Financial vaccination

Choose Financial Empowerment Through Health Insurance This Women's Day

Mar 08 2021


The ongoing pandemic has pushed health and health care to the top of people's hierarchy of needs. In this podcast, Deepti Bhaskaran, a renowned personal finance journalist, recommends critical steps, tips and insights for women to be financially secure, beginning with health insurance.

Health Insurance: An Investment or Expenditure

Health insurance is an expense that makes for a great investment. From a financial standpoint, buying health insurance reduces your tax liability, and the premium you pay qualifies for a tax deduction. But medical expenses have a surprise element — they  come unannounced and can be catastrophic that can significantly impact your net worth. So, having insurance pay for unforeseen or high-impact expenses is an investment you need to put on high priority.

Ms Bhaskaran believes it is important to have a strategic approach when buying health insurance. Here are some points she recommends to keep in mind:

  • Ensure a personal health insurance plan. While you may have a health policy from your employer, the coverage may not necessarily be sufficient. People believe that they do not need to spend on an additional or a personal health plan. But, if you change your job or retire, this thought process could leave you exposed. Hence, look into buying your own personal health insurance plan.
  • Figure out your coverage. Since there is no one-size-fits-all, it is important to look into your unique requirements when deciding the coverage. How much you need will depend on your living location, preferred medical network, and family size. These factors are vital, especially when considering a floater policy. If one family member makes a claim in a given year, the amount reduces by that much on the entire unit/family.
  • Look into a comprehensive policy. Search for the right policy that has fewer sub-limits, co-payments, deductibles, caps on expenses and so on. Also, look at the claims' status of insurance companies when purchasing a policy. Take the time to conduct due diligence by visiting the insurer's, access their public disclosure and viewing their claims data to get an in-depth understanding.
  • Get maximum coverage with minimum premium. Purchase a health policy with a long-term view in mind. For example, a floater policy can be economical for a younger family unit or a family where the age gap is not wide. Besides, having a top-up plan can ensure enhanced coverage at a lower premium. Also, consider a comprehensive critical illness policy that pays a predefined sum to support income loss.

Women and Health Insurance

Women are primarily underinsured because of their representation in the workforce. Also, women tend to view health insurance as a financial matter and therefore entrust this task to their spouse or parent. But since medical emergencies come unannounced and do not pick a gender, it's time for women to take health insurance into their hands. Women need healthcare because of longer life expectancies, and hence health insurance becomes an absolute must.

Prioritize Health and Wellbeing in 2021 and Beyond

Make meaningful, lasting improvements to your health and wellbeing by investing in the most important expenditure today — health insurance.