According to the NITI Aayog report of 2017, individuals have to bear as much as 70% of the healthcare expenses out of their pocket, due to which 7% population is pushed below the poverty threshold every year. Estimates suggests that only 15% citizens of India are protected by a medical coverage plan. And worse than that, less than 5% of the population buy a health insurance policy voluntarily.
These figures suggest that health insurance in India still has a long way to go to make it to the masses. However, with government laying more focus on the healthcare sector, launch of new initiatives like Ayushman Bharat Yojana, and an increase in capital expenditure towards the health insurance industry, the situation has ameliorated. The number of people getting insured has been rising steadily since the past few years.
Here are some of the factors testifying the importance of health insurance and why you must include it in your financial portfolio:
Sooner or later, most of us would want to live a financially secured life. However, no matter how much you save during your lifetime, getting yourself adequately insured is very crucial towards achieving financial security. A health insurance plan basically acts as your financial bodyguard that helps you tackle emergency medical expenses efficiently so that you can utilise your savings in a better way.
Rising costs of healthcare
The medical costs, of late, have been rising dramatically in India and with inflation rate continuously soaring, no respite can be expected in the near future. It means that in case of a medical emergency, you may end up depleting all your savings, which can take a toll on your current lifestyle as well as future plans. Therefore, to safeguard yourself against the rising healthcare costs, having a health insurance is a must.
A tectonic shift has been observed in the lifestyle of people during the past decade. Commuting in a polluted environment, hectic work schedules, unhealthy eating habits, degrading quality of foods etc. have made them more prone towards catching some serious health disorders. A health insurance policy, hence, has become a necessity as it includes regular health check-ups, covers a range of medical treatments, and ensures that you get the best healthcare facilities.
Several public and private health insurers in India have started providing cashless hospitalisation benefits to their customers. This facility can help policyholders significantly in emergency situations where they require immediate medical intervention. All the medical expenses and hospitalisation fees incurred during the treatment is borne by the insurance company, and the insured will not have to pay anything out of his/her pocket.
Income tax benefits
Having a health insurance cover not only ensures that you are financially secured, but also facilitates more savings in form of tax benefits. By paying regular health insurance premiums for you as well as your family, you can avail tax deductions under section 80D of The Income Tax Act. Individuals below 60 years of age can claim a deduction of up to Rs. 75,000 against health insurance premiums paid for themselves, their spouse, children, and senior citizen parents.
Apart from these benefits, you may also get some additional services with certain healthcare policies such as ambulance cover, coverage for day-care surgeries, vaccination cover etc. Buying a health insurance policy, therefore, must be your top priority in case you haven’t purchased it till now. However, be sure to compare different policies on the basis of their coverage, waiting period, and premium amount in your bid to choose the best health insurance plan.
Bajaj Finserv has recently launched a range of short-term and affordable solutions under its pocket insurance category. You can browse across a range of health-related insurance plans and choose one or more covers as per your current requirements.
For instance, you can opt for hospital cash cover to protect yourself against the financial strain of getting hospitalised in case of a serious medical emergency. With this plan, you will get a coverage of up to Rs. 1 lakh at a premium of just Rs. 322 per annum. You can also choose to receive this sum in the form of daily cash benefit up to Rs. 3000 per day to meet your day to day expenses.