Health Insurance is a need that has grown with the rise in costs of medical treatment. Every employed individual must set aside a certain sum to insure himself and his family members against ill health.
Very often, people do not think they need health insurance until they are in their 40's. This is when it can be costlier since health risks are higher as people age. But a financially prudent individual would try to obtain health insurance as soon as he /she starts working for the following reasons:
- Early entry, lower premium: Most health insurers now pay a no-claim bonus for the years in which no illness is reported and no claim is lodged by a policy holder. This usually leads to a discount on the premium. By entering the policy early and in good health, the policy holder can hope to pay a lower premiums by availing low-claim bonus.
- Get the best fit: While medical insurance coverage is essential keeping in mind rising medical costs, it takes some time to fully understand the features and benefits of various policies on offer and to take advantage of them. Now with health insurance becoming portable, customers can switch from one insurer to another if the latter offers a better deal like maternity coverage or critical illness riders at the same premium. This is possible only if the customer is young.
- Lifetime covers: Sometimes insurers cap late age of entry for a policy but provide lifetime covers to early entrants. In this case, it becomes an investment for the future as policyholders can gain from coverage in their later years when they are more likely to need it.
- Increased cover in later years: Some insurers also let policyholders increase coverage few years into a policy. The policy holder can actually take advantage of this to increase his health cover or take a family floater policy to include health insurance coverage to other family members.
- Lower waiting periods: Some policies have waiting periods before they cover certain illnesses or pre-existing diseases as declared by a policy holder. By entering the policy at an early age the policyholder can avail coverage for a longer period thereby benefiting him/her. This applies to other exclusions which are also subject to waiting periods.
- Peace of mind against uncertainty: While some diseases are covered only after a waiting period under certain policies, the benefits of medical insurance in case of accidents become almost immediately applicable after the premium is paid. Therefore, the policy holder can enjoy greater peace of mind against the uncertainty of life.
- Greater variety to suit needs: At a young age, customers are more likely to be eligible for a larger number of policies. This lets them choose the best plan while availing the best deals.
- Tax savings: Premium paid towards Health Insurance can be claimed as deductions U/S Sec 80D of the Income Tax Act, an individual opting for it can save up to Rs. 55,000 (if paying premiums up to Rs.25,000 for self and family+ Rs 30,000 for senior citizen parents) every year.
Considering the above factors, we can say that health insurance must be obtained early by the policyholder for him/her to fully reap its benefits.