April 7 of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day. The objective of this day is to create awareness among people to achieve good health and secure their wellbeing. With the rapidly evolving times, it becomes essential to be prepared mentally, physically and financially for all kinds of uncertainties which may surface in the future. At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, most people continue to bear their medical expenses out of their pocket and at times even end up mortgaging their assets due to a shortage of funds. No one should have to choose between good health and other necessities of life, and that’s why securing one’s health becomes imperative.
Planning finances on time and investing in a health insurance plan can be the first step towards ensuring a secured future. Taking suitable cover is another important factor with the increasing cost of hospitalisation, especially the exorbitant ICU charges at the time of a critical illness. Health Insurance plays a significant role in such times and allows one to get better treatments at the hospital.
According to Anjali Malhotra, Chief Customer, Marketing, Digital & IT Officer, Aviva India, some of the key benefits of health insurance plans are:
- Coverage against medical expenses
Health insurance acts as a shield to protect your savings in case of unfortunate events like unexpected hospitalization and high medical costs. It ensures you get cover for daycare procedures, illness-related treatment costs, ambulance charges pre- and post-hospitalisation expense. Also, a comprehensive critical health illness insurance policy ensures that you can achieve quality medical treatment anywhere, at any point in time. It is never too late to make the move to invest in insurance plans for financial security.
- Tax Benefits
The premium paid on a health insurance policy is eligible for deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. The amount of deduction available is up to Rs 15,000 for individuals or Rs 20,000 for senior citizens (aged above 65 years). Additionally, an amount of Rs 20,000 is also available for exemption towards premium paid for dependent parents. A taxpayer may, therefore, maximise tax benefit under section 80D of the Income Tax Act by investing in health insurance.
- Makes you prepared for uncertainties in life
Medical emergencies can arise anytime, just like the current unexpected Coronavirus outbreak. Also, due to changing lifestyles and increasing stress levels, people are now more prone to a lot of critical illnesses. People can get stressed and anxious due to various surprises that life can spring up. That’s why, health insurance is essential to help manage stress due to insufficient funds for medical treatment at such times. Investing in health insurance at the right time gives a sense of security and prepares you for a better tomorrow.
- Cashless claim benefit
Health insurance offers cashless claim facility in an unforeseen medical emergency as well as a planned hospitalization. Therefore, one can have a hassle-free medical treatment at hospitals empanelled by the insurance provider, without making out of pocket payments to the hospital. The insurance company settles claims directly with the hospital.
- Effective financial planning
Setting life goals is the key contributor that drives you to achieve them. People usually strive for financial protection for the family, loved ones and aim to invest adequately for future needs. Buying and investing in good health insurance or critical illness insurance plan is one of the first steps towards effective financial planning. Being financially prepared and secured allows you to manage your savings and investments for the future. Additionally, the taxes you save can be further invested elsewhere, such as, for child’s education or extra-curricular classes, or small investment for business or saving for child’s marriage.
It is alarming that the majority of the Indian population does not have adequate Health Insurance policy. The primary factor is the lack of awareness about the importance of health insurance and financial planning. One must understand that you can enjoy the benefits of health insurance by getting suitable insurance with appropriate cover. This also helps you and your family creates an adequate cushion any financial exigencies arising out of health issues. So, this World Health Day, pledge to add health insurance to your financial portfolio to protect yourselves and your family against uncertainties of life.