“He who has health has hope; he who has hope, has everything.” – Thomas Carlyle.
With the increasing cost of healthcare in India and the ever-rising risk factors, health insurance has become an immediate necessity. Today, health insurance is a more transparent and reliable means to secure the financial future of your family against all medical issues. Even then, the penetration of health insurance in India is considerably low. According to the Milliman report, titled ‘Indian Life and Health Insurance Sectors’, only 44% of the 1.3 billion people in India have a health policy as of 2017. A major reason behind such low statistics is the numerous myths concerning health insurance.
Here are four myths about buying health protection that you must discredit:
Myth 1: Insurance companies deny most claims and the process is cumbersome.
FACT: Most people form a misconception that insurers generally deny health insurance claims. Also, insurance claim-process is too long. However, in reality, insurance companies rarely deny claims. Health claims are rejected only when a policyholder misrepresents any information or makes a false claim. Moreover, in some cases, the disease is not covered under the existing plan. To ensure transparency, it is always advisable to read all policy documents and terms before purchasing an insurance cover. Further, check the Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR) of your provider. This ratio will reflect the number of claims paid by the insurer in a year. Higher the CSR, better the claim settlement process.
Myth 2: Young people do not need a health insurance cover.
FACT: Normally, medical ailments increase with age. But given the unhealthy lifestyle, eating habits, high stress, environmental factors, etc. the youth in India has become highly vulnerable to intrinsic and extrinsic factors, impacting their health and safety. According to 2012 WHO report titled, ‘Health for the World’s Adolescents’, nearly 1.3 million adolescents died from preventable/treatable diseases. The numbers have only risen since then. Hence, no-age is secure. Each day new diseases and health issues arise, of which many also severely impact the youth. Further, road accidents and other happenings can occur at any age. So, age is no principle to buy a health cover. The sooner you get insurance, the better equipped you are to face future medical uncertainties. Moreover, buying a cover when young, allows you lower premiums and a chance to forgo the waiting period for several diseases before the actual need arises.
Myth 3: Most plans are expensive and offer the same benefits but are packaged differently.
FACT: At the core, health insurance provides financial protection for you and your loved ones. However, each plan has a unique benefit and also a relatable premium. They are not all the same. Also, health plans are not expensive. Most covers are highly affordable with simple terms for easier understanding. Take the example of Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, introduced by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). The plan aims to improve the penetration of insurance in the country with affordable premiums and similar terms across all insurance companies.
Myth 4: Corporate health insurance plans are sufficient. There is no need to buy another cover.
FACT: Corporate insurance plans offer financial protection against health uncertainties only until the duration of employment. So, when your contract with the company ends, the plan becomes ineffective. Moreover, these company plans have restricted coverage, with limitations in terms of the sum insured and reimbursement caps. Thus, it is always beneficial to invest in a separate health plan earlier in life. Buying young provides you with lower premiums and more extensive coverage in uncertain times like the COVID-19 pandemic. The stand-alone insurance plan will also be applicable in case of a job change or unemployment, and in most cases, can be customised to suit your needs.
It is important to eliminate such irrelevant assumptions and understand how critical a health cover is for your future security. Trust a reliable health insurance provider to offer you optimum coverage at affordable premiums.