Health insurance is one of the most important tools to help us pay hefty hospital bills and avoid a financial crisis.
After facing one of the biggest health crises in history due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we cannot afford to ignore the importance of health. Health is our real wealth, and to protect this wealth, we need health insurance. In the absence of health insurance, people often find it challenging to manage their medical bills and sometimes even lose their lifetime earnings. There have been cases where the affected family was forced to sell their house, gold or even spend entire savings to pay hospital bills.
With this backdrop, health insurance is one of the most important tools to help us pay hefty hospital bills and avoid a financial crisis. Several insurance companies in India offer health insurance products to their customers. Each policy is different, and premiums of health insurance policies may vary from company to company.
Health insurance is typically a long-term relationship. Therefore, you must not forget to go through all the policy’s terms and offerings. Often it is advised that health insurance policy should be bought at an early age as you start your employment journey. The older the policy, the more the benefits will be. New policies often offer basic coverage, and critical illnesses are covered only after 2-5 years of your health insurance policy purchase. A medical emergency can strike you any time; that is why one must be prepared for it in advance, according to Bankbazaar.
Buying health insurance gets difficult as you grow old due to the higher costs and medical conditions. If you continue to postpone purchasing a health insurance cover, there are higher risks. You can avail benefits under your health insurance policy whenever a medical emergency arrives.
Often cashless health insurance policies are preferred by people, but there are certain expenses for which you need to claim reimbursement for payments you have made from your own pockets. You need to understand and know your health insurance policy benefits before purchasing it. It helps you avail benefits when you need them. Sometimes health insurance policies reject claims when the person who has bought a policy has hidden a critical illness or has not given correct information. Some policies require you to undergo a medical test before you purchase them. Still, these days most of the policies can be bought without a medical test unless you are a senior citizen or someone suffering from a critical illness.
The best feature of health insurance policies is that hospitals in the insurance provider’s network will treat you cashless. For hospitals outside the network, reimbursement claims can be submitted. In simple words, insurance is a risk management tool to safeguard you against possible financial risks.
Health coverage should be given the highest priority. Remember, if you are in a small city with a reliable network of local hospitals, your costs may be low. But, if you had to travel to a big city to get specialised treatment, your medical expenses could increase. Hence, buy the policy which allows you to access a room in the hospital without difficulty.
Just like other expenditures, your medical cost also increases. Your health policy should keep inflation in mind and should have ample amount to cover any medical emergency. Health insurance premiums may vary depending on your age, medical history, tobacco and alcohol habits, city, district etc. Also, your age and pre-existing health conditions may determine the cost of your health policy.
Buying a health insurance plan also helps you save tax as under Section 80D, the premium paid towards a health insurance plan, up to a certain limit based on your age, will give you tax benefits. This is over and above the Section 80C limit. You may save income tax up to Rs 1 lakh by buying a health insurance plan if you are a senior citizen.
What Does A Rs 5 Lakh Health Insurance Policy Cost?
Note: Data pertains to individual health insurance covers of Rs 5 lakh for 30-year-old (married), residing in Bangalore, and is correct as of Mar 02, 2022. Data is indicative. Actual premium and information may vary from the data mentioned in the table. ** SI = 5.5 lakh