Amidst the daily rigor of handling work, family and life, the modern and independent woman should be mindful of her personal wellness, which would be best met by a comprehensive health insurance plan that takes care of her healthcare needs.
Today’s modern Indian woman juggles multiple roles: those of a professional, a caregiver, a responsible daughter, a homemaker and many more; sometimes even that of the primary breadwinner. In the midst of multitasking and wanting to thrive in each of these roles, her own health and personal needs are often downgraded to lower priority.
Much like the announcement we hear onboard an aircraft, "Place your own oxygen masks over your mouth and nose before assisting others", women should ensure that they secure their own healthcare needs and personal finances, so that they remain safe and healthy to continue to excel in all their responsibilities.
Listed below are five main reasons why women should have a health insurance policy.
Protection from rising medical inflation: Hospitalisation costs are sky-high nowadays, whether for Covid treatment, a terrible accident or a critical illness condition. And all of these situations can occur anytime, anywhere and at any age. Without a health insurance policy to cover for hospitalisation expenses, women and family members are exposed to high financial risk in case of a hospitalisation situation.
Growing health concerns for women: Women are becoming increasing vulnerable to numerous lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease owing to work-related stress, poor eating habits, sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalance and sedentary lifestyle. Besides, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders are also on the rise propelled largely by isolation during the pandemic. Female-centric cancer cases such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer and uterine cancer, to name a few, are among the topmost critical illness concerns among women all over the world and not just in India. Given the precarious and unpredictable nature of life, it would be prudent for women to maintain comprehensive health insurance (including critical illness plans) that takes care of hospitalisation expenses related to these grave conditions.
Maternity coverage needs: Women who are in the family planning way would have to prepare themselves mentally, physically as well as financially to welcome their bundle-of-joy into their lives. The financial preparation would be more watertight if she were to invest in a health insurance plan that offers maternity benefits for a shorter waiting period and a higher coverage amount towards normal or cesarean delivery charges. Some insurers extend these covers even to couples who have chosen the option of medically induced pregnancy i.e. In-vitro fertilization (IVF).
More than group medical insurance: All members of Indian families must be covered under an individual or family floater policy, even if they are also covered under a group health insurance policy provided by their employers. There are two reasons for this. One, in this era of rising job uncertainty, family members should remain covered with health insurance even when the bread-winners are in between jobs. Two, it becomes really difficult and expensive to get a health insurance policy after retirement, due to likely pre-existing diseases by then. Therefore, an individual or family health insurance policy should be purchased when the members are young and healthy.
Additional safety in times of personal adversity: A lot of women in India tend to depend either on their father or their husband to make the most crucial financial decisions, including those related to health insurance. However, should an unfortunate situation arise (for example, upon demise, or due to job loss or in case of a separation/divorce), women and family members can stay protected from hospitalisation expenses with the help of an individual/family floater policy with adequate coverage and ample sum insured. This essential investment will protect you and your dependents, in a situation where you have to adopt the role of the primary provider.
Women in India are urged to ensure that they and their family members are covered under a comprehensive health insurance plan that offers financial safety during medical predicaments.
The author is Co-Founder, SANA Insurance Brokers.