World Hypertension Day: Pandemic Induced Stress Presses the Need for Health Insurance: Dr Sudha Reddy, Digit Insurance

World Hypertension Day

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Hypertension is one of the silent killers of the 21st century and globally more than 1.3 billion people are affected with condition. To understand the rising concerns of the disease, Elets News Network (ENN) spoke to Dr Sudha Reddy, Head, Health and Travel, Digit Insurance on the observance of World Hypertension Day and the insurance enrolment trends pertaining to the disease.

Why do people suffering from hypertension need health insurance?

There are millions of people who are being detected with Hypertension every day. At times even after leading a healthy lifestyle, one can be more prone to high blood pressure. This can be due to genetics and medical history and therefore one needs to be well prepared for the unforeseen circumstances for every. Also, with the current pandemic, experts have seen an unprecedented amount of stress amongst people due to various reasons be it virtual classes, remote working, and lifestyle change.

Also, now it is seen that young adults are faced with these lifestyle diseases more sue to their increased workload, stress, lifestyle changes etc. Hence, it is also advisable to take health insurance early in life so that any waiting periods applied for such lifestyle diseases can be exhausted and claims can be made when actually the need arises in a later stage in life.

An estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide have hypertension. How big is the threat associated with this disease for the Indian population?

As per the latest report of the World Health Organization (WHO), Hypertension is one of the silent killers of the 21st century and one of the rising global public health concerns. As per WHO report, globally more than 1.3 billion people are affected with Hypertension among which less than 1 in each 5 is under control. Consumption of alcohol, no regular physical activities, unhealthy diets, etc are the main contributing factors of hypertension and now COVID is a new addition to it.

As per the last data by the Global Burden of Disease GBD study of 2016, hypertension led to 1.63 million death in India in 2016 alone. It also showed that over half of the deaths were due to ischaemic heart disease (54.2%), stroke (56.2%) and chronic kidney disease (54.5%) were attributable to high systolic BP. Additionally, as per the latest data from the National Health Profile released in 2018 states that in the year 2017 more people were detected with hypertension than diabetes in India. Of all the patients who visited government clinics, around 10% were diagnosed with hypertension and around 8% with diabetes. Even the latest data from the National Health Profile 2017 confirms the similar study and said that hypertension is a bigger concern than diabetes in India.

Also Read: World Heart Day: Why insuring your health matters

Would you like to tell us about the claim history handled by your company with reference to hypertension-related diseases?

Hypertension is considered a pre-existing disease and hence has a waiting period of at least 2 years. Our health insurance policy was launched in late 2019 and hence we have not seen claims with hypertensive issues yet. Having said that, we have seen a lot of people having a past medical history of hypertension opting for our health policy. Earlier this was more for higher age groups like 50 and above

How much does the claim amount range for hypertension-induced diseases?

Usually, for hypertension related diseases the claim amount ranges between at least 2 to 3 lakhs in case of hospitalization as these treatments can be long term and require constant observation.

What percentages of claims come from the 25-45 age bracket?

As mentioned earlier, we have not received any insurance claims for hypertension-related medical expenses yet. However, we have noticed a lot of young people getting affected with early hypertension, due to increased stress levels, lifestyle habits, and increased workload, than before.

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