Healthcare costs are on a constant rise. At such a time, it becomes very risky for you to stay without insurance. This is because insurance helps you at the time of an emergency by enabling you to afford the best possible treatment. The insurance provider takes care of the medical bills while you get to nurse yourself back to health. Therefore, everyone must have a health insurance. But what about those people who have pre-existing illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension? Will they be able to find a health plan for themselves? The answer is a big, fat ‘yes’!
India with around 50 million type-2 cases, is the diabetic capital of the world. And these numbers are increasing very fast. It has been estimated that by 2030, more than 100 million people will be afflicted with Diabetes in India.
Even if you have a pre-existing illness, you can still buy a health insurance and get mental peace. Take a look at this article to understand the strategies you can adopt before buying a health insurance plan.
Are the health insurance guidelines different for people with pre-existing illnesses like Diabetes?
Yes, if you have a pre-existing illness such as diabetes or hypertension, it will be slightly more complicated for you to get a good health cover. This doesn’t in any way mean that you will have to stay uncovered.
The insurance providers are skeptical about selling their policies to people who have existing medical conditions because the chances of them falling further ill and making claims are always higher.
As a result, the insurers often charge a higher premium for people with pre-existing illnesses and also put across added terms and conditions to them.
Most policy documents that you come across will clearly state that diabetes and hypertension are excluded from the list of ailments. However, most other illnesses are covered and so you must buy the health plan to stay protected.
What strategy should I adopt to get the best plan at the lowest cost?
- Wait it out – Most health plans include cover for diabetes, hypertension and other pre-existing ailments after a waiting period of two to four years. So your best bet is actually to buy a comprehensive cover at the earliest and wait it out. Try to find a plan with the shortest waiting period. And while you wait, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle as that will help keep your diabetes and hypertension in check. Follow a proper diet and exercise. Try to keep the disease within control. Remember that the policy pays for the expenses only after the waiting period.
- Group cover – If you have an employer provided group insurance plan, then you do not have to go through any waiting period. You will stay protected from the day you get the coverage. Though the group plan cover is limited, it will act as a good back up till the time your personal plan’s waiting period is over.
- Extra premium– Some insurance providers offer cover against diabetes and hypertension at an increased premium. If you feel your health is fragile and you are certain to require medical care in the near future, adopt this strategy and stay covered. Of course, you must ensure that the extra premium you pay does not exceed the amount of the hospital bill as that way you won’t benefit at all!
- Start early – Last but not the least, you must remember to buy a health insurance plan as early on in life as possible. This holds true especially if you have a family history of diabetes, hypertension or any other illness. The clock starts ticking even before you realize it the ailment strikes you when you least expect it. So be cautious and stay protected well ahead of time. If however you have left it too late, buy the policy right away and also encourage your children to buy their policies early on in life as they may also be affected with hypertension and diabetes later on in life.
Some of the best Health Insurance plans for Diabetes
There aren’t too many plans that offer cover for diabetes and hypertension, but the ones that are available are good ones.
Your existing plan may cover for the expenses related to all other illness except the diabetes related one. And, the Diabetes cover plan can pay for the hospitalization expenses related to Diabetes.
Also, hypertension can lead to Cardiac problems and hence a special Cardiac Care plan can be considered for people suffering from hypertension.
So, if you are suffering from Diabetes/Hypertension, you could consider getting a special plan from the ones mentioned below:
- Star Health Diabetes Safe Plan
- Apollo Munich Energy Health Insurance Plan for Diabetes and Hypertension
- ICICI Prudential Diabetes Care Active Plan
- Star Health Cardiac Care Insurance Plan for heart patients
However, if you have an existing health plan, which covers these diseases, please continue the same. This is because; the plans with pre-existing illnesses have a maximum sum assured cap. Thus, it cannot be issued for higher coverage.
The table below list a comparison of the premiums for some of the mentioned plans for a 45 year old opting for a Rs 3 Lakh cover.
|Special Plans covering Pre-existing Illnesses – Premium comparison **|
(**Premiums from company website and brochure)
It is difficult, but not impossible to find a health insurance plan if you suffering from diabetes or hypertension. You just have to look harder and may be pay an extra premium, but you can still stay protected. Even if you have these pre-existing conditions, do not shy away from buying a health plan, as you will need the coverage.
Health is one of the most vulnerable things of life today and so you should not take the risk of living without good health insurance coverage. Keep the above-mentioned tips in mind and plan your health requirements accordingly. Do a comparison online or speak to your insurance agent to see what options are available to you. Once all that is done, buy the health plan that is best suited for you.
This is a guest post by Anand of Turtlemint.com.
About the Author
Anand Prabhudesai is a seasoned professional with 15+ years of strategy and operations experience in technology, internet and mobile domains in the US and India. He has experience in developing market strategy, building and scaling consumer internet services, and leading cross-functional teams in engineering, product, sales and marketing. He holds MBA with Honors from Chicago Booth & an Electrical Engineering degree from IIT Bombay.
Anand co-founded Turtlemint in the year 2015 with an intent to “demystify” insurance by explaining the jargon in a simple way and providing smart online tools to help a user make the right choice w.r.t. Car, Two Wheeler & Health Insurance.
Continue reading another interesting article written by dear Anand : Should NRIs buy Health Insurance in India?
Kindly note that Relakhs.com is not associated with Turtlemint or with any of the above mentioned insurance companies. This post is for information purposes only. This is a guest post and NOT a sponsored one. We have not received any monetary benefit for publishing this article.
(Image courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net) (Post Published on : 03-October-2015)