A successful economy relies heavily on good national health; however, healthcare can become quite an expensive affair – something, not every middle-class Indian family can afford easily.
Without health insurance, the cost of hospitalization, out-patient treatments, medical tests, and other medical costs cumulate up to a massive amount, which people have to pay out of their own pockets.
India’s current population is 138 billion. It is currently the world’s second-most populous country, but it is predicted to overtake China’s population soon and become the most populous country in the world.
In terms of medical technology, India has come a long way, but as a result of these developments, medical prices are rising as well.
Thus, while, health may be wealth, the fear of ill health has proved to be strong medicine for the medical insurance industry. The total health insurance premium collected in India grew by a whopping 25% last year, possibly due to the huge rush by people to protect themselves and their families from catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and increase in the premium cost.
What is the Best Time to Buy Health Insurance Policy?
Time and tide wait for no one, goes the old adage. The right time to buy a health insurance policy is the moment you realise that your health costs may only escalate in the future owing to the overall rise in the cost of living among other factors. The sooner you realise the truth, the better it is for you. In other words, you should buy a health insurance policy at a young age to avail of many benefits.
- Here are 7 reasons why you should buy health insurance:
- Customized Plans And Assured Paybacks
You are free to choose the extent of coverage based on your medical needs. This may depend upon your budget as well. You can choose an extensive plan and customize it with the help of additional coverages (add-ons) as well.
Each health insurance policy has a fixed limit of sum insured. In a group policy, you may have to share this sum insured with other members of the plan. However, in an individual health insurance plan, the entire amount of sum insured is dedicated to cover only you.
- Fight Lifestyle Diseases
Lifestyle diseases are on the rise, especially among people under the age of 45. Illnesses like diabetes, obesity, respiratory problems, heart disease, all of which are prevalent among the older generation, are now rampant in younger people too. Some contributing factors that lead to these diseases include a sedentary lifestyle, stress, pollution, unhealthy eating habits, gadget addiction and undisciplined lives.
While following precautionary measures can help combat and manage these diseases, an unfortunate incident can be challenging to cope with, financially. Opting to invest in a health plan that covers regular medical tests can help catch these illnesses early and make it easier to take care of medical expenses, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.
- Safeguard Your Family
When scouting for an ideal health insurance plan, you can choose to secure your entire family under the same policy rather than buying separate policies. Consider your ageing parents, who are likely to be vulnerable to illnesses, as well as dependent children. Ensuring they get the best medical treatment, should anything happen to them, is something you would not have to stress about if you have a suitable health cover.
Research thoroughly, talk to experts for an unbiased opinion and make sure you get a plan that provides all-round coverage.
- Counter Inadequate Insurance Cover
If you already have health insurance, for example, a policy provided by your employer, check exactly what it protects you against and how much coverage it offers. Chances are it will provide basic coverage. If your current policy does not provide cover against possible threats – such as diseases or illnesses that run in the family – it could prove insufficient in times of need. And with medical treatments advancing considerably, having a higher sum assured can ensure your every medical need is taken care of financially.
But don’t worry if you cannot afford a higher coverage plan right away. You can start low and gradually increase the cover.
- Deal With Medical Inflation
As medical technology improves and diseases increase, the cost for treatment rises as well. And it is important to understand that medical expenses are not limited to only hospitals. The costs for doctor’s consultation, diagnosis tests, ambulance charges, operation theatre costs, medicines, room rent, etc. are also continually increasing. All of these could put a considerable strain on your finances if you are not adequately prepared.
By paying a relatively affordable health insurance premium each year, you can beat the burden of medical inflation while opting for quality treatment, without worrying about how much it will cost you.
- Protect Your Savings
While an unforeseen illness can lead to mental anguish and stress, there is another side to dealing with health conditions that can leave you drained – the expenses. By buying a suitable health insurance policy, you can better manage your medical expenditure without dipping into your savings. In fact, some insurance providers offer cashless treatment, so you don’t have to worry about reimbursements either. Your savings can be used for their intended plans, such as buying a home, your child’s education and retirement. Additionally, health insurance lets you avail tax benefits, which further increases your savings.
- Insure Early To Stay Secured
Opting for a health insurance early in life has numerous benefits. Since you are young and healthier, you can avail plans at lower rates and the advantage will continue even as you grow older. Additionally, you will be offered more extensive coverage options.
Most policies have a pre-existing waiting period which excludes coverage of pre-existing illnesses. This period will end while you are still young and healthy, thus giving you the advantage of exhaustive coverage that will prove useful if you fall ill later in life.
In this day and age of an exponential increase in medical expenses, the importance of a health insurance policy cannot be overemphasized. The coverage provided by your employer may not suffice to cover your costs. Furthermore, you will run the risk of being uninsured at the time of any job change or loss of employment. Buying a health insurance policy at a young age not only gives you greater coverage but also helps you plan your finances in a better way. When you have adequate medical cover to take care of any health emergencies, you can focus on making other long-term investments.