In India, cardiovascular diseases claim more than 24 Lakh lives every year. Such medical conditions are the leading set of ailments in India. It is seconded by lung diseases which have a count of about 11 Lakh.
Cancer is also one of the fatal diseases in India, with as many as 5.5 Lakh individuals losing their lives due to it every year.
These statistics attest to lifestyle and food-habit changes, which have significantly contributed to these numbers. In some cases, these are also caused by hereditary of an individual.
Although with path-breaking medical and technological advances, scientists and doctors alike have contributed significantly towards finding cures for most of these life-threatening ailments; it does not eliminate the possibility of being inflicted by one. In any case, the respective treatment costs are substantially high. Proper treatment for lung diseases can be around Rs. 20 Lakh and for liver diseases it can be almost Rs. 18 Lakh.
To account for such substantial costs, experts suggest purchasing a critical illness insurance plan before the age of 40, preferably 30 for lower premiums and secure financial coverage to facilitate immediate healthcare during emergencies.
Factors to consider before purchasing a health insurance plan
Prior to purchasing a critical illness insurance plan, there are certain factors which you should consider to opt for the plan which best complements your affordability and healthcare needs.
These are –
1. Coverage amount: When you are comparing critical illness policy, duly consider the coverage amount offered on the same. Along with standard treatment expenses, also account for components such as inflation which will increase the cost of treatment in the future. It is of far more importance to purchase insurance policies that offer higher coverage amounts rather than lower premiums.
2. Extent of coverage: Familiarise yourself with diverse coverage covenants offered by different insurance aggregators. The definition of critical illnesses and their elements vary with insures. Ergo, consider which illnesses are covered in the respective insurance policies.
You can avail a Health Insurance plan from reputed financial institutions such as Bajaj Finserv, which covers almost all ailments.
Consider consulting with your respective representative for a top-up insurance plan, which will allow financial coverage for an additional disease to your policy.
3. Claiming procedure: Consult with representatives of different insurance aggregators and inquire about their claim settlement procedure for their critical insurance cover.
Along with that, conduct extensive research of existing or previous customers on the internet to verify the same. Typically, the most hassle-free settlement procedure is without the inclusion of any third party, such as agents.
Opt for those insurance aggregators that allow direct contact for claim settlement. Also consider the duration for claim settlement, i.e. how soon they can settle it once the standard formalities are done.
4. Types of health insurance plans: There are several types of health insurance policies – individual, family, and senior citizen. Consider, which would be adequate to meet your healthcare needs and purchase accordingly.
5. Premium: Lastly, consider the premium asked by different insurance aggregators on a critical illness insurance plan. Tally these premiums against the features to decide which aggregator asks for the most reasonable premium.
Critical illness insurance benefits need not be mentioned separately. It has become a necessary financial product for every individual in India, with every 1 out of 4 individuals prone to a critical illness such as cancer or cardiovascular ailments by the age of 70.
Purchasing a health insurance policy also has income tax benefits under Section 80D. Individuals can avail tax deductions on premiums paid for health insurance policies.