Is Health Insurance an Expense or an Investment?

India is a developing country and a growing economy where the medical infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with the growing population. Either there aren’t enough medical care centers widely distributed across the country, or if there are some, they are privately held and fairly expensive for a common man. The government hospitals are over-crowded, and typically they don’t offer the best regarding health care while the private hospitals are out of reach for most Indians.

As per the National Health Policy, 2015 a staggering 63 million people are pushed towards poverty due to “catastrophic” medical expenditure. The finances required to meet the medical care costs nullify any rise in incomes or any other government subsidies that one is availing at any given point in time. People have to empty their savings, borrow heavily or watch someone close suffer due to inadequate finances required for the timely treatment.

What’s adding to the misery is the medical inflation. This is the rising cost of medical care year after year and is hardly discussed in our drawing rooms. Compared to normal inflation that is growing at a rate of 5-6%, medical inflation growth rate is 12-14%, higher than the return on any savings or the annual rise in incomes!

Hope this makes it amply clear that having health insurance needs to be the top priority for everyone. But how does it benefit you and me?

Let’s explain you the several benefits that you enjoy after buying a health plan:

1. Hospitalization Expenses

Having a health policy will ensure that you won’t have to pay for the hospitalization expenses as the insurance policy will take care of that. Not only that, even the pre and post hospitalization expenses are covered and the number of days varies from insurer to insurer. With funds in place, you can ensure that you or your loved one gets the best possible medical treatment.

2. Cashless Medical Treatment

The first thought in times of a medical emergency or an accident is to arrange for immediate cash for admission to a good hospital. With every insurer offering cashless health plans in an extensive network of hospitals, it takes the stress off your mind. You can start the cashless treatment without worrying to arrange the finances.

3. Life Long Benefits

The policy is not dependent on your age and you can keep renewing the plans till you are alive. Based on your health condition and age the premiums might change, but it all works out to your benefit when you need it the most, especially in the older age.

4. Tax Benefits

This might be the most publicized benefit of buying a health policy, but it’s certainly not the most important. You do get tax benefits on the premium paid towards your plan under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, but do remember that more than tax savings, health plans protects you from the worries in the event of ill health.

Buying a health plan might look like a strain on your budget, but in reality, it is one of the most intelligent investments you will ever make to safeguard yourself and your family from financial hardships in times of health scares.

Find out about various plans in the market, do research online, compare different health care products and buy the one that meets your requirements.

Health is wealth and will remain so!

Harjot Singh Narula

Harjot Narula is founder and CEO of ComparePolicy.com, an IRDAI approved insurance web aggregator focussed on selling online insurance for companies. Harjot has more than a decade of experience in software development and has also spent 5 years in US working for the mortgage and risk management industry.

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