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Health Insurance: How To Stay Financially Protected In Times Of Covid-19

The novel coronavirus has spread to more than 210 countries and territories across the globe, infecting more than 3.6 million people in different parts of the world. With each passing day, several new cases of coronavirus infection are being reported in different parts of India as well, taking the total count of Indian patients to more than 46,000, of which 1568 people have died due to COVID-19. While the possibility of invention of a vaccination for coronavirus infection still looks like a far cry, the government is leaving no stone unturned to maximize the usage of existing infrastructure to contain the virus and make sure that minimum people are infected with the novel virus.

How to Stay Protected?

As the coronavirus outbreak is intensifying with each passing day, it is important that you make sure you are doing your bit to stay protected. In terms of self-protection, apart from following the lockdown rules implemented by the Central government, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly and as frequently as possible with a soap. Further, it is also important to cover your face with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing and wear a face mask when stepping out of the house for buying essentials. In case you experience any symptoms related to the coronavirus infection, it is highly recommended to visit a doctor.

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While all these are measures to protect yourself physically from getting infected with coronavirus infection, it is also very important to stay financial protected against the pandemic. This is because you are never sure that even after taking utmost care of yourself and your family for protection against COVID-19, you still may get infected with the deadly virus. As per several media reports, in the past few days there has been a steady increase in the number of corona positive patients how were asymptomatic – in medical terms, a person is considered asymptomatic when the person is a carrier for a disease or infection but experiences no related symptoms.

Invest in a Health Insurance Plan

During situations like these, the only way to stay financially protected is by buying a comprehensive health insurance policy. Unlike all other medical expenses for hospitalisation, if one gets hospitalised for treating coronavirus infection, health insurance plan will come in rescue to safeguard medical expenses. Buying a health insurance plan not just for yourself but for your entire family is important to make sure your hospital admission and treatment expenses are covered seamlessly. As per the claims data available till now, the average cost of treatment for coronavirus infection for a mid-aged individual at a normal hospital comes between Rs 2 and Rs 3 lakh. Your health insurance policy will cover you for testing and the cost of treatment for the novel coronavirus.

Get a Basic Cover Now – Upgrade Later

While buying a health insurance, it is important to have an adequate sum insured. However, considering the situations prevailing in the country where most sectors are either experiencing job lay-offs or salary pay-cuts buying a health insurance cover with an adequate sum insured may be difficult. This is because an individual would first think of paying for the expenses essential for survival. Though, one must remember that health insurance is as essential in life as anything else and this is because in the given situation God forbids if you get infected with the COVID-19, the treatment for the infection may drain all your finances. In order to getting trapped in such a situation, it is better to buy a health insurance cover with sufficient sum insured right now and later when your financial situation gets stable, you can enhance the cover by investing in a super-top plan.

Trends in Health Insurance Buying Behaviour

Interestingly, insurers are even witnessing a trend wherein people who cannot afford to buy a health insurance plan with higher sum insured are investing plans with lower or sufficient sum insured for the time being with the hope of enhancing the cover when everything gets normal. The sum insured can be later enhanced by adding a super-top plan with the existing health insurance policy. Super top-up plans are precisely designed to enhance the health insurance coverage of the existing health care plan. This add-on can be bought to upgrade the total sum assured of the base plan as it acts as a great alternative to an additional health policy. The plan acts as a cushion and comes in to play when you have exhausted the chosen limit. A Super top-up plan compensates for all the expenses exceeding base cover for one-time hospitalisation. The plan is a regular indemnity plan that can be renewed annually.

Cost of Health Insurance and Super Top-up Plans

Considering the current market situation, in case you are experiencing pay-cuts or are unemployed at the movement following the ongoing coronavirus crises, you may consider investing in a health insurance cover with Rs 5 lakh sum insured. For a 30-year-old individual, a 5 lakh sum insured health plan will cost between Rs 600 and 900/month. While the same plan with Rs 5 lakh sum insured for two 35-year-old individuals and a 2-year-old child will cost between Rs 1100 and Rs 1400/month. Once your financial position gets stable, you may invest in a Super top-up plan to enhance your cover. Today, there are top-up plans with sum insured as high as Rs 1 crore. The best you can do is buy a health cover with Rs 5 lakh sum insured today and later after some time once being financially stable, top up your health cover with Rs 95 lakh sum insured super top-up plans offered by some insurers at highly affordable prices.

Main Source - Financialexpress