Health Insurance in Kerala

Kerala is a culturally rich Indian state with a multi-layered public health system. Despite that, Kerala has the highest per capita health expenditure in the country, indicating a high healthcare cost in the state. Moreover, the state is often the first in India to struggle with a new disease, be it COVID-19 or Monekypox. If you live in Kerala, know why Buying health insurance in Kerala should be your top-most priority.

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      Health Statistics of Kerala

      Check out some health statistics on Kerala:

      • Kerala is the diabetes capital of India
      • More than 40% of people in Kerala die of heart diseases
      • Heart diseases have a prevalence of 19.9% in Kerala
      • About 974 females and 913 males per million have cancer in Kerala
      • Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among Kerala women
      • Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men in Kerala
      • People in Kerala have the highest level of cholesterol in India
      • About 48.5% of households in Kerala do not have even 1 member covered under a mediclaim policy

      Why Do You Need Health Insurance in Kerala?

      Take a look at some of the reasons why people living in Kerala should buy a good health insurance policy:

      1. High Out-of-Pockets Expenses

        As per a report by WHO, the out-of-pocket expenses in Kerala are extremely high. In fact, about 69% of people pay for medical expenses from their personal savings. Having health insurance will lower their out-of-pocket spending and safeguard their savings despite a medical emergency.

      2. Prevalence of Water-borne Diseases

        Water-borne diseases, such as typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, cholera, etc., are highly prevalent in Kerala. A surge in cases is witnessed every year due to water contamination, making it a frequent medical expense for most Keralites. However, by buying health insurance in Kerala India, people do not have to worry about paying for the treatment of water-borne diseases as it is covered by their insurance company.

      3. High Incidence of Lifestyle Diseases

        The incidence of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, hypertension, obesity and cholesterol is extremely high in Kerala. In fact, diabetes and cholesterol in Kerala are the highest in the country. However, the high cost of treatment and medicines can create a financial burden. But people with critical illness insurance can pay for these hefty medical bills without exhausting their savings.

      4. No Compromise on Treatments

        Getting the best treatment often comes at a high cost, quite literally. This is because private hospitals in Kerala are extremely expensive. As a result, a lot of people delay treatment or opt for a less effective but affordable treatment. However, people with cashless health insurance can avail the best treatment at any hospital in Kerala, as their insurance provider will take care of the medical bills.

      Major Health Problems in Kerala

      Here are some of the major health problems in Kerala:

      1. Diabetes

        Diabetes has a 20% prevalence in Kerala, which is more than double the national average of 8%. No wonder the state is considered the diabetes capital of India. As per a survey by the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Sciences Studies (AMCHSS), one in every five people in Kerala has diabetes.

      2. Cancer

        Cancer has one of the highest mortality rates in Kerala. Although more females have cancer in Kerala, men have a higher mortality rate. In fact, about 35,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in a year.

      3. Heart Diseases

        Heart diseases have the highest prevalence in Kerala. As per a 2018-19 survey, at least 63,000 people die of heart attacks every year in Kerala. About 382 men and 128 women per 100,000 people in Kerala die of coronary artery disease.

      4. Hypertension

        Hypertension or high blood pressure has the highest prevalence in South India. According to the survey by Achutha Menon Centre for Health Sciences Studies (AMCHSS), one in every three people in Kerala suffers from hypertension.

      5. Obesity

        The number of obese people in Kerala is rising every year. As per the latest National Family Health Survey data, about 36% of men and 38% of women in Kerala are obese. In fact, the rate of obesity in Kerala has crossed the national average.

      6. Dengue

        Dengue is the most prevalent vector-borne disease in Kerala. In fact, the number of dengue cases is increasing in Kerala every year. In 2022, about 3400 cases of dengue were reported in Kerala.

      7. Leptospirosis

        Leptospirosis has a high incidence in Kerala. The mortality rate of leptospirosis is also very high in Kerala. As per the Directorate of Health Services data, about 290 people died of leptospirosis in Kerala in 2022.

      8. Water Borne Diseases

        Water-borne diseases are an annual occurrence in the southern state of Kerala. Typhoid and hepatitis A is the most common water-borne disease in Kerala. Although the mortality rate is low, more than 100 cases of water-borne diseases were reported in the state in 2022.

      How Much Health Insurance Coverage Do You Need in Kerala?

      People living in Kerala must buy best medical insurance for a sum insured that comfortably covers them for major health problems. A general rule of thumb says that you must buy health insurance cover of at least half of your annual income. Besides, the amount should be sufficient to cover the treatment of a major illness in Kerala.

      However, due to rising medical inflation and the high incidence of lifestyle diseases in Kerala, a health insurance policy of at least Rs 10 lakh is recommended. If you want coverage for your entire family, you can go for a family health insurance policy of at least 15 lakh, depending on the age and medical history of your family members.

      Since senior citizens in Kerala are more likely to develop a health condition with age, they can opt for a senior citizen health insurance policy of Rs 20 lakh or more.

      Health Insurance in Kerala for NRIs

      NRIs or Non-Resident Indians from Kerala can also buy health insurance in India. They can use the policy to pay for medical expenses incurred during their visit to Kerala. Health insurance for NRIs can also come in handy in case the NRI decides to return back to Kerala permanently.

      Besides, NRIs can also buy health insurance for parents staying in Kerala. Doing so will ensure medical coverage for their elderly parents even if they are not physically present with them during a medical emergency. Moreover, NRIs can also get a refund on GST paid along with the premium while buying health insurance from an insurer in India.

      You may read: GST Refund on Health Insurance for NRIs

      Is Government Health Insurance Enough to Cover Medical Expenses in Kerala?

      The answer is NO.

      The Government of Kerala launched the Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi (KASP) scheme in 2020 to provide medical insurance to more than 42 lakh poor and vulnerable families in Kerala. However, this family insurance scheme is insufficient to provide comprehensive coverage to people living in Kerala. Let’s find out how the Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi scheme is not enough to cover the medical expenses of people living in Kerala:

      Categories Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi (KASP) Private Health Insurance
      Eligibility The KASP scheme is available only to families living below the poverty line. This means it cannot be availed by people with an annual income of more than Rs 27,000. Private health insurance can be purchased by anyone regardless of their income.
      Sum Insured KASP offers a medical cover of Rs 5 lakh per family. You can buy a private health insurance policy with a sum insured of up to Rs 6 crore, depending on your health needs and budget.
      Network Hospitals in Kerala The network of empanelled hospitals under the KASP scheme is very small. The network of empanelled hospitals under health insurance companies is very large.
      Pre-hospitalization and Post-hospitalization Expenses The KASP scheme offers a pre-hospitalization cover of up to 3 days and a post-hospitalization cover of up to 15 days. Best health insurance plans in India can provide pre-hospitalization coverage for up to 90 days and post-hospitalization coverage for up to 180 days.

      Wellness and Prevention Tips in Kerala

      Take a look at some wellness and prevention tips in Kerala:

      • Eat a healthy and balanced diet that are rich in whole grains, lean protein, local fruits and vegetables available in Kerala like bananas, rose apple, cucumber, etc.
      • Avoid consuming high levels of salt and added sugar
      • Obtain a minimum of 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day
      • Drink at least 2 litres of water every day to keep yourself hydrated in the scorching Kerala sun
      • Boil water before consuming to prevent diseases due to water contamination prevalent in Kerala
      • Practice good health and sanitary hygiene
      • Exercise regularly with at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises every week
      • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight between 10 am and 4 pm in Kerala when sun rays are most harmful
      • Avoid smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol
      • Check and remove stagnant water around your house in Kerala to prevent breeding of mosquitoes
      • Wear full sleeves clothes and use mosquito repellent during Kerala monsoons
      • Practice yoga or meditation to reduce your stress levels

      Health Insurance in Kerala FAQs

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