Health Insurance in Kolkata

Kolkata is fondly called the ‘City of Joy’ for its unfaltering love for culture, literature, history, festivals and delectable food. Although the medical infrastructure in Kolkata is widespread, it is expensive to afford for most people. Buying health insurance in Kolkata should be your top-most priority if you do not want your lifelong savings to get exhausted in paying your medical bills.

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      Health Statistics of Kolkata

      Take a look at some of the health statistics of Kolkata:

      • 28% of people have diabetes in Kolkata.
      • Most children are obese in Kolkata.
      • Breast cancer is the most common among women, and lung cancer among men.
      • Kolkata reported the 2nd highest dengue cases in 2023 in the last 6 years.
      • Over 15% of heart patients in Kolkata are below 40 years old.

      Why Do You Need Health Insurance in Kolkata?

      Here are some of the reasons why people in Kolkata should buy health insurance:

      1. Poor Air Quality

        The air quality in Kolkata has become a cause of concern in recent years. In fact, the Air Quality Index (AQI) crossed the 300-mark post-Diwali 2023 in Kolkata. The poor air quality not only leads to respiratory diseases like lung cancer but is also known to catalyze the risk for diabetes. Moreover, the treatment of these diseases is expensive and can create a financial burden over time. However, your insurance company takes over this financial burden from you if you have a health insurance policy.

      2. High Incidence of Lifestyle Diseases

        The incidence of lifestyle diseases, like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, etc., is extremely high in Kolkata. Besides, people with these diseases are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular ailments, which involves long-term but expensive treatment. The best way to stay financially prepared for any lifestyle diseases is to buy a critical illness insurance policy, as your insurer pays you a lump sum amount to cover all your treatment expenses.

      3. High Medical Inflation

        Medical facilities are getting costly in Kolkata every year. Several hospitals and healthcare providers have increased their charges by 20-25% post-COVID-19 pandemic. At this rate, you can easily exhaust all your savings in case of a major illness. But you can safeguard your hard-earned money from unforeseen medical expenses by buying a mediclaim insurance policy.

      4. Quality Medical Treatments

        Availing the right treatment at the right time is the best way to beat a disease. But a lot of people in Kolkata delay their treatment or opt for a basic treatment due to rising medical costs. Thanks to financial constraints, they compromise on the quality of the treatment and eventually endanger their life. However, with the best health insurance plans, you can afford top-notch treatment without worrying about paying your medical bills.

      Major Health Problems in Kolkata

      Check out the various health problems in Kolkata:

      1. Diabetes

        Diabetes is highly prevalent in Kolkata. As per a survey, two in every five people in Kolkata have diabetes. Experts blame sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy food habits and being overweight as the major reasons for the growth of diabetes in the city.

      2. Hypertension

        Hypertension has a huge presence in Kolkata. In fact, hypertension cases are growing at an alarming rate in the city. According to experts, sedentary lifestyles, stress and unhealthy diets, comprising of high salt intake, are the major reasons for growing hypertension cases in Kolkata.

      3. Obesity

        Obesity is a major cause of concern in Kolkata. According to experts, more than 5% of the people in Kolkata and most children in the city are obese. As a result, they have an increased chance of developing diabetes and hypertension, eventually leading to heart problems.

      4. Heart Diseases

        Heart diseases are becoming extremely common among Kolkata youth. As per the cardiologists in the city, more than 15% of the cardiac patients in Kolkata are less than 40 years old. According to experts, stress, unhealthy eating habits, smoking and lack of physical activities are the major reasons for rising cardiac problems in the city.

      5. Cancer

        Cancer has a high incidence in Kolkata. While lung cancer is the most common among men, breast cancer has the highest prevalence among women in Kolkata. According to oncologists from Kolkata, smoking and air pollution are the major reasons for the rise in cancer cases in the city.

      6. Dengue

        Dengue is an annual occurrence in Kolkata. As per reports, about 4000 cases of dengue were reported in Kolkata in 2023, which is the second-highest since 2017. Experts believe that the late withdrawal of monsoon and the late onset of winter are responsible for the rising dengue cases in the city.

      How Much Health Insurance Coverage Do You Need in Kolkata?

      Experts say every person must buy a medical insurance policy of at least half of their annual income. However, people residing in Kolkata need to buy health insurance with a sum insured that easily covers all their medical expenses in Kolkata. They must ensure that the coverage amount can adequately cover the medical expenses incurred on treating a major illness, such as cancer.

      Considering the rising healthcare expenses in Kolkata, you must opt for a health insurance policy of at least Rs 10 lakh or more. If you want coverage for your whole family in Kolkata, you can buy a family health insurance policy of at least Rs 30 lakh or more.

      Similarly, if you are 60 years or older, you must purchase a senior citizen health insurance policy of at least Rs 20 lakh in Kolkata.

      Health Insurance in Kolkata for NRIs

      Non-resident Indians or NRIs can also purchase health insurance in Kolkata from an insurance company in India. They can use it to pay for the medical bills incurred during their stay or visit to Kolkata. Moreover, they can also use the same health insurance for NRIs policy if they eventually move back to Kolkata.

      In fact, if the parents of the NRIs are residing in Kolkata, they can also purchase health insurance for parents for them. This policy can come in handy to provide financial support during a medical emergency faced by their parents in Kolkata. Moreover, NRIs can also claim a refund on GST paid to buy health insurance in Kolkata.

      People also read: GST Refund on Health Insurance for NRIs

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

      NO.

      The Government of West Bengal introduced the West Bengal Health Scheme in 2008 to provide better medical facilities to employees and pensioners of the state government. However, the scheme may not be enough to provide comprehensive medical coverage to its beneficiaries.

      Take a look at the following table to know why the West Bengal Health Scheme is not enough to cover all medical expenses in Kolkata:

      Categories West Bengal Health Scheme (WBHS) Private Health Insurance
      Scope of Coverage The scheme provides cashless treatment and reimbursement of all indoor treatments & OPD treatments for 17 illnesses. A wide range of diseases and medical conditions are covered under private health insurance, depending on the chosen plan.
      Eligibility West Bengal government employees, superannuated & family pensioners, IAS officers, IPS officers, IFS officers and retired AIS officers are eligible for the scheme. Everyone can buy a private health policy, depending on age and health condition.
      Sum Insured Cashless medical treatment is available for up to Rs 1.5 lakh per annum. It offers a sum insured of up to Rs 6 crore, depending on your budget and health condition.
      Treatments Covered The scheme covers the cost of all indoor treatments and OPD treatment for 17 diseases. Private health insurance plans cover the cost of in-patient hospitalization and OPD treatments along with all day care procedures, pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization expenses.

      Wellness and Prevention Tips in Kolkata

      Given below are some of the wellness tips to stay healthy in Kolkata:

      • Eat together with your family to limit your screen time.
      • Indulge in physical activities or walk for at least 30 minutes daily in Kolkata.
      • Get uninterrupted sleep for at least 7-9 hours daily in Kolkata.
      • Avoid watching TV or using your laptop while eating to avoid overeating.
      • Wear full-sleeved clothes and use mosquito repellent to avoid mosquito bites in Kolkata.
      • Reduce the consumption of junk food and sugary drinks in Kolkata and switch to healthy snacks.
      • Switch to low-sodium alternatives like pink salt, rock salt, etc., to keep your blood pressure in check.
      • Clean places with stagnant water near your house in Kolkata to prevent mosquito breeding.
      • Make sure to eat healthy while including fruits and vegetables in your diet.
      • Avoid smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.
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