Health insurance coverage in India

Just to give you a perspective on the growing need for health insurance coverage in India, according to the report by WHO, 68% of Indian health expenses are Out Of the Pocket (OOP), which is alarming. Also, only 18% of the urban and 14% of the rural population in India is covered under health insurance. Purchasing health Insurance at a young age is a prudent decision since premiums are a lot lower.

If you don’t have a health insurance policy yet or are thinking about getting one, here’s a list of reasons which will make you aware of the benefits of health insurance.

  1. Cashless treatment: All major health insurance providers have many popular hospitals under their network, called network hospitals. Whenever you enter one of these hospitals for treatment, all you have to do is flash your health insurance card (or even just your insurance policy number), and everything will be taken care of after filling out a few forms if required. If you choose a non-network hospital, however, you will have to pay for the treatment and claim reimbursement later. So, cashless treatment is one of the biggest benefits of a health insurance policy, as only a few of us can arrange large sums at short notice for treatment purposes.
  2. Rising Medical costs and Health disorders: According to statistics by India against cancer, the number of cancer patients registered every year is 11,57,294 in 2019. The cancer rate has nearly doubled in the last 26 years in India. Along with this, other life-threatening diseases like tuberculosis and diabetes are also on the rise. Add this to the ever-increasing cost of medicine and treatment and you will have to look no further as to why health insurance is a must.
  3. Free Medical check-up & Additional Benefits: Many insurance companies provide free medical check-ups every year as a complimentary benefit for their customers (although, some companies provide free check-ups only if you haven’t claimed insurance for the past few years). You will also be eligible for a No Claim Bonus (NCB), that is, the sum insured amount of your policy increases by a certain amount provided you haven’t claimed insurance, except as an outpatient, during the policy period. In addition to this, ambulance charges, and pre and post-hospitalization charges are some of the other benefits offered by insurance companies.
  4. Tax benefits: Under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you can avail of tax benefits for the premiums paid towards your health insurance policy. For individuals under the age of 60, a total deduction of ₹50,000 can be claimed if the parents of the individual are below the age of 60 (₹25,000 for Self, Spouse, and dependent children and ₹25,000 for parents) and ₹75,000 if parents are above the age of 60 (₹25,000 for Self, Spouse and dependent children and ₹50,000 for parents). If both the individual and parents are more than 60, then a total of ₹1,00,000 deduction can be claimed.
  5. Peace of mind: Having a well-planned insurance policy covering your back can save you and your family in times of medical emergencies and above all, in your overpacked daily schedule, you will have one less thing to worry about.

Along with the regular benefits, you can go for certain add-ons with your health insurance policy. These provide additional benefits at a marginal additional cost.

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