Health Insurance

What is health insurance?

Health or medical insurance policy offers financial assistance for medical expenses arising from an accident, sudden illness, or planned/emergency hospitalisation. Some policies provide basic coverage like medical treatments, doctor visits, ambulance charges etc., while some are more specific.

Health insurance also depends upon who is paying for the policy and who is availing of the coverage. For example, employers pay for the health insurance coverage for the employees. Here employees and their dependents receive medical coverage and are beneficiaries of the policy. Thus, health insurance meaning for different individuals can differ as per the plan.

Meaning of medical insurance plan:

Health insurance meaning is easy to understand. Health insurance is an umbrella term for any insurance plan that offers financial support when you face a medical issue covered under the policy.

For example, a plan that pays for the entire treatment of cancer, this is the health insurance definition for a Critical Illness Policy.

Significance of health insurance policy:

Technically, a health insurance policy is a legal contract between you and the insurance company. It highlights your policy’s sum insured amount, inclusions, exclusions, duration, benefits, etc. The contract also includes terms and conditions under which shall cover the medical expenses.

Scope of coverage:

Your all-inclusive medical insurance covers hospitalisation costs, ICU charges, daycare procedures, critical illnesses, home treatment, AYUSH treatment, ambulance charges, amongst others. However, the scope of coverage will depend on the insurer and the type of plan you select.

What are the benefits of a health insurance policy in India?

As per the study by the Public Health Foundation of India, approx 55 mn, i.e. 4% of India's population, were pushed towards poverty due to high out-of-pocket expenses in 2017.

We don’t want to scare you. However, not having the right health plan in place can lead to financial and emotional stress.

So even though medical insurance is not mandatory like motor insurance in India, ideally, everyone should buy an all-inclusive health plan to save hospitalisation costs, stay worry-free and reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

1. Access to best-in-class healthcare for your loved ones: Health is super essential for you and your family. Hence, you should buy the best health insurance in India that meets your requirements. When you have the right health plan by your side, you can give your family best-in-class healthcare without any worry, which otherwise could have been difficult.

2. Safeguard your finances: A comprehensive health insurance plan has become a necessity due to the ever-increasing costs of medical care. Without a medical insurance plan, your out-of-pocket expenses will be too high, and your financial planning will go for a toss. Worse case, you may even have to borrow funds for the unexpected hospitalisation.

3. Cashless treatment keeps your stress at bay: Hospitalisation can be an emotionally and financially disturbing experience for you and your family. If your medical bill is significantly high and you have to arrange funds, it can further amplify the stress. Cashless treatments help you access quality treatment and reduce the worry of arranging funds for quality healthcare.

4. Holistic plans offer benefits beyond hospitalisation: Comprehensive health plans not only help you recover hospitalisation costs but even other costs related to it - think medicines, diagnostic tests, and even doctor’s consultation fees. Such benefits not only help you cover medical costs but also help you stay healthy.

5. Axe tax payouts: In the recent past, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has taken many measures to simplify health plans to make them accessible and affordable for all. Considering its importance, the government offers tax benefits (under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961) on the premium paid to encourage everyone to purchase it.

6. Additional health coverage over and above your employer’s cover: Several organisations provide medical insurance policies to their employees with a group insurance plan. However, this type of insurance is not customised according to your requirements. Having additional medical insurance protects you if you lose your job or move to a different organisation, thus ensuring you and your family are always insured.

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