We can never be sure of what our future holds. Insurance protects us from events and uncertainties, most of which are unforeseen. Health insurance is an essential part of our health and financial well-being. Whether it’s an accident or a sudden illness: With health insurance, you are financially equipped to pay the costs for hospital stays and follow-up treatment.
Let’s understand why it’s important to get comprehensive health insurance early in life:
Why Get Health Insurance When You’re Young?
Early admission to the health insurance companies offers many advantages. One is more likely to remain at the peak of health at a young age. Therefore, the right time to get health insurance is when you are in peak health and your internal and external body parts are in good shape.
Low premium: Health insurance premiums are surprisingly affordable when purchased early in life. This is because health insurers charge low fees for young clients as they have a low chance of getting sick. Premiums are more geared towards the elderly or those with a long history of serious illness, which explains why it is important to invest part of our income in health insurance early in life in order to benefit from high coverage at low premiums.
Waiting period: The waiting period of a health insurance refers to the number of days before which the insurance benefits take effect. This means that you will not be able to make any claims or receive health insurance benefits before the end of the waiting period. Some plans have an initial waiting period of 15 days, others up to 30 days. The existing waiting period also ranges from one to four years. Since a younger person is usually free from serious illnesses, they can easily get through the waiting time. On the other hand, as people age, they have an increased risk of developing health problems. Therefore, if a person takes out health insurance at an older age, they may have to apply before the qualifying period is over and their claim will subsequently be denied in such cases.
Tax benefit: Premiums paid for health insurance plans are tax deductible under Section 80D of the Income Taxes Act 1961. In addition, you can also claim deductions from health insurance premiums paid for your parents, spouse, and children. Choosing health insurance in later years gives you the same benefit, but getting it early results in higher net tax savings later in your career.
Lifestyle Changes: High adherence to a disciplined lifestyle is now passe. Even more worrying is that health diseases are no longer limited to minor problems, but have often worsened into critical disorders that are pervasive in all age groups. Health care with comprehensive health insurance ensures long-term health and financial security.
High Inflation: In addition to increasing the price of certain essential and luxury items, inflation has also led to rising medical costs. In this scenario, you need something to hold onto to pay for your medical expenses. This explains why you need to get health insurance while there is still time.
Financial coverage: No matter how solid your financial plan, treating a serious illness or disorder can take a significant toll on your savings.
A complete health insurance plan with adequate coverage can cover the costs of doctor visits, prescribed diagnostic tests, pharmacies, hospital stays, ambulance transport, and follow-up care without having to spend your hard-earned money.
In summary, health insurance is no longer an option today, it is a necessity. Therefore, there is no denying the need to get the right health insurance from an early age. Adequate health insurance coverage gives you lifelong access to quality healthcare, gives you the security you desperately need, and protects you and your family from the financial burdens of life.
(The author is Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ManipalCigna Health Insurance Company Limited)