As the saying goes, “health is wealth,” and it’s true that our well-being is our most valuable asset. With rising healthcare costs and the ever-present threat of illness or injury, investing in health insurance is more important than ever before. While we can’t predict these events, we can prepare for them. Health insurance offers financial protection against the high costs of medical treatment, ensuring that you and your loved ones can receive quality healthcare without worrying about the expenses.
In this article, we will explore the top reasons why you should buy health insurance, including rising healthcare costs, cashless hospitalization, comprehensive coverage, tax benefits, and peace of mind. By the end of this article, you will understand the importance of health insurance and how it can provide you with financial security and peace of mind in times of need.
Here are just a few reasons why you should buy health insurance:-
- Rising healthcare costs: Healthcare costs in India are rising rapidly, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for individuals to afford quality medical care According to the most current National Health Accounts Estimates, total health spending in India is anticipated to make up 3.6% of GDP in 2019–20. This has consequently prompted a significant rise in the number of people purchasing health insurance.
- Cashless hospitalization: Most health insurance policies in India offer cashless hospitalization, which means that you can receive treatment at a network hospital without paying anything upfront. According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, there will be 10,831 network hospitals in India in 2019-20. (IRDAI). This feature of health insurance policies has become a significant relief for many people in the country who cannot afford to pay for medical expenses upfront.
- Comprehensive coverage: Health insurance policies in India provide comprehensive coverage for a wide range of medical expenses, including hospitalization, pre and post hospitalization expenses, doctor’s consultation fees, diagnostic tests, and other medical expenses. As per the IRDAI annual report for 2019-20, the gross direct premium underwritten by health insurance companies in India was Rs 57,159 crore, indicating a substantial demand for comprehensive health insurance coverage.
- Tax benefits:- Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, health insurance premiums for a taxpayer, their spouse, and any dependent children under the age of 18 may be written off as a tax deduction. Due to this tax benefit, many consumers now pay for health insurance premiums.
- Peace of mind: Knowing that you and your family are covered financially in the event of a medical emergency thanks to your health insurance policy is a comfort. With the increasing number of health issues in India, having health insurance has become a critical investment in safeguarding your physical and financial well-being.
When is the right time to buy a health insurance policy for you or your family?
The ideal time to buy health insurance for yourself or your family is as soon as it is possible. Because most health insurance policies need a waiting period before you can make a claim for some pre-existing illnesses, it’s better to purchase a coverage when you’re well and before any medical concerns occur.
In addition, healthcare costs in India are rising rapidly, and a good health insurance policy can provide financial security in case of unexpected medical emergencies. Having health insurance can also provide access to better medical care, as you can afford to go to better hospitals and get better treatment.
In 2019, as per the National Health Accounts estimates, the total health expenditure in India was estimated to be Rs. 7.9 trillion (US$ 113.9 billion), which accounted for about 3.6% of the country’s GDP. Out of the total health expenditure, 67.6% was out-of-pocket expenses, and only 32.4% was through public and private health insurance. As per the report, about 86% of the rural population and 82% of the urban population have to bear the expenses of their medical treatment from their pockets.
According to data from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the number of health insurance policies sold in India has been growing steadily over the years, indicating that more people are becoming aware of the need for health insurance.
Overall, the statistics indicate that health insurance is important and the right time to buy a policy is as early as possible to ensure financial security in case of unexpected medical emergencies.
Where to invest for health insurance?
There are several options available for investing in a health insurance policy in India in 2023. Here are some of the options you can consider:-
Public Sector Insurance Companies: Public sector insurance companies like New India Assurance, National Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company, and United India Insurance Company are some of the most popular options for health insurance in India. For a variety of needs and price ranges, these businesses provide a comprehensive selection of health insurance products.
Private Sector Insurance Companies: Private sector insurance companies like ICICI Lombard, Bajaj Allianz, and HDFC ERGO are also popular options for health insurance in India. These companies offer comprehensive health insurance plans that cover a range of medical expenses.
Standalone Health Insurance Companies: There are also standalone health insurance companies like Max Bupa Health Insurance, Religare Health Insurance, and Apollo Munich Health Insurance that specialize in health insurance. These companies provide a wide selection of health insurance policies that are specifically designed to address individual health requirements.
Online Insurance Portals: You can also consider buying health insurance through online insurance portals like Policybazaar, Coverfox, and PolicyX. These portals offer a wide range of health insurance plans from different insurance companies, making it easy to compare and choose the best plan that suits your needs.
Group Health Insurance: You can also consider getting health insurance through your employer or through professional associations or clubs. These group health insurance plans often provide coverage at a lower cost than individual plans.
Ultimately, the best option for investing in a health insurance policy in India in 2023 will depend on your individual needs, budget, and preferences. It’s important to do your research and compare different plans before making a decision.