The Importance of Health Insurance in India

In the nation where we are struggling with environmental contamination every day, our health graphs are definitely looking for desperate measures to lift up the dipping lines. While we do invest our time, money and efforts to overcome the fragility of health, we must also deploy an effectual approach towards ensuring it appropriately.

India is a developing country and a growing economy where the medical infrastructure has not kept pace with the growing population. Let us face the fact that there are not enough appropriately equipped medical care centers that are widely distributed across the country. If there are some, they are privately held and fairly expensive for a common man, capable of burning holes in pockets if
approached during critical situations. The government aided hospitals are usually overcrowded and they also do not offer the best services in terms of health care.

As per the recent draft of National Health Policy, staggeringly, 63 million people were pushed towards poverty due to “catastrophic” medical expenditure. This substantiates the fact that finances required to meet the medical care costs nullify any rise in incomes or any other government subsidies that one is availing at any given point in time. People have to empty their savings, borrow a great deal or watch someone close suffer due to inadequate finances required for the timely treatment. What’s adding to the misery is the medical inflation, the rising cost of medical care year after year which is hardly discussed in our drawing rooms. Compared to normal inflation that is growing at a rate of 5-6%, medical inflation’s growth rate is 12-14%, higher than the return on any savings or the annual rise in incomes.

Hope this makes it adequately clear that buying health insurance needs to be the top priority for everyone in India. But how does it benefit common man? Let us take a look at several other factors that make health insurance an important item in our shopping bags:

Immediate cover for hospitalization expenses

Having a health insurance ensures that you will not have to pay for immediate hospitalization expenses at network hospitals of the insurance company. You get a ready cover and your expenses are secured by your health insurance policy. Not only that, even some of the pre and post hospitalization expenses are covered with the number of days varying from insurer to insurer. Also, as we
always seek best available treatment when it comes to health, with health policy in place, you can ensure that you and your loved one get the best possible medical assistance in a highly reputed medical facility.

Cashless medical treatment

The first thought that comes to mind in times of a medical emergency or an accident is to arrange for immediate cash for admission to a dependable hospital. With some spearheading insurer companies offering cashless health plans in a wide network of hospitals, it takes the stress off your mind. You can attend to the priority and get the treatment started right away at any of the network hospitals of the insurance company. All the ready expenses in hand are paid by the medical insurance company, and the paperwork is settled later.

Insurance choice as per the need

Not one size fits all. Resolute by the saying, medical insurance or health policies come in varied forms, choices, features, and premiums. You can even customize a plan with available riders (add-on features) as per your family’s precise health needs, and pay the premium accordingly. This makes it easy to buy the exact medical insurance assistance that you would need without having to invest
money in features or facilitation that you probably will not utilize ever.

Coverage for pre-existing diseases

Terminal illnesses, critical illnesses and pre-existing diseases that usually come with steep treatment costs are also covered under some of the specifically designed health insurance plans. These bring the utmost benefits of health insurance in India to the people who are suffering from abiding ailments and are pressed for expenses, for example, people in deteriorating ages. This is one of the most
important aspects of health insurance that is often undervalued.

Indemnity health plans

Indemnity health insurance brings you the freedom of choosing the medical facility and medical practitioner you want. You are not pushed to avail treatment at the network hospitals of the insurance company. You can reach out to the one you have faith in, yet you can file a claim and the reimbursements are made as per the set percentage approved for the specific indemnity health insurance plan you bought. These health plans are also called “free-for-service” plans.

Tax benefits

This might be the most publicised benefit in India to buy a health insurance policy, but it is certainly not the most important. You do get tax benefits on the premium paid towards your plan under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, which helps to manage your tax returns and save some money. But remember that more than tax savings, health insurance works best to ensure your wellbeing and medical expenses, especially in critical times.

Buying health insurance may appear to be an extra expenditure in the very moment, but in reality, it is one of the most intelligent investments you’ll ever make. Also, given the environmental conditions, erratic and busy lifestyles of the people in India, medical insurance is one of the essential life and financial planning decisions. Safeguard self and family from financial hardships in times
of inevitable health scares!

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