The Necessity of Health Insurance for Asthma Patients

5 min read

Sheetal Kapoor works as a PR manager with a leading advertising firm in Mumbai. She has to travel extensively due to work commitments and pays a lot of attention to cleanliness and hygiene. This is because of her asthma condition that she had since the age of 10 years. To ensure that her medical issue doesn’t hamper her career, she had taken a health insurance policy after disclosing her asthma issue so that her policy could be used for claim settlements during times of medical emergency. This has, in fact, saved her from spending lakhs on medical treatment for Asthma as she requires constant check-ups and treatment. Without this policy by her side, it would have been difficult for Sheetal to manage her health, personal life, and professional life.

There has been a stark increase in respiratory issues due to increased air pollution and poor lifestyle choices leading to health issues among humans, such as Asthma. According to a Global Health Journal, there are 300 million people with Asthma worldwide, of which 37.9 million live in India. This means that every eighth person with Asthma in the world is an Indian.

If you or someone dear to you has Asthma, it is common for frequent medical attention, which can be costly and frequent as well. This is where having health insurance plans can really help. To know more about how asthma patients can get high-quality treatment at affordable cost through mediclaim policy or health insurance, continue reading the following.

Also Read: Critical Illness Health Plans – Do you need one?

What is Asthma?

Asthma can be described as a chronic medical condition that causes the airway to narrow in the lungs. This situation is caused by inflammation and tightening of the muscles, which leads to frequent wheezing and even breathlessness. If left untreated, this can lead to a severe health problem.

Asthma can cause poor concentration, exhaustion, and disrupted sleep if it is not treated on time. It can even turn fatal in severe cases.

Symptoms of Asthma

The symptoms of Asthma include wheezing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, cough, and chest pressure. Asthma attacks can be triggered by smoke, hair, feathers, pollen, weather changes, strong soaps, perfumes, or even viral infections.

How can health insurance help asthma patients?

In an asthma patient, emergencies can arise anytime that require immediate hospitalization and medical attention, so health insurance for asthma patients is a boon for them. Listed below are the prominent health insurance advantages:

  • Protection against Medical costs: According to the 2017 Global Medical Trends Survey Report (GMTSR Report), medical inflation reached 12.5% in the year 2016. With such a growing number every year, asthma patients might find it challenging to pay the increasing cost of treatment. By purchasing health insurance, the patient’s financial responsibility is reduced as the insurance provider takes care of paying for their medical bills.
  • Frequent hospitalization costs: Respiratory tract inflammation may cause sudden asthma attacks. Such situations are common and should not be ignored. So to treat critical Asthma, the costs can grow higher, and it can be costly to treat acute Asthma without insurance.
  • Coverage for diagnostic tests: Various diagnostic tests from chest X-rays to pulmonary function tests are performed during asthma treatment, particularly if the patient is hospitalized. These tests can quickly increase medical bills, and hence it is essential to check with your insurance company to confirm that this coverage is available.
  • Pay for medicines: As Asthma is a chronic condition, patients must take medication to control symptoms and prevent attacks. Asthma insurance policies cover the costs associated with such drugs, and it includes coverage for buying prescribed medicines which can be later claimed reimbursement from their insurance provider.

How to avoid Asthma

If you have Asthma, it is possible to reduce your exposure to triggers that may initiate or aggravate it. Although there is no permanent cure for Asthma, it can be controlled by taking preventive measures, such as:

  • Identify the triggers for Asthma, such as allergies, air pollution, cold, smoke, flu virus, and fragrances.
  • Avoid allergens. An allergen-related reaction can increase inflammation and make it more likely that you will have an asthma attack.
  • Smoking can make Asthma worse.
  • Avoid getting too close with people who have the flu or cold.
  • Asthma medications can be used as long-term treatments to prevent attacks and symptoms.
  • Keep a peak flow meter at home, which measures the airflow through your lungs.

How to Choose a Health Insurance Plan?

Asthma is on the rise due to increased pollution and our sedentary lifestyle. As asthma treatment can become expensive over time, here are some tips to help you select the right insurance policy that also covers Asthma.

Terms and Conditions: You should always read the terms and conditions before purchasing a health insurance policy. If you have serious complications, your doctor can help you determine the best type of insurance for you.

Coverage Limit: Compare all available health insurance plans and choose the one that best suits all your needs. An excellent medical insurance plan should cover hospitalization expenses, doctor’s fees, and treatment bills. Check to see if any other medical conditions other than Asthma are also included in your plan as an additional bonus.

Renewal: Although most insurance providers provide lifetime renewal options, policies must be renewed annually. Getting asthma insurance for a longer tenure will help you stay worry-free for a longer time.

Policy Exclusions: Each health insurance policy document includes a list of conditions or disorders that are not covered by the insurance company, which needs to be carefully read before registering for a policy.

Premium Amount: Compare the different policies and their premium amount. Your age is an essential factor in choosing the right health insurance at the right price. As you get older, your premium will also increase. So if you decide to wait and buy, it would end up like you are paying more in the future.

Claim Settlement Ratio: This is an important criterion that gives you a fair idea of the trustworthiness of the insurance company. A claim settlement ratio allows you to estimate the likelihood of acceptance of claim by the insurance company. Therefore, before purchasing asthma insurance, make sure you check the claim settlement ratio of the insurer since you have to file for claims regularly if buying the policy mainly for asthma coverage.

You now know the health insurance importance for asthma patients, and it is your responsibility to follow the guidelines and choose the best health insurance policy that serves your needs. Getting the correct type of insurance cover can be made easy with PayBim’s expert advice with easy comparisons, detailed explanations, and a wide range of options to choose the best one for your needs.

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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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