Healthcare expenditure shows up its ugly face in all our lives at some time or the other. While some of us would care less to spend on our own health, we would go all out to ensure that our loved ones get the best recent medicine can offer. 70% of healthcare expenses are spent out –of-pocket and 70% of this is spent on medicines. Drugs that are actually necessary to keep a person’s vitals stable. Putting facts on the table, these are the very medicines that actually keep a person alive and the very reason that pushes people into poverty or indebtedness.
India is becoming increasingly popular to the global traveler, for medical tourism. It has become a destination of choice due to the mushrooming of several super specialty hospitals and the low cost of healthcare as compared to other developed countries. But it’s not quite so for the average Indian, because health care expenditure, especially out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure, has sky-rocketed in the last decade. The National Sample Survey office (NSSO) in a cross national survey found a double –digit pace of growth in hospitalization costs in both rural and urban areas in India. The sample survey covered the rates of 2014 and compared them to the rates in 2004.
Source : NSSO – National Sample Survey Organization.
Despite these alarming figures we have a startling percentage of our population who are not covered under health insurance. Only 1/5th of our population is covered under health insurance. Many of us would jump to increase our health insurance cover once we come to know about these lesser known facts on health insurance. For those of us who are privileged enough to afford adequate health insurance, it becomes our primary duty to educate our ignorant and less fortunate fellow citizens in order to enable them secure their future.
Here are five lesser known facts about health insurance that will greatly help you secure the health of your family….
Health Insurance after retirement: While most of us who are salaried are covered with an employer health insurance policy, think about what happens after retirement? There are quite a few senior – citizen friendly policies out there in the market that will cover you in your golden years. Take a floating policy which covers your spouse too.
Treatments at home: While traditional insurance policies cover only hospitalization, there are quite a few policies that cover up to 500 days of ‘domiciliary hospitalization’ as stated by insurers. Day care treatments are also a part of many health insurance policies. All that you have to do to find out if your policy has one, is to just ask your Insurance agent to list all the benefits. The 500 days domiciliary hospitalization is a great benefit for senior citizens.
Restore sum assured: Get the sum assured reinstated during the policy year if you have claimed the entire amount. When the claim becomes payable under the policy the insurance company automatically agrees to reinstate the amount for the remainder of the policy year under a few conditions. The predominant one being, that a subsequent claim for the same illness in the same year will not be eligible. This recharge if not used during the policy year will not be carried forward.
No more uninsured or underinsured: One of the biggest myths about health insurance is the fear of non-eligibility due to a pre-existing condition or getting underinsured due to the results of the pre-policy health check –up. We now have quite a few health insurance companies which cover this large faction of uninsured or underinsured population and you can always opt for a policy with these insurers as they do not insist on pre-policy medical check-ups for all ages irrespective of the sum assured.
Coverage for alternative forms of medicine: In the year 2013, the IRDA of India stated the guidelines that laid the foundation for insurers to cover for non-allopathic treatments which include Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Sidha and Unani. We now have a host of insurers who cover these treatments.
Doing our bit of homework before buying a health insurance policy will go a long way in securing our healthy future. Open that excel sheet today and start calculating the amount of expenses you incurred this year on the healthcare of your family and it will give the best insight about your future health expenditure.