Few days back one of my friend’s brother came to me with some queries on health insurance. He’s been approached by few companies for getting a policy done but he refused them and want to verify his decision with me. This article is all about my discussion with him on this topic. I am sure many of you will relate yourself with his ideas.
Though the discussion is very general, but still I have not used the actual name of his in this article. For convenience, I have named him as “MFB” as in “My friend’s brother”.
MFB: Bhaiya, do I actually need health insurance? I am just 27, single and not even planning to get married in near term, having no financial responsibilities, earning a decent salary package…I mean I can manage the medical expenses myself if required. What do you say?
Me: Well MFB, Yes. In my view everyone should be having decent health insurance coverage.(Read : Don’t ignore health Insurance) It hardly matters how old are you. Health problems don’t asks the age before coming, moreover they don’t even ask before coming. The kind of sedentary lifestyle we live, work pressures, bad food habits, zero exercising, mental stress etc. are some of the reasons which won’t let us stay healthy for long. The earlier you buy the cover the better deal you will get in terms of comprehensive coverage. As once you get diagnosed with some disease, insurer might impose some restrictions on your policy.
Now as far as managing expenses are concerned, you never know what kind of health problem one might face and what money it will ask one to spend. Health Insurance is all about saving your savings. Well , it’s wise to plan for the emergencies and set aside some amount for medical emergency too, but when the option is available to transfer the risk to the insurer then why not to use it.
MFB: Ok, I agree. But what if your employer has already covered you under group health insurance? At least I am covered with good sum assured.
Me: That’s nice. How much cover do you have?
MFB: That I don’t know but it must be good.
Me: good?? Means what??
MFB: Good means good. Actually bhaiya, I seriously don’t know but will check it out and let you know.
Me: Ok fine. What are the benefits offered under your employer group insurance policy? I mean …are there any waiting periods, does they cover the pre-existing illnesses, any pre / post hospitalisation coverage, are there any sub limits like on room rents , Surgeon’s expenses etc.
MFB: hey, hey, hey!! Bhaiya, now you are confusing me. What’s all this?
Me: These are some of the features which a normal health insurance policy offers, and varies under different policies.
MFB: No, I am not aware of these. But I am sure my company’s policy must have covered all this with comparable amounts.
Me: here lies the problem MFB. You know nothing of your employer provided insurance; still you want to depend on the same. Who will you approach if at all gods forbid some health problem arises?
MFB: Company’s HR guys.
Me: and what if they say that the particular problem you are facing is not covered under this group policy?
MFB: So now you want me to study my company’s health insurance in detail.
Me: Yes, I mean no. I want you to understand risk management in detail. Achaa leave it. Tell me how’s your job going?
MFB: hahaha!!! Now you are teasing me. You know that job never goes well. Though I am earning good, but still not happy. Planning to start something on my own, like you or change the job in next 6 months.
Me: Is you current job stable enough?
MFB: Not at all.
Me: So, have you given any interviews?
MFB: No. Not yet. But will start the process soon.
Me: Hmmm…ok. Now answer me
- Are you sure the new employer will cover you with same type of health insurance policy which you current employer has?
- How will you manage the Medical expenses, when and if there comes a gap in your current and new job?
MFB: hmmm….i got it, what you trying to say.
MFB: But I still feel that buying a health insurance policy is a waste of money. I mean what’s the benefit. You keep on paying premium every year and you will not get anything in return. What’s the point to buy this?
Me: MFB, the irony is that we don’t want anyone to be in situation to take the benefit of these policies. If you have understood the risk and uncertainty health insurance covers, then you will not ask this question again. Where you are not sure about your job continuity, there medical costs are increasing at 15% p.a. Your company may not be performing well due to many factors like Rupee depreciation, high interest rates, or lack of quality manpower 😉 BUT this will not affect the rising medical costs in any way. So better be prepared.
MFB: Does the Policies available in market cover parents also.
Me: There are few available with this feature, but it’s always better to get your parents separate insurance cover. As in there age the probability of Health problems is more. Moreover, I am not saying to disown the employer’s policy, which will also be continued along with this. In fact, at the time of claim one should first use employer’s health insurance policy only, and let your separate policy accumulate no claim bonuses into it.
MFB: I think that I should buy a separate policy, once I get married.
Me: Your wish. If you are sure that you can never be diagnosed with any illness before marriage, that your employer’s policy coverage will be enough for any kind of medical problem, you will not face any gap in 2 jobs, you have no other goals in life which requires your attention and finances…then you may delay it till your marriage.
MFB: Fine bhaiya…you have actually cleared my doubts. I will check up with the companies there Health Insurance plans and will come over to you next month to discuss the suitable one. Chalo then, gotta go. Catch you later. Bye.
I don’t know whether he’ll buy any policy or not…but it is wise to have a separate health insurance policy in your portfolio other than your employer provided coverage. Moreover, one should always keep on reviewing the Insurance porfolio time by time. Don’t wait for any emergency and get it done today.
If you have some queries related to health insurance, just like MFB, then do post on the comments section.