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Have you seen a TV commercial in which a 30 years old woman had Rs 50 lakh life insurance coverage, but for health insurance, she relied only on a glass of warm lemon water, which she religiously took every morning? This advertisement portrays the current scenario of woman’s health insurance. Most of us don’t think twice about getting good medical attention for children and other family members, but it is a complete different story when it comes to the woman’s health care.
Politics, space and manufacturing units, the fairer sex is breaking the glass ceiling and seeking equality in all spheres of life. But the differences arise with health issues that a woman wrestles with. Nowadays, women are go getters as they are not only managing their homes, but are also excelling at work place.
Gone are those days, when women were financially and emotionally dependent on males. While, successfully playing different roles in life, women tend to neglect their health. Modern women take a toll trying to strike a balance between personal and professional life. On top of that, women are more vulnerable to diseases. Ailments like arthritis and breast cancer are far different from what men face.
With the finance minister Mr. Arun Jaitley announces the enhancement of the health insurance exemption limit to Rs 25,000 for citizens, from 18 years to 50 years and Rs 30,000 for senior citizens we decided to take a sneak peak at the available women health policies. Also, the article discusses two pertinent issues-
1. Current state of women health insurance sector
2. Why it is indispensable to have a separate health insurance plan apart from the corporate plan.
Grim Statistics of Women health and insurance
As per the IRDA Insurance Awareness Survey Report released in 2012, fewer women opt for health policy in India. However, the chances of being women hospitalized aren’t too different than men. In fact, contemporary lifestyles and increasing stress levels, among other factors, have exposed women to alarming health problems.
* As per the IRDA Insurance Awareness Survey Report, 2012
Diabetes, hypertension, stroke, polycystic ovarian, female sexual arousal disorder, cardiovascular and thyroid diseases are on the rise in women but there are merely 39% of total women who opt for the health policy, as per the survey carried out by the IRDA on the eve of Women’s Day.
For many of the Indian women, either their husband or father, decide the health insurance, according to the survey by ICICI Lombard General Insurance. The survey says, 39% of the respondents are covered because their father or husband had bought an insurance plan. Only one-third of the respondents own a health insurance plan. While, most of the women who participated in the survey claimed that they are healthy, but nearly 47% of them had fallen ill in the last one to two months.
Why women don’t buy exclusive health insurance plans?
There are a good number of general insurers offering insurance plans, covering maternity related expenses. However, the takers are few due to the lack of awareness and also because the husband has an insurance policy, covering wife and kids. This is one of the major hurdles which has not made the women health plan a lucrative option.
How to Choose the Right Women Health Insurance Plan?
Insurance companies have started getting serious about catering to burgeoning health requirements of women. These insurance players are offering various women specific plans which are mainly designed to suit divergent needs of females. Till now, women used to cover under floater plans or as a dependent in the husband’s health policy. But now as more and more women are joining the working force, they are being covered under employee health insurance group also.
If you are pressed for time just log in to PolicyBazaar, fill a quick form that asks some basic details about you and within seconds you will be presented with the best insurance options. You can compare them side-by-side and buy instantly. Save time and save your precious life too.
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Best Women Specific Health Insurance Plans
Some of the best women health insurance policies currently available in the market are-
- TATA AIG Wellsurance
- Bajaj Allianz Women-Specific Critical Illness
- Apollo Munich Easy Health Individual Plan
- HDFC Life Smart Women Plan
Apart from the health insurance companies, life insurers also provide health cum investment based covers. Although, it is necessary for women to get themselves covered, it is also crucial to see how wide the insurance plan coverage is. Women are susceptible to pregnancy and bone related issues & breast/ovarian cancer at a young age. Therefore, while buying the insurance at an early age, it is not necessary that they should be woman-centric, as long as they fulfill the purpose of insurance.
Many people, especially those who are at low health risk, look at investing these plans as a means to save tax because health insurance premiums offers a tax deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.
Why your corporate health insurance is not enough?
It has been seen that many women hesitate in buying a separate health policy because they have a corporate health insurance. If you also fall in the same league then it is imperative to understand that buying an independent woman’s health policy is paramount.
A corporate health insurance may look attractive as compared to individual health plan, but it is not a complete solution to all your problems. For instance, if you have taken more than one claims in a year and you exceed your cover amount of the health plan, then you will need to pay the residual amount with your own money and it would have an adverse effect on your finance. But if you will buy an individual woman health insurance policy, then you don’t need to fret about the balanced amount. Between the two policies, your total expenses would almost get covered.
Reasons to opt for the individual women health policy over corporate health policy:
- If you lose your job - What would happen if you suddenly lose your job? With loans and bills to pay and mouths to feed, a sudden medical emergency can topple your budget. To avoid such situation, it is important to own an independent woman’s health policy.
- Insurance company changes policies - Your company suddenly decides to change or modify conditions in the health policy, like not covering family members or not including pre existing ailments. In such a situation, you will find that you are left uncovered. So, it is worthwhile to invest your money in individual health policy also.
- After the retirement - Someone who has worked in a company for a majority of life suddenly find that the health insurance, which had earlier taken care of all medical bills is no longer available, post retirement. It is not an easy process to buy a health insurance policy after retirement. Even though there is no paucity of senior citizen health insurance plans in the market, but you may need to undergo stringent medical tests and pay additional premium to get the plan. So, get an independent health policy while you are working and keep yourself away from all hustles.
Now, as you know, why you can’t relax under the impression that all your health expenses will be taken care by the corporate health policy, you should start creating a safety net in the form of individual woman’s health policy to fall back in case your corporate health policy ceases to exist.
At last, to combat with medical inflation, women should buy a health policy early in life, preferably before they turn 30. It is important because in this way, they can save waiting period at a younger age and utilize their health cover later when they actually need it. It is indispensable to review your women’s health policy coverage after the events, like marriage and children. Women opting for these health policies also get an access to other value added benefits like free health checkups, health helpline, etc.
Being the most beautiful creation of the Almighty, it is indispensable to insure your health. After all, you are worth it!
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