We live in an age where our surroundings are polluted, lifestyles are sedentary, and our schedules face a time crunch. All these factors expose us to a risk of contracting diseases. Sure our genetic history does play a part in our proneness to certain diseases but the major role is played by the reasons mentioned above. Polluted environment, busy schedules, and sedentary lifestyles give rise to a number of diseases like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, lung ailments, etc. Also, there is a likelihood of accidents occurring anytime which can be a road accident, a fall, or any other event that can lead to an injury.

Whether its an injury or a sickness, treating them would require hospitalisation, in most cases. With medical inflation soaring with each passing day, medical treatments can turn out to be an expensive affair unless you have a health insurance.

What is a Health Insurance?

Health insurance is an agreement between the insurance provider and the insured individual where the former will bear the medical expenses of the latter when the insured individual requires hospitalisation. To receive this benefit, the insured individual has to make a monthly/yearly payment termed as a ‘premium’.

A health insurance plan provides financial assistance to cover the cost of the medical treatments availed by the insured individual. Having a health insurance plan ensures that you or your family member can receive superior quality medical care without having to worry about the expenses.

Besides this, there are other benefits that a health insurance offers and we’ve listed the top 6 benefits for you below:

  1. No need to pay for hospitalisation

Your health insurance provider will settle your medical bills directly with the hospital if the treatment is availed at a network hospital. This kind of arrangement is called as a cashless treatment. Sometimes, if treatments need to availed at a non-network hospital, you can pay for the medical expenses from your pocket and later get it reimbursed from your insurance provider. Just ensure to keep all the bill copies handy.

Some of the hospitalisation expenses covered by a health insurance plan include hospital room rent, doctor’s consultation fees, medicine costs, and pre and post-hospitalisation expenses.

  1. Receive superior treatment at reputed healthcare providers

Having a health insurance plan lets you enjoy superior quality medical care at reputed private hospitals. Treatments at private hospitals are quite expensive due to their state-of-the-art infrastructure and up-to-date facilities. Most health insurance providers have a tie-up with noted private hospitals where treatments are offered at discounted rates and passed on to the policyholders. Without a health insurance cover, availing these treatments could burn a hole in your pocket.

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  1. Enjoy additional benefits

These days health insurance providers offer an array of attractive benefits in addition to covering the basic hospitalisation expenses. Some of the benefits are rewards for staying fit, no-claim bonus, cover for alternative forms of treatment like Homeopathy and Ayurveda, free health checkups, discounts on gym membership fees, etc.

For example, ICICI Lombard and Aditya Birla Health insurance incentivise policyholders by giving them reward points for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These reward points can be redeemed to pay for Out Patient Department (OPD) expenses and other expenses which are not covered by your health insurance plan.

  1. Get cover for critical illnesses

Critical illnesses are life-threatening diseases and the treatment for such diseases last for a longer duration rendering the treatments expensive. Under the critical illness cover of many health insurance plans, the insured individual receives a lump sum amount which can be used for any miscellaneous expenses like travel expenses for making multiple hospital visits, recuperation, expenses for vehicle or residence adjustments, etc. Some of the examples of critical illnesses are paralysis, cancer, stroke, kidney failures, and burns.

  1. Receive convalescence benefit

If the insured individual is required to remain hospitalised for more than say, 15 days, some health insurance plans like the one offered by ICICI Lombard, will offer a convalescence benefit. Under this, a lump sum amount will be given to the insured person to cover the additional expenses that may be incurred due to the longer stay duration. Many health insurance providers also provide a daily cash allowance that can be used for any additional expenses.

  1. Derive tax benefits

A health insurance plan lets you reap tax benefits. Premiums paid towards health insurance plans are eligible for deductions under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Therefore, apart from safeguarding the health of you and your family, a health insurance plan will also safeguard your finances.

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