health insurance, you must know how it works.

When you purchase a health insurance plan, an agreement binds the insurer to ensure financial compensation in specific medical emergencies. The terms of the insurance contract are not necessarily limited to only emergencies but cover regular visits and hospitalization charges.  

Insurers are associated with some hospitals for providing convenient medical treatments to the policyholders. When you visit an affiliated hospital, you may be entitled to benefits such as cashless treatment per the policy terms. The importance of health insurance is especially apparent if you are faced with a health crisis, and it allows you to focus on your recovery entirely.

In any event, most of us will agree with the importance of health insurance as it can be immensely valuable in a time of need. You can also invest in policies that offer coverage for you and your family member. For someone responsible for their family's well-being, the importance of health insurance is tremendous. 

Why is Health Insurance Important? 

Going through life without knowing what is going to happen the next moment sounds frightful. The global coronavirus pandemic gave us all a picture of how vulnerable we are to life-threatening elements in the environment. It also highlighted the importance of health insurance in India, in particular.

It is unpleasant to think of a medical emergency befalling on your loved ones. But, life can be cruel and unpredictable regardless of your age. That is precisely why the importance of health insurance is essential to acknowledge.

Let's look closely at some of the reasons that enhance the importance of medical insurance. 

1. Deal With Changing Lifestyle 

It is no surprise that more individuals are dealing with diseases at a younger age due to changes in lifestyle. The escalating pollution levels, the pace of life, stress, and habits are few factors that result in unexpected medical conditions. The need for medical insurance has never been more urgent than in the present.

Think of how different an average person's day used to look like a few years ago. You may not realize it but we are progressively more exposed to health risks due to our lifestyle. While precautionary measures are useful and necessary, it is critical to recognize the importance of health insurance in your life. 

2. Protect Your Loved Ones 

When you are looking for a suitable health insurance plan, the needs of your family are the top-most priority. Given the importance of health insurance for meeting medical expenses, it is more significant for people with financially dependent family members. The burden on a single income source for multiple people's healthcare is unimaginable.

It is essential to assess your situation carefully and invest in a plan that gives you optimum benefits. For example, if you have aging parents, they are more vulnerable to diseases and require efficient healthcare. You must calculate the need for health insurance earlier in life to prepare beforehand and have adequate financial support.  

2. Protect Your Loved Ones 

When you are looking for a suitable health insurance plan, the needs of your family are the top-most priority. Given the importance of health insurance for meeting medical expenses, it is more significant for people with financially dependent family members. The burden on a single income source for multiple people's healthcare is unimaginable.

It is essential to assess your situation carefully and invest in a plan that gives you optimum benefits. For example, if you have aging parents, they are more vulnerable to diseases and require efficient healthcare. You must calculate the need for health insurance earlier in life to prepare beforehand and have adequate financial support.  

 

3. Meet the Rising Medical Expenses 

The cost of getting quality medical treatment has risen exponentially over the last few years. Along with that, the number of people suffering from diseases and critical illnesses is also considerably huge. It is an unfortunate and harsh reality that we are all vulnerable to it.  

The importance of health insurance is prominent in dealing with medical inflation. When you go to the doctor, there are several charges for consultation, medical tests, prescription medicine, room rent, etc. You can effectively manage them if you understand why health insurance is important at the right time.  

4. Protect Your Savings 

A sudden illness is the cause of severe mental and physical stress. On top of that, if you are not financially equipped to meet the expenses, it will add to your burden greatly. No one wants to be deprived of reliable healthcare due to a lack of funds. The ability to protect your savings and aid your recovery adds to the importance of health insurance.

The importance of health insurance in preserving your savings can be extraordinary.  You can hold on to your savings and use them for other purposes such as buying a home, funding your child's education, and more. 

Benefits of Buying a Suitable Health Insurance Policy 

The importance of health insurance in India can mean different things for people with diverse profiles. It is in your best interest to know the offered benefits and their relevance to you. Here are some of the benefits that add to the importance of health insurance:

1. Insurance Coverage 

Insurance coverage is the primary function of a health insurance policy. Many may not be aware of the variety of services offered under them. Most insurers offer the facility of cashless treatment that allows the insured to get healthcare without paying the bills upfront. The expenses are settled between the insurance company and hospital directly.

Alternately, the insurer will reimburse the payments made by the policyholder. The scope and importance of health insurance extend to regular health-checkups, transportation charges, room rent, and more. 

2. Additional Cover 

Most corporate companies realize the importance of health insurance today. Typically, there is a group health plan that covers all its employees. However, it does not necessarily eliminate the need for health insurance on an individual basis. Since the group plan covers many people, it may not be enough to fulfill a single person's requirements appropriately.

Additionally, a standalone health plan for you and your family members gives you the freedom to opt for the necessary benefits under the plan. When it comes to plan for your family's health and safety, it is better to tie all loose ends beforehand. 

2. Additional Cover 

Most corporate companies realize the importance of health insurance today. Typically, there is a group health plan that covers all its employees. However, it does not necessarily eliminate the need for health insurance on an individual basis. Since the group plan covers many people, it may not be enough to fulfill a single person's requirements appropriately.

Additionally, a standalone health plan for you and your family members gives you the freedom to opt for the necessary benefits under the plan. When it comes to plan for your family's health and safety, it is better to tie all loose ends beforehand. 

 

3. Rider Options 

The importance of health insurance varies in each person's life according to their medical conditions. For instance, if someone is more exposed to a harmful environment or has a history of medical conditions, their health plan is structured to accommodate it. There are riders available to attach to your policy for additional benefits.

Some of the commonly offered riders are an accidental death benefit, critical illness rider, etc. You can opt for a suitable rider and expand the importance of health insurance in your life.

Also Read: What are Riders in Insurance?

4. Tax Benefits 

When you are preparing for the future, it must not strain your income in the present. Considering the importance of health insurance, the Government of India extends certain tax deductions to purchasing a health plan. You can refer to Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, to review the applied benefits to your plan. Tax benefits are as prevailing tax laws subject to change

How to Select a Health Insurance Policy? 

Here are some of the necessary steps to consider when examining the importance of health insurance in your life.

· Evaluate Your Needs 

The importance of health insurance is not the same across different financial and medical profiles. Take the time to analyze how and why health insurance is important to you, particularly before making the purchase decision.

· Understand Your Options

After recognizing the need for health insurance, you can narrow down the available options in the market that fit them.

· Compare the Benefits

It is crucial to choose a trusted insurance provider who comprehends the importance of health insurance and offers relevant benefits. As the policyholder, you must have the satisfaction of selecting one after careful comparison of the benefits and features they offer. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can I Have More Than One Health Insurance Policy? 

A. Yes, you can have more than one health insurance plan.

Q. Do I Need to Undergo Medical Tests Before Buying Health Insurance? 

A. Yes, insurers require a medical examination of the insured before providing coverage to assess their eligibility.

Q. Will The Health Insurance Cost More If I Smoke? 

A. Smokers may have to bear a higher premium cost as compared to non-smokers. If you are suffering from health conditions due to it, it may be even higher.

Q. Can I Claim The Health Insurance More Than Once In A Year?

A. Unless there is a cap issued by the insurer under the policy terms, you can claim the health insurance any number of times. However, it cannot exceed the sum insured limit.

Q. What Is Not Covered Under The Health Insurance Policy?

A. It is advisable to read the policy terms and conditions to know about the exclusions of the plan. In general, pre-existing diseases, intentional self-injury, or intoxication may not be covered under a standard health plan.

 

Sources:

https://ficci.in/spdocument/23028/FICCI-Paper-Demystifying-Healthcare-Costs.pdf, 30-31st August, 2018

ARN No : Sept21/Bg/14

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