Do not compromise on health insurance cover – Pas Trusted News

WITH abysmal health insurance penetration across India, even as medical costs are escalating vertically, it would have made good sense for the government to seriously considering at least doubling the Income-Tax break under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

This could at least spur a few more people to widen their health insurance cover closer to today’s ground realities as far as hospitalisation costs are concerned. That a majority of the even otherwise few Indians who have Health Insurance cover decide its quantum based on Tax Break limits, is no secret. For those who remain unconvinced of the need for higher health insurance or for that matter, even basic health insurance, there is enough anecdotal evidence of how the hospitalisation bills of several coronavirus-affected patients reportedly ran into several lakhs and in some cases, even over a crore. Even those who had a relatively high health insurance cover found themselves having to pay out of pocket once the cover was exhausted. The results of a survey undertaken by a private player in the health insurance space a few years ago showed that prior to the pandemic, barely 10% of those with the means, were interested in health insurance to cover new-age diseases. But since the advent of the fear instilled by the pandemic, 71% started considering health insurance a necessity.

Notably, and almost overnight, 57% of those surveyed claimed to understand the importance of comprehensive health insurance plans. The survey also suggested that with the advent of the pandemic, the top three concerns in the minds of people became, family members contracting the disease, risk of job loss and mental anxiety.

One of our clients took a serious re-look at his existing Health Insurance Cover and ‘Ported’ his existing cover which suddenly seemed woefully inadequate to a private player which also facilitated a multi-fold expansion in his base cover. As a matter of extreme prudence, he also chose a Super Top-Up at a marginal cost from another insurance company his wife had her base cover with. He did it vice versa for his wife and now rest assured that his wife and he are, in fact, more than adequately covered for this lifetime. Several of our clients too are now in the process of porting and topping up their health insurance cover.

While there seems to be better awareness about the need for adequate health cover, the tendency to defer acting on it till it is too late remains. That amounts to negligence on the part of those who can afford it. By delaying action, one is potentially putting one’s family and oneself at high monetary risk at the most inopportune moment. Thus, there is a very strong case for those without Health Insurance Cover to get one immediately and for those with cover to have it reviewed by an expert at the earliest and topped-up, if necessary

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