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How has the COVID-19 pandemic underlined the need of health insurance in our lives?

dateKnowledge Centre Team dateAugust 13, 2021 views234 Views
COVID-19 | Health Insurance Plan | Buy the Best Health Plan Online

The three most commonly used terms these days are Lockdown, Quarantine, and Isolation. Who would have had the faintest idea that these three terms will have such a significant influence on our daily lives and not merely health? Seeing the rampant effect of the pandemic, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) published a circular to every citizen and health insurance company to render coverage for coronavirus, with standard policy conditions and fast-track claims settlements. The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak further induced an imprinted shift in individual opinions on buying health insurance plans.

The virus negatively affected the economy, causing millions to face monetary constraint and damages. This, accompanied by the increasing expense of hospitalization and correlated medical expenditures, has increased the eagerness to learn more about and get health insurance plans.

As per IRDAI, the health insurance sector saw double-digit growth in September 2020, becoming the largest non-life insurance business. Currently, health insurance enjoys an insurance market share of 29.7 per cent, with a growth of 15.8 per cent in 2020 from ₹24,864.41 crores in 2019.

These numbers show the increasing demand for health insurance policies as the pandemic continues to spread. What's more? People are presently ready even to pay higher premiums to purchase the most suitable health insurance plans.

Four Ways COVID-19 Emphasized the Importance of Buying Health Insurance

1. Change in perspective

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a change in the mindset of people by making them realize that getting infected by the disease has now become a distinct possibility. While earlier, health insurance was viewed as voluntary, frequently at the more profound levels of an individual's regime of needs, now it has become superior. Among the panic-like situation encompassing the condition, people now consider that health insurance policies are more of a necessity than an alternative.

2. Reality check

Earlier, individuals believed that they could satisfy the expenses of a medical emergency through their savings. Additionally, several people assumed that their corporate health insurance cover would be sufficient to accommodate coverage. The outbreak of coronavirus has transformed these perceptions and gave an essential reality check to people without a health plan. Hence, people are buying health insurance plans during COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Understanding the importance

With the accelerated rise in coronavirus cases, people acknowledged the truth that health insurance is as essential as taking proper care of their health. The best health insurance policy would enable them to live a flourishing life and facilitate access to quality health care. In the long run, health insurance would guard their finances.

4. Inflation rates

With the medical inflation rising at twice the rate of overall retail inflation, individuals now recognize that the expense of availing of medical treatment if they test positive for coronavirus will render their financial well-being in a hodge-podge.

How to Safeguard yourself from Coronavirus?

India has now stepped into a stage where the lockdowns are being raised systematically. As soon as an infected person coughs, sniffles, or communicates, the virus circulates through droplets. Also, by surface contact, you need to follow guidelines, such as social distancing, wearing masks, and sanitizing your hands repeatedly.

Besides, it is evenly essential to buy the best health insurance plans instantly. This is because one can nevermore control the risk factor - despite following all the guidelines - of getting the virus. Health insurance will function as guarding financial protection against the pandemic.

An essential benefit of the best health insurance policy for coronavirus is that it will cover a massive slew of medical expense, like pre and post hospitalization expenses, COVID-19 hospitalization expenses, homecare treatment directed by a medical practitioner, ICU charges, treatment for comorbidities, and admittance to alternative treatments such as AYUSH.

Thus, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the mindset of people about availing health insurance policies. Along with an unexpected medical crisis growing a discrete probability, individuals have now understood the significance of health insurance. Before purchasing a policy, you must select a trusted and reliable health insurance company.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Health Insurance

Buying health insurance online is cheaper and more convenient than getting a policy through an agent. Insurance companies work on the premise that people who have access to the internet and are willing to buy policies online are more likely to be better-off and healthy. Moreover, online plans save a lot of money for the companies as the administrative costs such as documentation and office space get eliminated. The insurance companies pass on the savings to the customer and offer lower premiums on online health insurance plans. With online plans, you do not have to visit the bank of the insurer’s branch and can buy the policy sitting in the comfort of your home.

Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance provides a comprehensive health insurance plan named Health First. It is a fixed benefit plan that provides a lump-sum amount on the occurrence of heart or cancer-related conditions, besides 26 other major critical illnesses. It is a flexible plan that gives you the freedom to choose the cover you need along with various options to customize the plan according to your requirements.

Diseases can strike without any warnings. Having a health plan protects you from unforeseen financial hardships and helps you lead a stress-free life. A health plan also ensures that you receive quality treatment in case you are diagnosed with a serious illness. A health plan creates a buffer around your savings, which remains unscathed even in cases of substantial treatment costs.

There are no uniform rules to select an insurance policy as the needs and medical history of people vary. However, Health First plan from Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance offers comprehensive coverage, which could be adequate to take care of all your health insurance needs.

The health insurance premium depends on a variety of factors such as age, geographical location, lifestyle habits and occupation. The best way to calculate health insurance premiums is to use a good online premium calculator which is easily available.

With the change in lifestyles, the incidence of diseases has increased drastically. Health insurance is necessary to cover against lifestyle diseases, which are on the rise due to poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and pollution.

A health insurance policy ensures that you and your loved ones do not have to think about the finances while opting for treatment. In the event of hospitalisation, a knowledge of the claim process saves the policyholder from undue hassles. A hospitalisation can generate reams of bills and documents. The claim process of fixed-benefit health insurance is very simple as the payout does not depend on the cost of treatment. In case a critical illness is diagnosed you just have to intimate the insurance company. The insured just has to fill a claims form and attach the doctor’s report on the illness. One doesn’t need detailed bills and prescriptions to claim the sum assured. The entire process is very simple and hassle-free.

Health insurance premiums can help you in reducing tax outgo, as it is eligible for tax deduction under Section 80D of the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961. If you choose a health insurance plan for parents aged 60 years and above, you can claim Rs. 50,000 as a tax deduction. Senior citizens up to 60 years can also claim up to Rs 25,000 as a deduction for the health insurance premiums paid for themselves, or for their spouse or children. This deduction will be available with respect to payments towards annual premium on a health insurance policy, or preventive health check-up of a senior citizen. It is also available for any other medical expenses related to senior citizens. In such a case, if you are paying the health insurance premiums for your senior citizen parents, the total deduction you can avail is Rs. 75,000 per year.

There are no fixed guidelines for choosing adequate health insurance cover, but the cover should depend on factors such as income, family history of diseases and geographical location. Considering the high cost of medical care in metro cities, one should have a minimum cover of Rs 10 lakhs. The cost of hospitalisation and associated costs are higher in large cities. Smaller cities have lower cost of living and a cover of Rs 4-5 lakhs would suffice.

Health insurance plans do not cover all the diseases and certain conditions are excluded from the cover. Some of the common exclusions are:

  • 1.Pre-existing medical conditions
  • 2.Alternative therapies
  • 3.Cosmetic treatments
  • 4.Pregnancy and child birth
  • 5.Diagnostic expenses
  • 6.Dental
  • 7.Injuries caused due to a suicide attempt
  • 8.Waiting period clause
  • 9.Permanent exclusions: Injuries due to war, HIV, intentional injuries, congenital diseases, and others are permanent exclusions

Diseases can strike without any warnings. Having a health plan protects you from unforeseen financial hardships and helps you lead a stress-free life. A health plan also ensures that you receive quality treatment in case you are diagnosed with a serious illness. A health plan creates a buffer around your savings, which remains unscathed even in cases of substantial treatment costs.

Employer waiting period: Waiting period is the length of time that an employer will make a new hire wait before the employee is eligible for coverage access under the company's health

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