Health Insurance Policy for Disabled/Differently abled Person

3 min read

Fate played a cruel joke when my close friend met with an accident and lost both his hands. Though his disability was a challenge for him initially, he was mentally strong. He learned to live with his disability without complaining. In fact, he even became an example to other disabled individuals who looked up to him for motivation. That was why it came as a surprise to me when he lamented about his condition one evening over coffee. He was worried about getting a health insurance plan with his condition. Was he right?

Life throws us many challenges and having a disability is one such challenge. But does having a disability means you cannot buy a health insurance policy?

It does not. No health insurance policy in the market excludes coverage for the disabled. My friend didn’t know about it. Do you?

  • Disability and health insurance: Have you ever heard of a health insurance policy specifically for the disabled? Alternatively, have you heard about any policy not covering the disabled?

While it is true that there is no separate health insurance plan for the disabled, it is also true that disabilities are not excluded from coverage. You can buy a health insurance plan even if you are disabled. However, there are some pointers which you should remember if you are seeking health insurance for the disabled. Here are such pointers:

  • Full disclosure is mandatory: As health insurance purchase has been simplified due to the online medium, many believe that they can get away with non-disclosure of material facts. It is not true. Whatever form of disability you have, partial or total, you have to disclose about your disability when buying a health insurance policy. If you don’t it is considered to be fraud on your part. Being a fraud, any claim made under the policy would be rejected. So, the first lesson is complete disclosure. Mention about your disability when applying for a health insurance policy.
  • Acceptance is on the underwriter’s discretion: Health insurance proposals made by disabled individuals are thoroughly scrutinized. Though coverage is not totally avoided, the underwriter decides on the acceptance or rejection of the proposal. This decision is taken after completely evaluating the extent of your disability, its history and medical details. The policy is accepted only after the underwriter’s scrutiny. There is no universal underwriting norm for scrutinizing proposals made by the disabled. Scrutiny is done on a case to case basis.
  • The coverage might have restrictive clauses: Based on the underwriter’s scrutiny, if the policy is issued, there might be restrictions on the scope of coverage extended under the plan. There might be restrictions imposed on covering certain medical complications common with your disability.
  • Conditions for covering epilepsy: Epilepsy patients can also be covered under a health insurance plan if there had been no incidence of an epileptic attack in the last 10 years. You should be under medication for epilepsy continuously. You would have to disclose your attack history and current medication for epilepsy when you are applying for a health insurance plan. Based on your information, the underwriter would assess your medical risk and pass judgment.

Wise men rightfully say that disability is a state of mind. Physical or medical disability can be tackled if you are motivated enough. Disability does not put a stop to your life and insurers recognize this fact. As such, insurers allow health insurance plans for the disabled. So, if you are a disabled or know someone who is, don’t worry. You can find a health insurance plan just like my friend did. All you need to do is ensure that you disclose everything right at the word go and then let the insurer decide. If they accept the risk and underwrite the policy accordingly, there is no way of any claim concerns at a later stage.

Choose wisely!

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Gayatri Prabhu, Head-Digital Business at Mahindra Insurance Brokers Limited (MIBL) is one those few digital leaders who has the width and depth that is required to execute an ROI driven holistic digital strategy. She cuts through the noise, identifies the critical levers and leads her team to successful execution of the defined strategy. Her core mantra to win new and retain existing customers is: understand the consumer behavior and craft experiences around it.

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