Why Should You Buy Health Insurance?

Good health and its maintenance has increasingly become a topic of interest for us all. We constantly endeavor to discover new ways to live healthier lives and have begun to naturally adopt optimal work-life balances, customized dietary & exercise, regimes and even health-centric recreational initiatives. Our focus towards a positive health status has almost become an integral part of our lives.

Health Insurance

While our quest for consistent good health is an important and progressive objective, it is equally important to be cognizant of the fact that health adversities often occur unannounced; consequently dampening our spirits and more often than not even burning a hole in our pocket. That said, one can always be prepared to face such an eventuality by taking a health insurance with an adequate cover, so that they can avail quality medical treatment without being concerned about the overbearing expenses related to it.

What’s alarming is that despite the rising charges at hospitals, ballooning surgery bills and costly medicines, a very large section of the Indian population remains uninsured or under-insured; clearly the lack of awareness about the need for health cover and the options available remains a challenge. Indians, on an average, still pay 70 rupees out-of-their-pockets for every 100 rupees that they spend on health care, a dismal index when compared to the West, where extensively adopted health insurance products ensure that self-financed healthcare spends are limited to only 15-20% of an individual’s total healthcare expenses.

Healthcare costs are set to only escalate in the future. Even at the current rate of medical inflation, a knee replacement surgery that currently sets you back by 4 lakh rupees, will cost over 14 lakh rupees in 2022. Similarly, a liver transplant that would cost approx. Rs.30 lakh today, would be priced at over a crore after 8 years.

Imagine a situation where an individual has to undergo an open heart surgery. The operation and associated costs come to around 3-4 lakh rupees. If the person concerned does not have a health insurance cover, she will have to fork out the entire sum from her pocket. If she doesn’t have the adequate finances, she will either sell some assets or take a loan. Now, if the same person had bought a health insurance policy, which would have covered this illness, she would not have needed to bother about financing this treatment. This is what health insurance does. At a time when the individual & her family are already traumatized, the added task of arranging funds can put immense & undue pressure.

Unfortunately, some people still treat health insurance like an investment. Somewhere they can’t relate to the fact that by paying a nominal premium of only a few hundred rupees per month, they are securing their future against any medical exigency. Please remember that health insurance is not an investment. It is meant to secure and not generate returns!

India’s health insurance sector is currently at a nascent stage and is evolving. There are a number of products to choose from and some of the policies now provide a wide range of Sum Insured options, worldwide medical coverage and even a daily allowance to meet your non-medical, incidental expenses during hospitalization. There are now products that even address chronic ailments like diabetes and cancer. Going forward, product refinement will only increase even as the use of technology will make the entire service process more streamlined and customer-centric.

When you are buying a health insurance policy, remember a few key points. Decide what is a sufficient cover for you and your family. A 4-lakh-rupee cover that might be suitable for your friend may not be enough for you. Similarly, the cover provided by your employer may be inadequate should an emergency arise and hence, you need to supplement it with a personal policy as well. Ensure that your cover is in line with rising medical expenses. A 5-lakh-rupee cover bought today, may seem adequate but that will not be the case five years down the line. While premiums and product features may not differ much, it is the service quality offered by the insurer that eventually counts.

So in case you are still not insured, buy a health cover for yourself and your family. It will definitely give you peace of mind.

Note-This is a guest post by Mr.Anuj Gulati, MD & CEO, Religare Health Insurance. BasuNivesh is not associated with Mr.Anuj or Religare Health Insurance. This post is purely for knowledge sharing purpose. 

13 Responses

  1. Hi,

    I am 27, unmarried. Ans planning to marry after 2 yrs.
    Is there any health plan available which can be like individual cum family floater.
    As i want to reduce pre-existing disease(4 yrs) period.

    Suggest good health plan?

  2. Thanks for sharing this article Mr. Basavaraj. I take it at face value as many people consider Health Insurance in their middle age, or later, when they are faced with some serious / chronic ailments. Also, Insurance companies aren’t helping by not covering pre-existing ailments like diabetes (do so after 3-4 years of policy renewal). Else the premium is so steep that those with modest income can hardly afford it. So, I wish the Govt of India would enable people to opt for suitable Health Insurance with affordable premium, which could be with tax benefits. After all over 80% people in India work in the unorganized sector which usually doesn’t offer life or health cover, as do Govt / PSU / organized private sector employment. Healthcare is about availability as well as affordability.

  3. Sir,

    Why don’t people buy Health insurance policy in India even when they are aware of future medical requirements (medical inflation of more than 10%)? I feel very strange for a country like ours where changing lifestyle is causing increasing health problems not only in urban areas but also rural areas.

    Also, I have observed that people in general are not aware of personal accident policy even though it is cheapest form of risk transfer mechanism and India topped road accidents in the world. People are not at all aware that Personal accident policy pays not only in case of accidental death but also in case of bodily injury by accident the probability of which is much higher than accidental death.

    Can you through some light on this situation?


  4. Lets not bully Basavaraj…He has clarified multiple times that it is not a PAID Post. For a minute if we assume it is PAID post then what is wrong in it. On TV, Newspaper, radio etc we listen/watch sponsored program. Do we STOP reading newspaper, watch TV or listen Radio if the program is sponsored.

    We can discuss content of the post.

    1. Nitin-I endorse your views. But their concern is, I am diverting my core unbiased views by getting paid. That is the reason I clarified that I am in NO WAY getting monetary benefits from this post. I respect their faith in me and questioning harshly whenever they doubt me 🙂

  5. I fully endorse your / author’s views.

    Majority of Indians (more than 80%) are not in a position to finance ever increasing hospital bills from their own resources. The condition is going to be from bad to worse unless people pay heed to this neglected area of financial planning.

    People can secure family’s health (and wealth too) from unforeseen and sudden medical emergency by paying a small premium. However, it is observed that people keep on postponing this important decision until someone from family or relative needed to be hospitalized.

    Sad but true.

    1. Vaibhav-Whether it is a company statement or the writer’s own statement. But the views expressed are genuine and I completely endorse it. What I said is, I am no longer associated with writer or Religare Health Insurance. It means there is no such monetary benefits to me from writer or Religare Health Insurance company.

      1. Naresh-I never did such paid activities. Also, if someone prove that I got benefit by publishing this article then let me know. I am not at all a beneficiary nor associated with Religare. In that case, how can it be paid news? If that was the case, author might promoted his company product. But he never uttered a single word specific to his company or company product.
        Now it is left with you to decide.

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