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Debunking Common Myths About Health Insurance In India

by Angelina

Despite the projected rise in India’s population and its impending status as the most populous nation, it maintains one of the world’s lowest health insurance penetration rates. As of 2019, only 0.4% of Indians held health insurance plans, a fraction of China’s 0.7% and the United States’ 4.1%. India’s low health insurance adoption can be attributed to limited awareness, financial constraints, and a need for tailored options for various population segments.

Here are some widespread myths and misunderstandings about health insurance policies and why you should learn more about them to protect your personal and financial security:

Myth #1: Indian Insurance Providers Refuse To Pay Claims

Some individuals opt not to purchase health insurance due to misconceptions about the claims process and the perceived difficulty of working with insurance companies. However, statistics from the IRDAI annual report reveal that during the 2020-21 period, insurance companies settled 95-97% of insurance claims, debunking the notion that claims are burdensome. Many insurance providers also offer streamlined cashless claims processes. It’s worth noting that certain expenses, known as non-payable claims, may not be fully covered, such as consumables, personal care products, cosmetics, convenience items, and certain non-medical charges.

Myth #2: Diseases Like Diabetes And Cancer Are Not Covered

There are special health insurance policies for diabetic patients, but there might be a waiting period for pre-existing conditions. If these diseases aren’t pre-existing when you buy the policy, coverage begins immediately, except for specific waiting lists. Policies typically cover inpatient hospitalisation, diagnostic tests, and medication costs. You can also explore add-ons to reduce the waiting period for pre-existing conditions or consider specialised health insurance with cancer coverage if you have a family history of these diseases. Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under the health insurance policy. *

Myth #3: Employer-Provided Corporate Group Health Insurance Is Sufficient

Many assume their employer’s group health insurance plan covers all their medical needs, but it often only extends to family members and is lost when changing jobs. An individual health insurance plan ensures continuous coverage even if you change jobs and is cost-effective. You can also consider Super Top-Up plans. Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under the health insurance policy.  *

Myth #4: Health Insurance Is Expensive In India

Many people perceive health insurance in India as expensive and hesitate to purchase it due to concerns about financial strain. However, health insurance is often affordable, with premium payment options, including quarterly and semi-annual instalments. Some providers offer financing options. Additionally, you can benefit from tax deductions on health insurance medical insurance premium rates under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. **

Myth #5: Non-Covered Alternative Therapies

In the Indian market, there is a significant demand for alternative medical therapies like Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, and Unani. Some insurance companies offer coverage for these treatments to meet this demand. It’s essential to check with your insurer, as many provide this coverage upon request. When choosing a healthcare plan, carefully review the terms and conditions and the scope for complementary medical care. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has encouraged insurance providers to start covering alternative therapies. #

*Standard T&C Apply

**Tax benefits are subject to change in prevalent tax laws.

#Visit the official website of IRDAI for further details.

Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

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