May 20 2021

Here's how you can choose health insurance wisely during tough times

By Prasun Sikdar

Health Insurance is no longer an option but is an essential financial vaccination in the current times due to soaring healthcare expenses and the increasing rate of lifestyle diseases.

Health Insurance is no longer an option but is an essential financial vaccination in the current times due to soaring healthcare expenses and the increasing rate of lifestyle diseases.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further put the spotlight on the importance of health insurance, because medical emergencies can arise anytime, anywhere, and the ongoing pandemic has encapsulated this overwhelmingly.

Therefore, today, people are not asking the question ‘Why do I need health insurance’ rather they are asking ‘How much do I need' and which health insurance plan is future proof considering life expectancy is increasing giving rise to new and existing risks?

The increasing cost of medical expenditures can affect access to quality healthcare facilities, making it a financially strenuous situation. Therefore, getting a comprehensive health insurance plan for oneself and family can act as financial vaccination to protect against the current health care needs but also the ones that may arise at different stages of life.

With the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic creating a distressing situation again, having an adequate no-compromise health insurance plan can keep an individual financially secured. This will ensure that you and your family are adequately covered for various forms of diseases and the required treatments, including COVID-19. As the cost of healthcare is increasing rapidly, having a health insurance policy will also provide protection to your savings and investments from getting depleted due to health emergencies.

For instance, the state of a family where the only breadwinner with no health insurance contracted with any critical illness. The health of the breadwinner not only deteriorates over a period of time, but his financial situation also takes a knock. Many people have experienced this during the COVID 19 pandemic as well, where we have seen families getting affected due to this infectious disease, costing them the entire savings of their life which were saved to address the other goals in life such as higher studies of their children or marriage of their children or even to manage post-retirement expenses and aspirational goals. Therefore, to avoid depletion of your savings in the future due to any such situation or health condition, it is necessary to have enough health insurance coverage.

Here are some pointers that will help you to choose the health insurance plan wisely that can act as a shield in tough times like these.

Get financially vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones

A medical event can happen with any member of the family but it’s the entire household savings that can get wiped off. It’s therefore important to look at health insurance as a financial vaccination for the working for the entire household to ensure all-round financial protection.

Enhance your health cover

It can be challenging sometimes to reach the “golden number”. What is adequate health cover depends on many factors such as where you live, your preferred healthcare network that you will access and the size of the family? To be at the top of the game you should keep a tab of medical inflation and enhance your health insurance coverage from time to time or choose a health plan that provides inflation adjusted sum insured.A little planning can go a long way in weathering a health emergency successfully. The majority of the people who have health insurance have sum insured less than or equal to Rs 5 lakh in the current situation might be inadequate. And nowadays there is an increasing demand for buying feature-rich health insurance policies of Rs 1 Crore and above sum insured that enables access to quality health care and caters to the problem of ever-increasing medical inflation. So, as a thumb rule, ensure that you take the protection of around 10 times your annual income as your Sum Insured.

Super Top Up plans

While increasing the health insurance cover or going for a new plan can cost you heavily, a super top-up plan offers an extra security blanket over your existing health insurance plan, which can save the day in cases of uncertainties, but at a comparatively lower cost. What’s great about a super top-up plan is that it covers claims for cumulative medical expenses within a policy year once you’ve exceeded the deductible versus a regular top-up that only covers claims when a single claim goes above the deductible.

In today’s fast-paced world, there are so many factors that take a toll on our physical and financial health — and having a comprehensive health insurance plan is like a financial vaccination against rapidly escalating healthcare costs, which continue to grow at an unsustainable rate. There are plenty of health insurance plans available in the market but, you have to choose the one that gives lifetime access to quality healthcare and can secure you and your family’s domestic and global healthcare needs at every stage of life.

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