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COVID-19: The Importance Of Health Insurance For All

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COVID-19: The Importance Of Health Insurance For All
Amit Chhabra - 26 May 2020

The newly discovered and highly contagious disease COVID-19 has taken the world by storm. Assumed to have originated from China, the virus has impacted over four million people across 205 countries as per records. The lack of specific vaccines and treatments for the virus is the reason for the global frenzy and therefore, getting through the pandemic safely is the need of the hour for all humankind. Amidst the apprehension and uncertainty concerning the present scenario, we must evaluate the risks and assess if the worst comes to pass. Evaluating the risk also involves creating enough financial contingency to pay off if you fall prey to the virus. Whether or not your standard health insurance covers COVID-19 is a common dilemma. Therefore, it is imperative to know if you are covered in case you succumb to the virus

During times like these, having a health insurance comes handy in times of medical emergencies. Many individuals often have to use funds from their savings in case of a medical emergency, which not only impacts their financial health but also jeopardises personal goals. By assessing his or her financial position and requirement closely, one can plan and financially prepare against medical emergencies through a medical insurance plan.

Whether you're married, single, have children, young, or old, you need some level of health insurance to protect yourself against financial disaster in the event of a serious illness or accident. Whether you choose a group plan or an individual plan, there are important choices to be made that will affect not only the quality of your health care but also your wallet.

Health Insurance for Senior Citizens

Healthcare continues to remain a crucial lifeline for elderly citizens who need healthcare as they age. However, as per the latest study, over the next two decades, out-of-pocket medical costs for older adults are likely to rise significantly. Considering the current rate of medical inflation in India, adequate health insurance has become a must-have for each and every individual, and if the individual happens to be your parents, the need of buying a senior citizen health insurance becomes all the more important. We all must accept the fact of life that as we age, it’s not just our experience that increases, the list of medical ailments also witness a substantial increase.

Considering the given scenario, buying an individual cover for your elderly parents is a sensible thing to do. In the event of your parents falling ill and requiring hospitalisation, the major part of the medical expenses will be taken care of by your parents’ medical cover plan, without burning a hole in your pocket.

Senior Citizens are better off buying a feature packed comprehensive health insurance plan with no limitations like co-pay or room rent limits. These may be slightly expensive but are worth it for the peace of mind they offer. Some of the popular health insurance plans available for the senior citizens include Religare’s NCB Super Premium, HDFC Ergo’s Health Suraksha – Silver, Star Health’s Health Optima and Max Bupa’s Go Active. However, in case somebody wants to buy a cheaper plan, there are options which are specifically designed for Senior Citizens. The offered plans in the category include Religare’s Red Carpet and Care Senior.

Health Insurance for People with Pre-existing Diseases

Many a people nowadays don’t end up buying Health Insurance if they are suffering from some ailments like Diabetes or High BP or some heart related issues. They are worried that since they are suffering some pre-existing conditions, the insurance companies won’t cover them or otherwise the cover provided in case of any hospitalisation will be nominal. This is a total myth which people have set in their minds that no companies will cover them. Fortunately, iinsurance companies have now opened up their underwriting significantly in the past few years and made the entire process quite simpler. Also, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued several guidelines to insurers stating all pre-existing disease will be covered under a health insurance cover after a certain waiting period. Adhering to IRDAI guidelines, insurers have come up with plans that cover all pre-existing diseases after a limited time waiting period.

However, you must choose the best medical insurance for pre-existing conditions to suit your needs. It is the duty of the person who is opting for health insurance with pre-existing conditions like diagnosed illnesses, medical history of illness/hospitalization/surgery or major accidental injury, to inform the health policy issuing executive about the same and get all necessary checks and tests done before buying the policy. It is also important to read the type of diseases which the insurance companies define as Pre-existing conditions to avoid problems when the time comes to raise a claim.

The author is the Head of Health Insurance at Policybazaar

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