India spends merely 2 percent of its GDP on healthcare which is amongst lowest in the world. It's no wonder therefore that public healthcare is in shambles. Public health delivery system offers sub-standard services and therefore, there is no alternative but to seek refuge in expensive private healthcare.
To make matters worse, the medical inflation rate in India is highest in the world. It far outpaces the annual salary hikes that most salaried mortals get.
An unexpected health issue that needs hospitalisaton is enough to give a drubbing to the monthly budget of a middle-income family. A health insurance is an easy way out of these financial woes.
What remains incomprehensible is the fact that 70 percent Indians meet healthcare expenses straight out of pocket. This relatively high cost of healthcare is the reason why Indians avoid healthcare costs and spend. Only 4.1 percent of GDP is spent on healthcare in India out of which the government spends about 2 percent.
Health insurance market in India is mature enough to meet the demand and has high claim ratios as compared to other nations. So why don’t Indians buy health insurance?
Buying health insurance wouldn't make your poor life>
For those who think paying a periodic premium for an insurance cover might be futile because they don't get sick that often, buy it for tax purposes.
The government raised the limit of tax deductions on health premiums under 80D of the income tax from Rs 15000 to Rs 25000 in 2015. For senior citizens, the limit of deduction was increased from Rs 20,000 to 30,000.
Mostly it’s just an awareness issue but because premiums have been made very flexible off late by insurance companies. Some popular myths about health insurance busted:
Just hospitalisation is covered by health insurance plans: There are plenty of plans available which provide outpatient coverage (no hospitalisation) as an add-on rider.
Buying Healthcare for all family members will be expensive: Instead of buying individual plans for all family members, opt for family floater plans instead.
Pre-existing diseases won’t be covered: Most plans cover pre-existing diseases after a certain period of time. Plans such as L&T Health Medisure Prime and National Insurance Mediclaim Policy cover pre-existing diseases after a lag of 2 years.
24 Hour Hospitalisation: You do not need to be hospitalised for 24 hours in order to you’re your mediclaim. Procedures such as cataract, dental (if it is covered in your plan) are day care procedures and don’t’ require 24-hour hospitalisation. Most plans cover day-care procedures or they are offered as add-on riders.
Insurance Agents won’t tell the whole story: While it can be true to some extent and there have been cases in the past but instead why not compare the plans yourself? Mysinurance.com lets you compare all medical plans. Empower yourself with information and make an informed decision.
Online health insurance is different: The only different about online insurance is that the premium is cheaper because there are no brokers involved. The absence of brokers means there is no commissions outgo to them and therefore online plans are cheaper. An online plan provides the same benefits as the one sold to you by an agent.