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Gauge your needs for a healthy plan

Gauge your needs for a healthy plan

To make your insurance stick, you should reveal everything about your health before signing up for a policy.

Binay Agarwala

Though awareness about health issues is at an alltime high, there is little action, as only a fortunate few have health insurance. In the past decade, the incidence of lifestyle diseases has increased, as has the medical cost. Yet, people are not saving enough for medical emergencies. According to a survey by NSSO, 40% of the people hospitalised have either borrowed money or sold assets to cover expenses, which are rising at 16% every year. Therefore, it is necessary to buy a health plan so that an emergency does not derail other goals.

Although there is no substitute to a healthy lifestyle, an insurance policy can reduce the financial strain of a medical exigency and enable you to focus on recovery rather than on medical bills. There is no such thing as a standard cover but one should opt for plans that offer longterm coverage. The customer should consider his lifestyle, the kind of hospital and the type of room he would prefer while deciding the sum assured.

Keep the following five points in mind:
Adequate cover: There are various ways to arrive at this. Someone living in a metropolis can take a cover for Rs 3-5 lakh, while one in a smaller city can look at a Rs 2-3 lakh cover.

Cover for all: Include family members. Consider everyone at home (kids, parents and spouse) and opt for floater policies.

Long-term insurance: Though most policies are renewed annually, check with your insurer about their longevity and the instances when they cannot be renewed. The policy should guarantee long-term insurability.

Cover pre-existing diseases: With greater clarity on what constitutes a preexisting disease and the insurers who offer to cover them, check the number of years after which such diseases are covered by the plan.

Your health status: To make your insurance stick when you need it the most, reveal everything while signing up for a policy.

Today, a comprehensive hospitalisation insurance policy is an integral component of savings. One should plan to provide the best care to his family by buying a combination of a health savings plan.

Binay Agarwala is Sr. V-P & Head (health business & corporate strategy), ICICI Pru Life Insurance

Published on: May 29, 2009, 5:29 PM IST
Posted by: AtMigration, May 29, 2009, 5:29 PM IST