Buying health insurance has always been looked upon as a risk mitigating tool to tackle increasing medical costs. By paying a small premium, you can buy health coverage or the sum insured, an amount up to which your insurer will reimburse the hospital. This ensures you do not have to dip into your savings to meet medical bills. After the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, there were three major trends that were witnessed. One, there were individuals without any coverage who scrambled to buy new health insurance policies, secondly, there were individuals having health plans but had inadequate coverage and thirdly, individuals having health insurance policies only in their own name and not for family members.
Covid-19 has clearly outlined that you need health insurance policies with adequate coverage for all members of the family – from a newborn to the senior most family member.
The Covid -19 pandemic has worked as a wake-up call for many individuals after seeing people spend lakhs of rupees on Covid treatment. Many families after getting infected have ended up spending Rs 15-30 lakh on the hospital expenses owing to coronavirus. People have slowly realized the importance of adequate health insurance. Infections like Coronavirus or any pandemic can be contracted by any person at any age. So it is better to buy a personal health insurance policy even though you have been covered through the office as you never know how soon you will change your job.
If you are young and healthy, do not procrastinate about buying a health insurance policy. A youngster should not wait to get older or get any chronic illness as it makes sense to buy health insurance when you are young. Many youngsters contemplate buying health cover when they get old. By the time one is a middle-age person, there could be medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. and may get a limited cover. The younger you are, lower is the premium and you can buy high cover too. It makes sense to buy coverage of around Rs 25 lakh, considering the medical inflation in these times. For small families, there is an option to buy a Family Floater plan wherein all individuals of the family can get insured.
If you are without any health cover, you are putting your savings at risk. It is important to have adequate coverage for self and all family members. You can choose the sum assured as per your affordability. For every no-claim year, your sum insured keeps going up as no-claim bonus kicks in. Choose the right insurance broker, the one who can help you choose the right Health Insurance Policy. Health Insurance is a long-term buy and there are rules that pre-existing diseases treatment will be made after 3-4 years and after 8 years your claims can be rejected. So, it is always better to buy health insurance early and adequately for self and all family members too.
(The author is joint chairman & managing director at Bajaj Capital; views expressed are personal)
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