Make sure you’re sufficiently covered!
Nobody plans to get sick, but unfortunate incidents happen — even to healthy people. Medical emergencies can strike anytime and can put your finances under considerable stress. In such cases, planning in advance is the best thing to do.As per data released from National Health Profile (NHP) in 2017, only 27 per cent Indians have some sort of health coverage. Unfortunately, today healthcare has become increasingly unaffordable so much so that India has the highest rate of medical inflation in the world (Source: Towers Watson Report, 2015). Additionally, the increment in salaries in recent years has not been able to keep up with the rising costs of medical treatments either. To further reiterate this, we present an alarming piece of statistic; the average cost of hospitalization in Delhi stands at a whopping ~Rs. 31,000 while in Maharashtra, the figure stands at an equally startling ~Rs.20,500 (Source: National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), 2014).
With life expectancies on a rise and medical treatment getting complex with every passing day, one thing for sure is that the medical expenses are not going to slow down anytime soon. If you find yourself in a situation wherein you don't have any sort of medical coverage, you mightfind yourself with a massive amount of medical debt. The situation is such that it prompted the former President of India, President Pranab Mukherjee to intervene on this subject while addressing the 40th convocation function of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was quoted saying that nearly 4 crore people in our country find themselves grappling with poverty every year due to their inability to meet medical treatment expenses. Needless to say, it is paramountthat each and every single one of us has some form of medicalcoverage in the form of mediclaim and/or health insurance.
Why Do You Need A Critical Illness Cover and Other Top-Ups?
- Today, lifestyle diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, prove to be the number one reason for death in this country as these four diseases alone contribute to nearly 60 per cent of total deaths in India. Moreover, this is just expected to rise with every passing year (Source: WHO).
- A critical illness cover allows you to opt for a higher health cover thus providing a much wider coverage. Further, it doesn’t just protect your health; it’s designed to safeguard your money as well.
- A critical illness policy can either be purchased as a stand-alone policy or clubbed along with your existing health insurance policy. It offers a financial lifeline in times of family crisis as it allows you to get a tax-benefit payment if you happen to be diagnosed with a serious illness that is covered by the insurer.
- While applying for a critical illness policy, the terms are usually underwritten which entails that you will be aware of what diseases you’re covered against upfront thus leaving nothing to chance at the time of the claim.
- It’s essentially, the one type of health carecoverage that you are most likely to use. Have a word with any number of financial planners today and all of them will unanimously ask you to add a critical illness cover for yourself and your loved ones.
- Under a critical illness plan, the payout is usually defined and fixed. No matter how much your hospital expenses amount to, the insurer will pay the full amount of sum insured.
- In case of a critical illness cover, all you need to get the sum assured is a diagnosis.
- You can even opt for a personal accident cover which only covers accidents and disabilities arising from accidents. Each add-on is designed to take care of one’s personal health care needs while offering a different set of benefits.
The Bottom Line
Illnesses don’t usually come seeking an appointment. You can't predict what the future holds for you but good financial planning can put you in a position of financial control. Make an informed choice and get started on the right path by opting for critical illness cover for both you and your family today itself!
Disclaimer: Taxes are subject to change as per tax laws.
AN May 81/18
Planning for health cover: Why mediclaim alone is not enough
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