Mumbai:Women in society have come of age in the twenty-first century and are shouldering every kind of responsibility just like men. They are educated, career driven, and many of whom are the main breadwinners of their families. It is no doubt that women need as much and even more financial security and support as men.
But however, even though many urban as well as rural women are financially independent or are earning members, research shows that the number of women opting for health insurance policies is considerably low as compared to men. It is quite shocking to know that only 3% of the population of India is covered under health insurance out of which, only a
meager 10 percent of the working women are covered under health insurance plans.Out of the very few women who have health Insurance, most of them have been insured by their employers or their male family members.
The health insurance market in Indiafor women is abuzz with attractive women-centric health insurance schemes which make important events in women’s lives like marriage, maternity, childbirth/education and any women specific illnesses, less stressful and surrounded by financial support and security.
To the advantage of the women policyholders, these products cover not only hospitalization costs, but also a treatment for any critical illnesses or treatment of their newborn babies with any congenital disability as well. Some policies evencover any permanent disability caused due to an accident as well.These plans come with a benefit of riders as well. Some riders being offered today cover women-specific ailments such as specific cancers, paralysis, and others. In this case, if a woman is diagnosed with a critical ailment, the assured sum is paid, and the policy is then terminated.
Before you choose the appropriate policy, do consider factors like:
ØYour specific requirement
ØThe cost advantage as compared to a regular policy
ØCoverage of the policy. The policy should have a wide coverage
The medical conditions women are more likely to have are pregnancy-related complications, bone density illnesses and breast/ovarian cancer. It would be good to know that women with a family history of the diseases need to pay a 20-25% higher premium and may have a longer waiting period.
Are they worth it?
It is essential for a woman to have a minimum health cover of Rs 5 lakhs. However, it is not sure that only women-specific health cover will be beneficial for them. When finalizing a policy, do compare with the non-gender-specific policies to check that the illnesses covered are different from those covered by regular insurance policies.However, the reality is, there are hardly any such great insurance products designed for women. A close look at specialised products for women will tell you that a normal health insurance policy may cover the same ailments at lower premiums. So, instead of falling for gimmicks of women centric plans, you can go for a normal
health insurance policy of Rs 5 lakh coverage and then, go for a super top-up plan, which gets triggered only when the deductible limit is crossed, as a double protection against soaring medical costs.
Source: The Economic Times
Similarly, if you are a working woman, you may be covered under the group health insurance policy offered by your employer. So in such a case, you can go for an individual health insurance policy instead of opting for specialised woman policies. Moreover, in most of the women only health plans, maternity is covered after a waiting period of say, two or three years. However, a group health insurance policy offers maternity coverage, including pre-existing ailments cover, from the day 1.
The Final Verdict
Due to the stress of juggling a home and career, many women are facing problems associated with their health. Complaining isn’t a solution as striking a perfect balance between personal and professional fitness with healthy habits is important. While, some healthy habits like eating a good breakfast, exercising daily, drinking lots of water, etc; should always be included in the daily regime, it is necessary to go for a comprehensive health insurance policy in case any medical emergency strikes. And, in today’s hectic life, it is common to have ailments like dengue, malaria, and critical diseases like cancer, etc. So, while, it is necessary to buy a health insurance at a young age, it is not necessary to buy only women-centric plans as long as the normal