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Your monthly salary will not be sufficient to cover your medical bills
Dec 05, 2011 | 158 VIEWS

You are a working professional with a monthly salary and a degree that can take you places. Perhaps you already are on your way to get that big promotion you have been eyeing for. Chances are that you will get a jump in your monthly pay or even a fat bonus that will enable you to buy a bigger house or a fancy car or to go to your dream holiday destination. But, what are the chances that you have set aside a few lakh rupees just to take care of your health care costs, if need be? My guess is that you haven’t and you’d rather think of this at a later date say, when you get another raise.

But how will that be of any help? And does it even make any sense to pay for your medical expenses in full from your own humble earnings? Now you’re thinking. Well it’s a start!  

Why does this happen to me?

It’s no big deal if you have to pay your doctor’s fees plus cost of medicines if you catch a flu or food poisoning. But what if you had to pay for a Knee replacement surgery or Gall bladder removal or even worse, a major critical illness like Stroke or Heart Attack. The treatment costs for such ailments can make a huge dent in your earnings. And if you find yourself in this situation saying “Why does this happen to me”, you may have to compromise on your other dreams just to take care of the immediate medical costs.  

What should I do?

Buy a good health insurance plan:

Even if you are fit, healthy and in the best physical state, you must buy a health insurance cover. Generally, people feel that if they buy a health policy, they might as well get immediate benefits out of it. Because of this reason, they tend to delay it and not buy it until the last minute when they see their health deteriorating.  

But do you think that an insurance company will issue a policy to you when you are not healthy? The answer is ‘No’. Even if they do, they will most certainly charge you a higher premium and mind you – they will not pay for any medical conditions you may have undergone in the past. These will be listed under exclusions as pre-existing medical conditions which your health insurer will not cover.

2 is better than 1:

At the risk of over-emphasizing, I am going to suggest you to consider buying 2 health plans from different insurance companies instead of 1 plan. So, just hear me out – if you are planning to take a health cover of Rs 6 lakhs from one company, split it into two covers of Rs 3 lakh each. The reason being, no two health plans would be exactly identical and there will be some exclusions in one plan which will be covered in another.

Moreover, different insurance companies have different styles of processing your claims, some do it via a third party agent (TPA), some have their own in-house claim process which may be faster and efficient.

The other benefit is that once you make a claim, a company may increase your premiums also known as loading charges from the next renewal onwards. If you split your policy into 2, you can retain your no-claim bonus on the other one and continue to reap the benefits.

A stitch in time saves nine

Stay healthy & fit and to ensure that nothing stops you from fulfilling your dreams, plan ahead. Invest in a good health cover even if you don’t see an immediate need for it.

Also read - All you need to know about Health Insurance Portability
                   Not happy with your health insurer - change it

Sameera Bootwala
Sameera Bootwala aggregates news on anything related to insurance in India. Keeps you updated.

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