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Is Health Insurance Important for Indians?

Karan Arora 07 January 2020

Every individual needs health insurance to protect himself and his family from untoward health expenses. Do you have one?

Health Insurance

A health insurance plan is a type of insurance policy designed specifically to compensate for medical expenses arising out of illness or any accident related hospitalization of the policyholder. Many insurers have tie-ups with network hospitals which facilitate cashless treatments. In case an insurer has no official tie-up with a network hospital, the insurer reimburses the cost of medical expenses borne by the policyholder. In addition to private and independent insurers, the Government of India has also initiated multiple health insurance programs.

Importance of Health Insurance

Medical care is expensive. Availing good treatment can burn a hole in your wallet. Therefore, buying a health insurance plan provides cover for you and your family at the cost of a small annual premium which can lessen the financial stress. A comprehensive health insurance plan provides cover for multiple health related costs such as pre/post hospitalization expenses, doctor consultation fees, costs towards medical tests, ambulance charges, cost of recovery, etc.

Features of a Health Insurance Plan

Here are a few features of a health plan:

  • Cashless Treatment - Many insurers provide the facility of cashless treatment. In order to avail this facility, you can simply visit a listed network hospital and the insurer’s representative at the hospital will take care of the entire process.

  • Pre and Post Hospitalization Expenses - Many insurance policies provide cover for pre and post hospitalization charges up to a period of 30/60 to 90/120 days.

  • Transportation Charges - Transportation charges include the cost of ambulance/cost of travel from a remote location.

  • No Claim Bonus - If you do not make a claim in the first year, you will be entitled to an NCB in the form of premium discount or increase in the sum insured at the same premium on renewal.

  • Medical Check-ups - Most of the insurance policies cover the cost of medical check-ups. Some insurers even provide a free health check-up once every year.

  • Room Rent Capping - Depending on the type of policy cover, a health plan also covers room rent expenses without any room rent capping.

How to Select the right Health Plan?

Before you go shopping for a new health plan, here are a few points to consider before purchasing a health plan:

  • Inclusion and exclusion
  • Min/Max age at Entry/Maturity
  • NCB - No Claim Bonus
  • Renewability Clause
  • Sum Insured
  • Number of family members that can be covered
  • Pre-existing diseases coverage waiting period
  • Eligibility criteria - People under the age of 45 years are not required to take a health check-up
  • Waiting Period for specific diseases
  • Riders available
  • Premium Payment Mode/Frequency
  • Premium Payment Term
  • Premium Amount

Tax Benefits

Premium paid towards a health insurance plan is eligible for tax deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Individual TypeSelf, family, children Premium Amount (Rs.)Parents Premium Amount (Rs.)Deduction Amount (Rs.)
Individual and parents below 60 years25,00025,00025,000
Individual and family below 60 years but parents above 60 years25,00050,00075,000
Both individual, family and parents above 60 years50,00050,0001,00,000
Non-resident individual (NRIs)25,00025,00025,000

Types of Health Plans in India

There are various types of health insurance plans in India. Here are a few:

  • Individual Health Plan - An individual health insurance plan provides cover against medical/hospitalization expenses of the individual policyholder. The premium depends on the age of the policyholder, sum insured and other factors.

  • Family Health Insurance Plan - A family health insurance plan provides cover under a single umbrella to all the members of the family.

  • Senior Citizen Health Plan - This policy is designed for senior citizens (individuals over 60 years of age).

  • Critical Illness Plan - A critical illness plan provides treatment against a specific list of diseases which includes kidney failure, paralysis, cancer, heart attack etc.

  • Maternity Health Plan - This policy is designed to provide cover for costs associated with childbirth as well as other health related expenses. It included pre and postnatal care, child delivery expenses of newborn babies.

  • Personal Accident Plan - This plan provides cover against any hospitalization expenses arising out of an accident.

Healthcare Schemes Provided by the Government of India

Here is a list of health insurance schemes provided by the government:

What are the documents required to buy Health Insurance?

The documents required to purchase health insurance are:

  • Proof of Age
  • Proof of Address
  • Proof of ID
  • Some plans require a medical check up
  • Application Form
  • Proof of Income/Bank Statement


Now that you are aware of the importance of a health plan, it is time you get one for yourself and family.

Recommended Link:Factors to Compare Health Insurance Policies