When I called Sameer who is my best friend & a software engineer at a reputed company asking him to buy a personal health insurance policy, he immediately said “why should I waste money?” My company provides mediclaim. When I probed further as to what is the sum insured & is it really enough? He said -how does it matter, I am healthy & I don’t need Health insurance.
I kept quite & we both got back to our lives, only to get a call from Sameer after 3 months that his wife- Soniya has been hospitalized. We rushed to the hospital & I saw Sameer in a helpless state. When I asked about Soniya, he said she may have to undergo surgery & the cost for the same would be approximately 5 lakhs. He also mentioned that his company mediclaim is limited to 2 lakhs. Now his worry is how will remaining amount be arranged?
He regretted not buying a policy which I had discussed with him but now it’s too late as Health Insurance cannot be purchased once you are hospitalized. Here are top 5 reasons why you should buy a personal health insurance policy even if you have a corporate cover:
Restrictions on cover or Limits- Corporate companies are cutting costs and introducing restrictions on covers. As per a report from ICICI Lombard 76 per cent of companies are adopting co-pay and room-rent limits. The average cover by employers is Rs 1-1.5 lakh.
A corporate health insurance may look attractive but it is definitely not a complete solution. Also it is important to note that limits/restrictions which can be imposed any time, may affect you considerably.
Another important point is the sum insured provided by the company. Just like Sameer’s case, if your hospital bill is higher than the limit provided, then you will have to foot the same yourself.
Also in case you have more than one claim in one year and you exceed the cover amount of your corporate health insurance policy; you would have to pay the residual amount with your own money which will affect your savings.
But if you have another health insurance policy, along with your corporate health insurance policy, you wouldn’t have to worry about the balance amount; between the two health insurance policies, your total outgo would mostly get covered.
You lose your job:
While we hope it never happens, but you may suddenly find yourself out of a job. With loans to pay and mouths to feed, a sudden medical emergency can topple the budget of the entire household. You cannot rely on your good luck or your friends/ family to help you always in such emergencies. Live with respect & be independent, with a health insurance policy which would be a great help during times like these.
Company may change Policy Terms & Conditions:
Your Company may decide to change or modify some of the conditions in your health insurance policy like not covering family members specially your parents or not covering pre-existing diseases. In such cases you would suddenly discover that you are left uncovered and are vulnerable against the expenses.
The company health insurance which may have taken care of you will no longer be available post retirement. Now to get a policy would not be an easy ride either. Even though there are many senior citizen policies available, one may have to undergo medical tests, pay additional premium for pre-existing diseases, be subjected to compulsory co-pay & also go through the waiting periods/conditions. At a younger age, not only will you get the policy without hassles but also you may benefit due to factors like ‘no claim discounts/bonus’, no medical test, no exclusions etc. So get an independent health insurance policy when you don’t want it as you may not get one when you need it.
As per the latest Provisions vide Budget 2015:
•Limit for Health Insurance deduction under section 80 D is Rs. 25,000. For senior citizens, the limit is Rs. 30,000. This means a person insuring his family along with his senior citizen parents in a personal health insurance policy can get tax deductions upto Rs. 55,000 (up from earlier Rs. 35,000)
What more can you ask for, when you can get tax benefit & also live stress free with a personal Health Insurance policy. So go ahead & secure yourself now
Like in your corporate health insurance policy, under your personal health insurance policy also, you can avail cashless service where the health insurance company and the hospital settle the bill between themselves saving you from the trouble of arranging for cash flow. Policies can be renewed Lifelong.
So now you know why you cannot just relax under the impression that all your health expenses will be taken care by your company’s health insurance policy, you need to create a safety net in the form of a separate health insurance policy for you and your family to fall back on in case of an emergency that your company’s health insurance policy will not pay for.
Pre-existing diseases: An ailment or signs of ailment that was present before the purchase of the insurance policy. For example, Mr. X had a heart attack in 2012 & he purchased a policy in 2015 then all cardiovascular ailments would be classified as pre-existing diseases.
No claim discounts/bonus: No-claim bonus/ discount are offered by the insurance company, if you have not lodged any claim. Some companies offer to increase the sum insured or some may offer to decrease the premium.
Cashless service : This is a facility in which insurance company settles the bill directly with the hospital or a nursing home so that the financial burden on insured individual at the time of hospitalization is reduced.