This is a time for feasting, spending time with friends and family.
Its a time when all of us invest in something for our homes, get gifts for near and dear ones...
All of us buy something for ourselves... new clothes, jewellery, electronics to name just a few...
Yet we often overlook an important aspect...
No, this is not another post about healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle.
I am talking about health insurance.
Being self employed has several advantages but it also means having to pay your own bills for health care.
In India, we hesitate to visit the government hospitals in case of any problems, except politicos and top babus of course.
For the rest of us, private care is the care of choice.
But it means hefty bills.
In case of an emergency most private hospitals demand a cash advance of thousands of rupees before the patient is admitted.
This can be create extremely tense moments for the caretakers and patient as well.
Having valid health insurance can help tide over such an emergency. There are several types of health insurance but in my experience, the cashless variety is the best. In case of an emergency, one has to approach the empaneled hospitals and there are no worries about paying bills. In such policies, usually the bill is settled directly by the insurer.
The patient can simply focus all energies on regaining health.
What's more, premium paid for health insurance gives us tax breaks and successive renewals after a 'no-claim' period may offer a premium rebate as well!
Has this motivated you to buy a health insurance policy? Here are a few tips:
Do a thorough market survey for products by different insurance firms. For baby-boomers, some medical tests may be required before buying the policy- the cost may be covered by the insurer. Its important to know that a new policy may not cover existing medical conditions.
In case you use the services of an insurance agent, you must ask pointed questions if the policy being sold to you meets your needs. Often agents mis-sell policies or one lands up holding holding one that does not cover your requirements. Find out the procedure to be followed in case of an emergency and make sure everyone at home knows it. If any documents (or copies thereof) are to be produced in case of an emergency, keep them in a separate clearly marked envelope in an easily accessible place. Regularly check with the insurer about list of empaneled hospitals- it may change subject to company or hospital policies.
Those who do not have health insurance or did not bother to renew it, consider gifting yourself a policy this Divali.
Its worth it!
Have a healthy prosperous year ahead!
Disclaimer: I am not an insurance agent nor do I work for any insurance firm!