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You cannot see what the future holds for you, not even health-related tragedies. Though you might be fit and healthy, an illness or injury might land you in the hospital, irrespective of your age. Today, you are not too young to buy health insurance. As the pandemic pointed out, emergencies might strike anyone at any age. It is, thus, better to be prepared for contingencies rather than leaving things to chance.
In recent times, it is recommended that you buy health insurance before turning 30. Here are some reasons why –
This is a known fact. Healthcare inflation is steadily rising which is pushing up the cost of medicines and treatments. In May and June 2021, healthcare inflation was recorded at 8.4% and 7.7% respectively compared to December 2019 when the inflation was 3.8%. The inflation doubled in just a year and a half!
As such, to afford quality healthcare, a health insurance plan is a must, even when you are young.
While you might be healthy when you are young, accidental injuries do not depend on your age. Moreover, the pandemic also taught us that illnesses are not age-specific and can strike anyone at any time.
So, don’t think that your age would give you a free pass to escape medical emergencies. They can strike anyone and at any time and a health insurance policy is needed to help you protect yourself, financially.
If you are employed, chances are that your employer might provide a group health cover on your life. While the coverage fulfils the basic needs, it is not sufficient to take care of all your medical bills.
For starters, the coverage might be limited. Secondly, if you leave the employer, the coverage would stop. As such, you need an independent health insurance plan that is customized as per your coverage needs.
Also, if you choose to start up on your own or join a start-up without any health insurance coverage, then you would not have any individual health plan to fall back on.
When you are young, you are considered to be relatively healthy. As such, the insurance company allows you to avail of all the coverage benefits that you need. You can opt for a comprehensive health insurance plan and avail of the coverage benefits without restrictions.
Every health insurance policy has a waiting period for pre-existing conditions and specific treatments. When you are young, you are likely to be free from pre-existing conditions. Moreover, treatments like hernia, cataracts, fissures, etc. might not be a cause of concern.
As such, you can wait out the waiting period when you are healthy so that when complications do develop, your health insurance policy provides you coverage without any waiting period. Thus, you get the best leverage when you opt for a health insurance plan in your 30’s; so that by the time you are in your 40’s your waiting period is over.
A health insurance policy protects your savings from being drained on medical emergencies. When you are young, you might have limited savings at your disposal as you might have started your career recently.
A medical emergency not only wipes out the limited savings, it might also push you into debt. But with a health insurance plan, you can secure your savings and also avoid as your medical bills would be handled by the policy
Since people in their 30’s are usually healthy, the chances of getting the application rejected is minimised. At higher age, if you have any of the lifestyle ailments such as diabetes, thyroid or blood pressure, then the chances of having the application rejected increase.
So, if you are in your 30’s it is best to opt for a health plan at your earliest which you can continue for the rest of your life.
Lastly, health insurance plans also allow you to reduce your tax liability. When you invest in a health plan, the premium that you pay is allowed as a tax-deductible expense up to Rs.25,000 under section 80D. You can, thus, claim a deduction from your taxable income and save tax.
Moreover, when you also pay the premium for your parents, you become eligible to claim an additional deduction of Rs.25,000 (Rs.50,000 if parents are senior citizens). These deductions lower your tax liability so that your tax outgo reduces.
So, you are never too young to invest in a health insurance plan. Buy a plan before turning 30 to enjoy comprehensive coverage that is renewable lifelong. When buying, keep the following points in mind –
1. Opt for a high sum insured because medical treatments are expensive and an inadequate sum insured would cause a financial strain.
2. To afford a high sum insured, opt for a super top-up plan
3. Compare and opt for a policy that offers the most suitable coverage benefits at the lowest premium rates
4. Check the sub-limits and coverage restrictions. Opt for plans which have no sub-limits on coverage.
So, don’t wait till you cross 30 or 35 years of age to buy a health insurance plan. Opt for a policy when you are young and healthy and secure your finances from possible medical contingencies.
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