5 reasons why health insurance is a must
Indians at greater risk
- Reason 1: Lifestyles have changed. Indians today suffer from high levels of stress. Long hours at work, little exercise, disregard for a healthy balanced diet and a consequent dependence on junk food have weakened our immune systems and put us at an increased risk of contracting illnesses.
- Reason 2: Rare non-communicable diseases are now common. Obesity, high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks, which were earlier considered rare, now affect an increasing number of urban Indians.
- 18% of the urban population suffers from hypertension, which leads to renal failure, stroke and cardio-vascular diseases
- 30% of the population suffers heart attacks before age 40
- 66% of deaths today are due to cardio-vascular diseases
- Almost 3.5 million Indians suffer from diabetes
- Cardio-vascular diseases (CVDs) like heart disease and stroke are the main causes of death and disability
The Cost Factor
- Reason 3: Medical care is unbelievably expensive: Medical breakthroughs have resulted in cures for dreaded diseases. These cures, however, are available only to a select few. High operating expenses—therapy for breast cancer costs as much as Rs. 2 lakhs for 3 days—have restricted treatment to the richest. In fact, even among the affluent groups, 20% need to sell their valuable assets so they can accumulate the required amount to meet healthcare costs.
- Reason 4: Indirect costs add to the financial burden: Indirect sources of expense—travel, boarding and lodging, and even temporary loss of income—account for as much as 35% of the overall cost of treatment. Most often, we overlook this fact when planning for medical expenses.
Reason 5: Incomplete financial planning: Most of us have insured our home, vehicle, child’s education, and even our retirement years. Ironically however, we have not insured our health. We ignore the fact that illnesses strike without warning—and seriously impact our finances and eat into our savings in the absence of a good health insurance or medical insurance plan. Over two thirds of all Indians sell assets or dip into existing savings to meet healthcare costs.
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