Taking stock of our health is a must with increasing longevity and rising healthcare costs. In such circumstances, one cannot do without health insurance. In fact, it is necessary that one take some form of health insurance, which covers standard healthcare risks towards hospitalization. There are several additional covers that are available these days, which enhance the scope of health insurance to include high- cost medical conditions calling in for surgery such as bypass and cancer among others. While it may sound complicated, it is not very difficult to meander through the many health insurance policies that are available if one clearly ticks the kind of risks they wish to seek protection from.
On their part, insurers have also ventured to innovate with products that are contemporary and take into consideration the changing needs of people when it comes to managing risks related to their health. So, even as we enjoy the rains, which have reduced the temperatures, there are many who would be worried about the outcome of facing the mosquito menace, which causes malaria and dengue among other vector-borne diseases. Anyone who has experienced these diseases would vouch for the traumatic after-effects, which have left their immune system shattered and the cost of recovery running into several thousands.
Dengue is becoming common and the medical expenses incurred on treatment, is expensive. Unless you are lucky to be admitted in a government hospital, the cost of dengue treatment varies between Rs 45,000 to Rs 1 lakh. Sensing an opportunity, there are dengue insurance policies available these days among other dreaded disease covers. These plans provide independent risk cover to people to meet the expenses incurred for the treatment. The upside with the dengue insurance is that it covers for both the in-patient and outpatient treatment of dengue. As this is a single disease insurance plan, the scope of cover is restricted to only dengue-related health outcomes.
However, this makes it a sought after policy, especially if you reside in cities where dengue is prevalent. This unique feature also makes this policy a necessary add-on to an existing standard health insurance policy that one should ideally definitely have. The reason for going in for this policy is to ensure that you are not limited by the scope of your standard health insurance policy, which does not always cover for outpatient expenses and dengue in particular.
An upside with dengue-only cover is that you do not require any pre- insurance health check-ups when signing up for this policy. After all, you are buying this policy as a protection against contacting dengue, which has no relation to any existing health-related issues. Of course, the policy also restricts to payout only on dengue-related ailments and nothing more. So, basically you get what you have signed up for – dengue related health issues and nothing more. At the time of signing up for the policy, all that you need is to make a self- declaration in the application form that you are currently not suffering from dengue. This provision is included to ensure that you take the policy before contacting the illness and not after contacting it.
Another element of convenience with this policy is that the premium for this policy is not linked to your age or any other condition. In that aspect, this policy is known as the one, which is benefit policy, where you get paid a sum that is described in the policy when the event occurs. So, as soon as one is diagnosed with dengue fever or dengue shock syndrome, all you need is the doctor’s certificate with the description and have a minimum 24- 48 hours of in-patient care at a hospital for medical treatment of dengue. Depending on the policy variant, some insurers may provide for both in-patient and outpatient treatment separately and bear the costs that are not borne by the standard health insurance policies.
These policies specifically cover for outpatient treatment, which includes any medical care needed at home, diagnostic expenses related to dengue and expenses towards treatment of dengue. The premiums on these policies are low compared to a comprehensive standalone health insurance policy. Typically the indemnity type of policies, where the policy comes into force when the condition applies cost less as they make a fixed payout to the policyholder. So, policies are available for as low as Rs 500 to Rs 600 for Rs 50,000 sum assured on the policy. What this means is that policy pays you a fixed sum of Rs 50,000 if you contact dengue and have the policy.
By nature indemnity type of policies come as off-the shelf with low cum assured available when one takes them. So, the sum assured with these are mostly up to Rs 1 lakh. Further, the premium under this policy qualifies for tax deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. So, depending on your age, the tax deduction would vary, but that alone should not be the reason for you to take this policy.
Should you go for it?
There is no easy solution to this poser, but ideally one should take this policy if you are living in a place where dengue- related illness is common. Moreover, the very nature of the policy is such that it comes into play only if you contact dengue and for no other health condition. Given such an exclusivity; it will be in your interest to supplement the dengue policy with a standard health insurance policy, which is handy to take care of all types of health- related issues that you may face.
Moreover, take this kind of a policy for all family members, because a mosquito-bite does not distinguish between a policyholder and one who does not have a policy when it comes to contacting dengue. For a complete family protection this monsoon make sure that you are adequately insured against diseases for which insurance policies are available than be staring into a situation where you are facing not just a health setback but also a financial setback.
(A marketing initiative by Open Avenues)