Health insurance is an agreement between you and the insurer, where the insurance company agrees to pay the medical expenses in case you (insured) are hospitalized for an illness or meet with an accident, within the term of the health insurance plan.
Insurers have tie-ups with leading hospitals to offer cashless treatment to you and other citizens insured under the plan. The Government wants citizens to stand protected from disease and not pay too much money on hospitalization, out of pocket. This is why the Government encourages you to avail a health insurance plan. You are offered tax deduction on health insurance premiums under Section 80D of the income tax act.
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The modern world is all about lifestyle diseases. Lakhs of citizens spend time at their desks, sitting down, without doing much exercise. This sedentary lifestyle coupled with unhealthy food habits, mean lifestyle diseases like heart ailments, stroke and diabetes.
Just take a look at the youth of India ordering food on Zomato, Swiggy and Uber Eats. They are reluctant to step out of their workstations and eat at their desks. People are even reluctant to walk downstairs and collect their food. There’s a saying, “If you don’t have time for exercise, then make time for disease.”
As lifestyle diseases claim young lives, there’s an ever growing need for health insurance. Avail sufficient health insurance at a young age. There’s money for hospitalization and health insurance even offers annual checks. The health insurance plan encourages you to take care of your health.
SEE ALSO: Family Health Insurance Plan
Hospitalization is very costly in India. A report by Mercer Marsh had forecasted medical inflation at 10% in India. Most Indians spend out of pocket on emergency hospitalization. This is where a health insurance plan helps. With cashless health insurance, you don’t have to spend a single rupee from your pocket.
Pre-hospitalization expenses refer to the medical expenses before a patient is moved to hospital. Some of the common pre-hospitalization expenses are blood test, urine test and X-ray among others. Post-hospitalization expenses are charges incurred after hospitalization. Health insurance plans cover both pre and post hospitalization expenses.
SEE ALSO: Health Insurance Benefits
You enjoy a tax deduction on health insurance premiums paid for health insurance plan under Section 80D of the income tax act. You get a tax deduction up to Rs 25,000 a year on health insurance premiums paid for self + spouse + dependent children, if you are under 60 years of age. Senior citizens enjoy tax deduction on health insurance premiums up to Rs 50,000 a year.
SEE ALSO: What Is Health Insurance?
Health insurers have a tie-up with leading hospitals called network hospitals. These hospitals are spread across India. Being admitted to a network hospital, means you enjoy cashless treatment where you don’t spend a single rupee from your pocket. The insurer settles the hospital bills directly with the hospital.
Many people who have a pre-existing illness are reluctant to avail health insurance. This is because there’s a 2-4 year waiting period for pre-existing illnesses. This obstacle can easily be overcome if you pass the waiting period. Pre-existing illnesses and all subsequent illnesses are covered under the health insurance plan after the waiting period.
Various health insurers offer health insurance plans with different terms and conditions. Many health insurance plans have exclusions like alternate therapy, higher premium for smokers, cosmetic treatments, diagnostic expenses, dental treatment and a waiting period clause.
People who avail health insurance without going through the terms and conditions and looking at permanent exclusions suffer. This drawback can easily be overcome by going through terms and conditions and understanding the exclusions in the health insurance plan.
Many smokers don’t avail health insurance believing that claims would be rejected or proposal would be denied. Premiums for smokers are higher than non-smokers. This is viewed as a serious drawback, but is it?
A smoker who smokes a few cigarettes a day, has no pre-existing illness and is otherwise fit can easily avail health insurance. He might have to pay higher premiums, but it’s worth it. This is because if he/she develops smoking related diseases at a later time, (This could be complications due to smoking), the health insurer settles the claim. Only pre-existing illnesses not declared at the time of availing the health insurance plan, are not settled.
Many people view health insurance as a waste of money. You don’t get any benefits if you are not hospitalized and premiums are wasted. Health insurance is risk protection. As hospitalization is costly, you lose several thousands, if you land in hospital with an illness. A health insurance plan protects you from costly hospitalization, just by paying a small premium.
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