Role of health insurance in financial planning
Nov 08 20216694 Views
Ever wondered why people say getting health insurance is one of the most important investments to make? In our latest episode of the Financial Vaccination podcast from ManipalCigna Health Insurance, we discuss this very topic with Author, Financial Coach and Co-Founder of jagoinvestor.com Nandish Desai on how health insurance can help you gain financial security and why a Rs. 1 Crore plan isn’t as far fetched as you may think!
We cannot foresee the future, so it makes sense to plan well ahead for it. A life well prepared is a life lived well. Financial planning is one of the significant aspects of our future planning, and this includes a carefully devised plan to take care of possible medical expenses in the future. That is because lifestyle diseases are on the rise, and the recent coronavirus pandemic has put forth unforeseen health concerns and the need for finances to pay for its treatment.
Healthcare costs have gone up over the past few years, with the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of some diseases being unmanageably expensive. While the costs of hospitalization run in lakhs, post-hospitalization expenses at home are equally skyrocketing. Think of having to pay the entire sum from your pocket, and you will see your hard-earned savings hitting rock bottom. To avoid this, we must include health insurance while planning our finances. Opting for an affordable health plan should the foremost priority though the focus must be to choose an adequate health cover that would take care of all our medical expenses. Buying a health policy at an early stage means more cover at low premium charges along with better chances of navigating the waiting period seamlessly.
If you are still unsure of why you must include health insurance in your everyday financial planning, let us look at the following reasons that explain the importance and efficacy of having a health policy in the first place.
- Sudden medical emergencies: Sedentary lifestyle has taken over the active living pace of our forefathers. Lifestyle health problems are galore. There is no reason why we must deem ourselves exempt from unexpected health exigencies. To pay for this unforeseen emergency like situation, we must have health insurance, lest it affects our prolonged savings. The health cover amount pays for the bills towards treatment and at-home recovery expenses, thus, enabling the insured to afford necessary treatment.
- Regular care: Diagnosis is the precursor to seeking treatment or getting hospitalized for specialized medical care. It involves lots of tests that cost money. Similar is the case for post-hospitalization or at-home care that requisites expenses on medicines, in-patient care, and yearly health checkups. Paying for all this may hurt your savings and investment plans. Replace this with a health plan that only requires you to pay moderate premiums and takes care of your entire medical budget.
- Tax exemption: What if we told you that having health insurance could avail you of tax benefits too? Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you can claim an exemption up to Rs 25000 on the premiums bought on health policies covering yourself, your spouse, and your children. If you are paying towards premiums for health plans purchased for parents aged less than 60 years, you can claim an added exemption of Rs 25000. Like premiums paid towards health policies bought for parents aged above 60, you can claim exemption up to Rs 50000 for the year you purchased the policy.
- Lifetime renewability: There is a misconception that health plans serve you only for a year. But, most health insurance plans come with a lifelong renewability feature. That means that you can renew the health insurance plans for yourself and your loved ones lifelong sans any maximum renewal age limit. Since the aged are more prone to deteriorating health problems, necessitating treatment, a health plan serves best to meet the medical expenses otherwise borne from one's pocket.
Planning your finances for the future is a must towards ensuring a secure future. While many people learn about investments to park their money in, very few realize the significance of including health insurance in their finance portfolio as an essential measure to wave off the stress stemming from rising healthcare costs. Health insurance planned carefully is an investment in disguise. All you have to do is to choose an appropriate health cover from a credible health insurance company and ensure timely premium payments and renewals to ensure its continuity. Having a valid cover that keeps you protected even during your post-retirement period helps as this plan pays for all medical expenses, be it planned or sudden hospitalization.