4 min read
Updated on Jul 13, 2022
Health is wealth. Given the epidemic circumstances we are experiencing, this phrase could not be more accurate. Although current healthcare systems are slowly progressing in the right direction, what about the underlying costs?
Science and medicine has made tremendous growth in recent years as medical treatments have become advanced and robotic surgeries are gaining traction. All these have increased life expectancy by developing cures and treatments for the severest of illnesses too. But what about the underlying costs?
While it is true that medical science is making unprecedented progress, you cannot ignore the medical inflation that is rising in its wake. While retail inflation stood at 6.2% in June 2021, health inflation was recorded at 7.7%. If you consider the health inflation of 3.8% in December 2019, inflation in June 2021 more than doubled. And that too within a span of mere 6 months!
If you consider a simple hospitalisation, the cost of hospitalisation in a private hospital averages Rs.31,845 according to a report called ‘Key Indicator of Social Consumption in India: Health’. This report collated data between July 2017 and June 2018 and from then, if you add medical inflation to the equation, the cost simply multiplies.
So, in today’s age, is healthcare affordable?
No it is not. That is why there is a need of securing your healthcare costs under a health insurance plan. The plan not only covers your medical bills it also protects your savings from being drained out in the case of a medical emergency.
That being said, if you want complete financial security in the face of a medical emergency, the following aspects are a must in your health insurance plan –
Firstly, ensure that the health insurance policy is comprehensive when it comes to the coverage benefits. The coverage benefits should be –
Keep these points in mind when selecting a health insurance plan and you would be able to ensure a comprehensive coverage in your policy.
The next thing to keep in mind is the sufficiency of the sum insured. If the rising medical costs and medical inflation is any indication, you need an optimal sum insured to cover your medical expenses fully. If the sum insured is low, the whole purpose of health insurance would be defeated because you would have to bear the excess costs from your pockets. So, opt for a high sum insured health insurance policy for sufficient coverage.
If affordability is an issue, you can supplement your health insurance coverage with a super top-up health plan. The super top-up policy is affordable and covers you for claims which exceed the deductible. So, combine a normal health insurance policy with a super top-up plan to enhance the coverage while keeping premiums low. Choose a deductible that matches the sum insured of the normal health policy so that claims up to the deductible can be paid by the normal plan and excess claims would be handled by the super top-up policy.
Only buying a comprehensive health insurance policy is not sufficient. You need to renew it religiously too. Health insurance plans allow lifelong renewals. That means that if you renew the policy every year, within the due date, you can avail of non-stop coverage for as long as you live. There is no cover ceasing age, at all!
So, choose a comprehensive health plan with a high sum insured and keep on renewing it every year and you can secure your health and your finances.
You might practice healthy living and stay fit but emergencies strike unannounced. Instead of suffering a financial strain, secure your finances. Invest in a health insurance policy and take the first, yet important, step in securing your finances. What’s more, you can also earn tax benefits that knock off a part of your tax liability and help you save more.
If you already have a policy, check if the coverage is sufficient. You can port to a more comprehensive policy if your existing plan does not include all the coverage benefits. Alternatively, you can enhance the sum insured or opt for a super top-up plan for better coverage against medical emergencies.
Whatever your choice, make health insurance plans a part of your portfolio.
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