Health problems have sadly become a routine occurrence in present times. Every year millions of people fall prey to one illness or the other, out of which many succumb to death due to not receiving proper or timely medical care. Also, the cost of getting medical care has just been and will continue to skyrocket, making it inaccessible to many people. These are simply two of the most important reasons that have made health insurance more of a necessity in today’s times, than an option.
In India, there are many insurers, general and stand-alone, who provide a variety of health insurance policies to millions of people. The majority of health insurance plans will provide cover for expenses related to pre and post hospitalisation, ambulance transportation, and day care treatments. However, the benefits provided by a health insurance policy aren’t limited to these three. There are plenty of other benefits which accompany the purchase of a health insurance policy, and here they are.
Helps Secure Your Finances:
If you or any of your family member is undergoing a medical emergency, the first thought you would have is to get them medical attention right away. At such a time, the last thing you should have to worry about is the cost of the treatment as the life of your loved one is invaluable. Having a medical insurance policy can help ensure that not only do you have access to the best medical care at the time you need it, but you also get to save your hard earned savings from being spent on medical expenses which can easily run into thousands or lakhs, depending on the severity of the medical condition. In times of a medical emergency, the health insurance policy will provide cover for medical expenses such as hospitalisation, cost of diagnosis, medicines, treatment, etc.
Covers Expenses For Treatments of Critical Illnesses:
Though scientific innovations and technological advancements have led to a breakthrough in treatments of many life threatening diseases, the costs of these treatments are usually so exorbitant that they are often inaccessible by a majority of those affected. This is where a health insurance policy can prove invaluable. There are medical insurance policies which have been specially designed to provide cover for expenses incurred to treat a critical illness such as stroke, cancer, kidney failure, paralysis, etc. Under a critical illness health insurance policy, not only do the policyholders get cover for the expenses of treatments of listed critical illnesses but will also get a portion of the sum assured when they are first diagnosed with that critical illness. Some critical illness policies also offer a premium waiver for the remainder of the policy term to give financial relief to the policyholder. Moreover, these policies also offer coverage for expenses such as recuperation, lifestyle adjustment, etc.
Daily Hospital Cash Allowance:
Another important benefit that is a part of many health insurance plans is the daily hospital cash allowance. The basic premise of this benefit is that it offers the insured policyholder with a specific sum of money during their period of hospitalisation for coverage of additional expenses such as food or transport. Some examples of policies offering this benefit are Apollo Munich Optima Cash, Royal Sundaram Smart Cash Plan, SBI Health Hospital Daily Cash Plan, Chola MS Hospital Cash Healthline, etc.
Convalescence benefit or Recuperation/Recovery Benefit is the benefit under which the insured’s additional expenses are taken care of. This benefit basically covers the additional costs incurred by the insured during their hospitalisation. This benefit is meant for covering the costs that the insured incurs during their recovery period and is basically meant to compensate for the loss of income that the policyholder suffers due to their hospitalisation and inability to work. In case of this benefit, the insurance company provides the insured with a lump sum amount if he/she is hospitalised for a specific period as is mentioned and covered by the policy. This may range from 7 days to 10 days. Some health insurance policies also provide cover for related costs such as visits by family members, etc.
The one major benefit which is offered by a health insurance policy is tax relief on taxable income. Those who have taken a health insurance policy either for themselves, on behalf of any of their family member, or for a senior citizen, they are eligible for tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The maximum amount of deduction that can be availed for health insurance premiums paid for self, spouse or children is Rs.25,000. If you are making health insurance payments for policies taken for your parents who are senior citizens (above 60 years), then you are eligible for tax relief of up to Rs.30,000. If you are a senior citizen who has taken a health insurance policy for yourself or your spouse, you can avail tax deduction up to the amount of Rs.30,000. Tax deduction is also provided on preventive healthcare checkups for yourself, your spouse, children or aged parents (senior citizens) up to Rs.30,000.
Health insurance is not just limited to providing coverage for expenses incurred for medical treatments and hospitalization. Many health insurance policies also go the extra mile and provide coverage for preventive health check-ups and consultations. Many health insurance policies nowadays include additional benefits such as free of cost health check-ups, discounts on specific healthcare providers or treatments, charge-free consultation with doctors, among other benefits.
Peace of Mind:
The most important benefit that a health insurance policy provides you is peace of mind. A medical emergency can and often strikes unannounced. The worry about getting access to the best medical treatment and the expenses involved can easily cause great stress. However, this is what a health insurance policy works to prevent from happening. With a health insurance policy, you can live carefree that you are financially protected if ever a medical emergency were to strike and rob you of your hard earned savings.