Friday, May 17 2024
Source/Contribution by : NJ Publications

"I am young, do regular exercises, fit & healthy. Do I need health insurance?" Most of us ponder upon this question when someone talks about health insurance. It may sound weird, but the right time to get a health insurance policy is as early as possible. Possibly, when you are young, healthy and fit.

Let us discuss why it is beneficial as well as necessary to get you & your family's health insured early in life.

Always good to have more options

At an early age you get a broader selection of basic & comprehensive health insurance plan options. After a certain age, due to weakening immunity & lifestyle related health issues, there are chances of getting some chronic diseases like Asthma, Bronchitis, Cancer, Diabetes, Hypertension, etc; This will limit the health insurance options available to you.

It means young customers not only get more plan options but also more sum insured options available at their selection. Young customers are offered higher sum insureds like 50 Lacs, 1 Crore or more at very affordable premiums. Whereas old age customers are usually not offered high sum insureds as the risk is higher than normal so is the premium.

Maternity Benefit

A lot of young couples can benefit from their health insurance policies if they buy health insurance early in life. You can ensure coverage for future family planning. With maternity including prenatal care, delivery, and postnatal care and related covers under health insurance, they can get access to better healthcare facilities with minimal or no additional waiting periods.

Beat the Waiting Periods

There are certain waiting periods in a health insurance policy. Only after serving those waiting periods, claims are eligible to be paid. Some of the waiting periods are:

- First 30 days - no claim is payable except accidental.

- Initial 2 years waiting period for specific diseases / treatments.

- Maternity waiting period which can be around 9 months to 3 years.

- Pre-existing diseases waiting period which can be around 3 to 4 years.

If you start early, these waiting periods can be easily served without the need to make a claim as the chances to fall ill are comparatively less.

Wellness Benefits

Preventive healthcare services such as annual health check-ups, vaccinations and screenings, can not only help you save money on your healthcare but also help in maintaining a good health over a long period of time. Buying health insurance at an early stage in your life helps in early detection of potential health issues and enabling timely interventions. It helps you to maintain good health and prevents the occurrence of serious illnesses.

If you maintain a healthy lifestyle, follow an exercise regime, do regular gym/yoga/swimming/walking/running etc; insurers give wellness points which can be used to get a discount on the premiums. The discount may vary from 5% to 50% on the renewal premiums depending on your plan.

Lower premiums

  • Age is one of the major factors in calculating premium for health insurance. Usually, higher the age, higher are the premiums as an old age person is more prone to health risks.
  • Existing ailment is another major factor in increasing premium for health insurance. If you have a health condition, you may have to pay more premiums for your health insurance policy.

Therefore, one of the most crucial benefits of getting a health policy early is to lock-in at lower premiums and save on premiums over a longer period of time.

Pre-policy medical tests

  • As discussed above, usually with age comes the health issues, therefore, insurance companies ask prospective customers to undergo pre-policy medical tests. Specifically to those who are above a certain age (for eg; 45 years) or customers who have declared a health condition in the proposal form.
  • But at an early age, the chances of you having to undergo a pre-policy medical check-up is very minimal. In such scenarios, insurers issue the policies instantly.

No Claim Bonus / Guaranteed Cumulative Bonus

Several insurers provide a No Claim Bonus (NCB) for not making a claim during the policy year. This bonus can range from 5% to 200% of the sum insured. NCB can be accumulated over consecutive claim-free years and it does not affect premiums.

Guaranteed Cumulative Bonus (GCB) works the same way as No Claim Bonus, only difference is that this benefit is available irrespective of claims. It means whether you make a claim or not, your risk cover increases every year.

For Eg: if your sum insured starts at Rs. 5 Lacs, it can increase to Rs. 20 Lacs, Rs. 25 Lacs or 50 Lacs over a few years and that too without any extra charges. At a younger age, you can benefit from this NCB/GCB to increase your sum insured since you are less likely to fall ill & make a claim in the first few policy years.

Summary

Health insurance is a vital element of the entire financial planning, wealth creation and family well-being. Getting yourself & your family's health insured at an early age brings multiple benefits, setting a strong financial plan for a healthy and protected future. Don't delay or wait for a health issue to arise to consider buying a health insurance policy. So, give a thought to the above-mentioned advantages and buy a health insurance plan as early as possible.

Imp.Note: We are registered NJ Wealth Partners and this interview published is sourced from NJ Wealth with due permissions. Reproduction of this interview/article/content in any form or medium by any means without prior written permissions of NJ India Invest Pvt. Ltd. is strictly prohibited.

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