If there is one thing that the COVID pandemic taught us – it was the importance of access to good quality healthcare. Part of the question of access to good hospitals, doctors and medical facilities is about the availability of these services in your local neighborhood.

But just as important is the ability to pay for healthcare. If you go by historical trends, the highest inflation in any services that the average consumer faces are because of education and because of healthcare costs. A recent retirement readiness survey by PGIM mutual fund found that fifty-five percent of Indians worry about the cost of healthcare expenses either for themselves or their spouses or their parents. 

If you go to a hospital today to have a major medical procedure, the bill could cost you lakhs of rupees. Therefore, health insurance is a critical tool that is important for you to be able to afford the high cost of healthcare. 

Some might say that you could save up the money rather than spending away the premium – but that’s forgetting about the benefit of insurance. Insurance works on probabilities. If you save up a lump sum for health needs and exhaust it tomorrow, then you will not have any more funds for a health emergency down the line. 

However, with health insurance, if you use up the sum assured this year, then the next year you will still have access to your insurance as long as you have paid the premium. There are a number of things to check for when looking at health insurance – luckily, we have created a checklist to help you with just that – you can find it in our worksheet section.

There is one more thing when it comes to health insurance – it is always better to get your own plan rather than rely on the coverage provided by your company. The benefits of this include continuity benefits for you when you change jobs and overall you having more say and control over what health procedures and services you are covered for – you don’t want to end up in the hospital and submit a claim only to find out that the policy your company has paid for does not give you coverage as per your expectation.