Design Credits: Rakesh Mohan
Today, 7th April, is World Health Day. It has been celebrated every year, since 1950, to create global awareness about health and how important it is to be healthy. This day is observed under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO) and there is a theme every year. This year the theme is “Halt the rise: beat diabetes”. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), about 382 million people in the world have diabetes and by 2035, this figure is expected to go up to 592 million. 175 million people with diabetes remain undiagnosed. India has about 65 million people with diabetes and this might increase to 109 in the next 20 years. As you might know, if untreated, diabetes can adversely affect most parts of the body, including the heart, kidney and the nervous system. It is perhaps the most dangerous of all lifestyle diseases and could lead to critical illnesses such as stroke. The unfortunate part is that most people are unwilling to be prepared for health related problems like this.
No Health, No Wealth
A recent survey by Future Generali India Insurance, an insurance company in India, shows that people do not go for regular health check-ups and would rather visit the doctor only when they are unwell. This survey, where a total of 1082 respondents participated, also reveals that even though people feel that treatments and hospitalisation costs are high for critical illnesses, they do not take Health Insurance. Given that healthcare inflation is rising in double digits, this might not be the most advisable thing to do. According to a survey by Aon Hewitt, medical inflation in India was at 13% in 2015, up from 10% in 2014. The cost of treatment for critical illnesses has also gone up in the past years, thanks to advances in technology. Consider this: an angioplasty which cost about Rs.1.5 lakh in 2007 would now cost you Rs.2.5-3 lakh. In essence, significant savings could get wiped out due to a single episode of critical illness. This is true for many families, particularly those of single income households. This is precisely the reason why Health Insurance is important.
Ensure but Insure
You can go for a walk every day, hit the gym five times a week and turn a vegan overnight. All these activities ensure that you remain fit. But there is no guarantee that you won’t be affected by a critical illness in the future. So, it makes sense to consider Health Insurance.
Common Health Insurance Myths
Don’t let these Health Insurance myths stop you from securing yourself and your family.
Myth 1: Health insurance premiums are high
Contrary to popular perception, it is possible to get a health cover of Rs.5 lakh for as low as Rs.10 per day, if you are a 30 year old.
Myth 2: Pre-existing diseases are not covered
This is totally untrue as almost all insurance firms cover pre-existing illness after a specified waiting period which could be as low as 2 years.
Myth 3: Health Insurance only covers hospitalization
Most insurance companies today cover day care treatment and there are many who offer Out Patient (OPD) benefits too.
Myth 4: Health Insurance provided by my employer is enough
Most of the times health insurance provided by companies may not be sufficient as they don’t take into account the employee’s health or his family history of illnesses.
Myth 5: The best Health Insurance policy is one with a low premium
This might be the most absurd of all myths. A company providing very low premiums usually does not give adequate coverage or offers minimal benefits. So, it is important to choose policies based on deductibles, sub-limits and co-payment options.
Additional Reading: The Hidden Benefits of Health Insurance
Just as a healthy lifestyle and a great diet plan makes you feel secure, a Health Insurance policy for your family can act as a good safety net. As they say, health is wealth and a Health Insurance policy will ensure that your wealth is in place even if your health takes a hit.