For World Health Day 2018 the theme is ‘Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere’. Unfortunately, in India, women tend to dawdle over taking financial decisions. They multitask all the time, neglecting their health in the bargain.
Here are some of the most common excuses they make to justify not having individual health insurance:
1. I’m healthy; I don’t need health insurance!
A majority of women living in non-metros who don’t have health insurance are under the notion that they are very fit and healthy, according to a survey by ICICI Lombard General Insurance. These women think they won’t face any health adversity and hence won’t need any health insurance. This is alarmingly simplistic. Today’s lifestyle means breathing polluted air, poor eating habits, and lack of exercise. It’s the main cause for many lifestyle disorders such as cardiac disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. If you – the woman of the house – were to come down with such an illness, it would not only make it difficult for you to handle your responsibilities but also put a huge pressure on your family’s finances.
2. My father/husband takes care of it
According to an ICICI Lombard General Insurance survey, only 22 percent of women have individual health insurance. Most women are covered because their father or husband bought health insurance for the entire family. If you fall in this category, it makes you dependent on them for your medical needs. In case your father or husband loses his job – and consequently, the health insurance cover – you will be left in a difficult position, quite unable to bear any medical costs on your own.
3. I don’t earn enough to afford health insurance
Women on average are paid 20 percent less than men. Which means you might have a comparatively smaller income. But this is no excuse – in fact it’s precisely why you should invest in individual health insurance. If you need treatment for a health condition, your smaller income will make it more difficult to rustle up so much cash all at once. Add to this the fact that you’re likely to outlive your partner, and you’ll see why it’s even more critical that you buy health insurance for yourself. You’ll end up spending all your savings trying to cover your medical expenses. On the other hand, a health insurance ensures that you don’t have to compromise on your savings, investments and other major expenses in the event of a medical emergency.
4. I’m covered by employee health insurance
While an employee health insurance policy may seem adequate, it often isn’t. For instance:
1. If you lose job or change organisations – If a medical emergency were to happen when you’re between jobs, or you’ve lost your job, your employee insurance won’t cover the emergency and you’ll be left with no option but to pay the expenses out-of-pocket.
2. Your employer changes policies – Your employer may decide on an insurance policy wherein some health conditions aren’t covered. If you had your own policy, you wouldn’t need to worry quite as much.
3. After retirement – After years of uninterrupted company-provided cover, you may forget about having to do things for yourself. Moreover, it isn’t easy to buy health insurance after retirement. Many companies do provide health plans for senior citizens, but you may need to undergo stringent medical tests and pay a higher premium for the same level of cover. Your personal policy will negate this post-retirement worry.
Now that you understand the importance of having individual health insurance, why not invest in a policy? Many insurers provide women-specific health insurance schemes that cover major conditions pertaining to women’s health – maternity, bone-related issues, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine/endometrial cancer, fallopian tube cancer etc.
Some women-specific health insurance policies are given below:
– TATA AIG Wellsurance
– Bajaj Allianz Women-Specific Critical Illness Plan
– Apollo Munich Easy Health Individual Plan
– HDFC Life Smart Woman Plan
Moreover, insurers also provide you many value-added benefits like:
– Wellness Programmes wherein you get reward points for being fit
– Discounts on gym memberships
– Getting a second opinion from a different doctor
– Free annual health-checkups
– Health packages at diagnostic centres
– Discounts at selected pharmacies
Your health is your biggest asset, so invest in an individual health policy and ensure it stays that way!
Disclaimer: This Article is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as insurance or legal advice. You are encouraged to separately obtain independent advice when making decisions in these areas.
This article was first published on TomorrowMakers.