We can never be sure of what our future beholds. Insurance acts to shield us against events and uncertainties that are mostly unforeseen. Health insurance is one such essential component inherent to our health and financial well-being in future. The fact that medical emergencies can strike at any time without prior warning makes it imperative to have a health insurance policy in place. Be it an accident or a sudden illness, having a health insurance cover will ensure that you are financially equipped to pay off the bills on hospitalisation and subsequent treatment.
If you are still wondering why you must buy health insurance, this International Youth Day, let’s understand why it’s important to buy a comprehensive health insurance plan early on in life.
Why buy health insurance at a young age?
Early enrollment in health insurance plans offers many advantages. The older one gets, the pricier the health insurance policies become. The reason for this is easy to comprehend. One is more likely to remain at the peak of health when you are young. Hence, the right time to purchase a health insurance policy is when you are at the peak of your health, and your internal and external body parts are in good shape. You have to pay less as a premium when you are young and healthy as the possibility of incurring a claim is less.
Here are a few more advantages that one can avail of when opting for a health insurance plan at a young age.
Health insurance premiums are surprisingly affordable if bought early in life. This is because health insurers charge low from young customers citing their low risk and likelihood to fall ill. Premium charges are more for old people or those who have had a long history of critical illnesses, thus, explaining why it is important to allocate a part of our earnings to buying health insurance early in life to benefit from high cover at low premium charges.
The waiting period of a health insurance policy signifies the number of days before which the policy benefits come into effect. This means that before the waiting period ends, you cannot make claims or avail the benefits of a health insurance plan. Some plans have a 15 day initial waiting period, some have up to 30 days. Also, the pre-existing waiting period ranges from 1 year to 4 years.
Since, a younger person is typically free of any severe medical conditions, they can easily get through the waiting period. On the other hand, as people age, they have an increased chance of developing health problems. As a result, if a person purchases health insurance at an older age, they might need to make a claim before the waiting period is over and subsequently, have their claim denied.
Though you must not buy health insurance simply to earn tax deductions, the premiums paid on health insurance plans are indeed subject to tax deductions under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. What's more, you can also claim deductions on the health insurance premiums paid to cover your parents, spouse and children. Although the same benefit is available when one opts for the health insurance policy in their later years, purchasing health insurance early results in superior net tax savings over the course of one's career.
High adherence to a disciplined lifestyle is now passed. This has led to an increasing number of health complications. What's more concerning is that these health illnesses are not limited to minor problems including fever, cough and cold but often have worsened into critical disorders that have now become pervasive across every age group. Securing health with a comprehensive health insurance plan ensures both health and financial security in the long run.
If you think that inflation has resulted in the price rise of certain essential and luxury items only, it's time to pay attention. This is because price increase has led to treatment expenses getting inflated too. In the face of inflation, you must have something that you can hold on to for paying your medical expenses. This explains why you must buy a health insurance plan while there is still time.
Irrespective of how sound your financial plan is, getting treated for a major disease or disorder can cause a major dent in your savings. A complete healthcare insurance plan with adequate coverage can cover the expenses both inside and outside of the hospital. Such as doctor’s consultation fees, prescribed diagnostic tests, pharmacy, hospitalisation, ambulance, and post-hospitalization too without suspecting you to the pressure of spending your hard-earned money.
To sum up, health insurance is no longer an option but a necessity today. Thus, the need to avail the right health insurance at a young age cannot be negated. This is because an adequate health insurance cover gives lifetime access to high-quality healthcare, gives you much-needed peace of mind and keeps you and your family clear of the financial burden of life. The benefits of buying health insurance are many and myriad, which you may make use of depending on your need.
Mr. Prasun Sikdar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ManipalCigna Health Insurance Company Limited