Hospital Bills Creating a Hole in Your Pocket? Here’s What You Should Have Done Instead

Mumbai: When your child falls sick, there is no time to think about what the treatment will cost. You have to get her the best health care professionals on the job and get your little one the treatment she needs.

However, today’s hospital bills are outrageously high. Most private hospitals use their brand name and qualified professionals to reel in unsuspecting patients, and add a number of miscellaneous expenses to their bills. Between 2007-2010, bills for major diseases that afflict the majority of the population increased by 27% as reported by India Today.

Image Credits: businesstoday

As the table demonstrates, a single procedure can set you back several thousands of rupees. What makes this worse is that most of these procedures must be performed immediately after the issue is diagnosed.

So, if you must have any of these procedures performed, you won’t have the time to wait till you’ve arranged for the money.

For people who are dependent on their salaries for their day to day expenses, a sudden emergency can drain their finances. Thus, the steady increase in treatment costs has made health care insurance more important now than ever.

What is Health Insurance?

Health insurance offers you monetary coverage for your medical expenses. So when you sign up for a policy, you pay a certain amount every month called a premium, which allows you to avail of the covers provided by your insurance company.

When you have an emergency, bills will be the last thing on your mind, and a decentfamily health insurance will ensure that you will never have to worry about money.

With a good policy, you won’t even be involved in the payment process apart from giving your insurance company the details. The insurer will handle the rest for you.

What Benefits are you Offered?

Image Credits: Harsha K R

Coverage of medical expenses is naturally why anyone would take health insurance, but here’s a breakdown of the specificbenefits of individual medical insurance that are offered under most policies.

  • Tax Savings

Health insurance proves to be a financial investment in more ways than one due to Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. Under this, your premium, up to INR 25,000, is fully tax deductible. If you’re also covering your parentswho are not senior citizens, a further INR 25,000 can be saved.

  • Easy Policy Renewal

Like all insurance policies, health insurance also needs to be renewed on ayearly basis. You can usually apply for auto-renewal for up to two years on your policy. And with a good company, you’ll be able to avail of this policy renewal facility for a lifetime.

This is unlike the average policies which generally have a cap called an exit age, so you’ll have to take out a more robust health cover after you cross a certain age.

  • Cashless Treatment

One of the most useful benefits offered under a health insurance policy, with cashless treatment, all the payment is handled by your insurance company directly.

This means that you won’t have to arrange for money to pay the hospital, and then wait for reimbursement from your company. All you have to do is connect your hospital with your insurance company, and all the expenses will be taken care of immediately.

  • Ambulance Cover

In case you’re ever in a situation where an ambulance needs to be called for you, you can rest assured that your insurance policy will take care of the expenses.

  • Non-procedural Expenses

Apart from the cost of the medical procedures themselves, you will also incur costs from the initial medical tests and diagnostics, the follow-up appointments with your doctor, further hospital stay charges, medication, and so on. With a good insurance policy, all of these expenses will be covered as well.

  • Outpatient Expense Coverage

Any medical bills that you rack up as an outpatient, including regular check-ups and physical therapy, can also come under your health insurance policy. This also means that you’re taken care of while you’re pregnant, and after your delivery.

So, now you have no reason to continue avoiding your family doctor or delay your vaccinations.

  • Value-added Services

Health coupons, free online consultations with doctors, dieticians, and nutritionists are just some of the services offered under health insurance policies, which show how your insurance provider is truly invested in your continued good health.

The easy availability of these services ensures that you do actually utilise them. This will also ensure that you keep up with your fitness routine and delay hospitalisation due to diseases caused by an unhealthy lifestyle.

Applying for Health Insurance

Health insurance is crucial to protect your family and yourself from prohibitive medical expenses that could delay emergency treatment.

Since these medical emergencies can arise at any time, you should apply for a policy as early as possible to ensure that you get the maximum benefits. This becomes even more important for your immediate family, because your aged parents and young children are more susceptible to illnesses and injuries.

Most companies let you apply online, but you can also make a call to your preferred company and get them to send a representative to your home.

With a good health insurance policy, you’ll never have to worry about your finances in an emergency ever again. So apply for yours right away!