Importance of Buying Health Insurance at an Early Age

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‘When should you buy a health insurance?’ This is a question that most of us have in our minds. Well, while there is no specific age to get health insurance to secure yourself or your family, but the sooner you get one the better. There are various benefits of getting health insurance early. In this article, we will explore the advantages of buying health insurance plans at an early age.

We all know the importance of having health insurance in today’s day and age. While the life expectancy of people has increased in the past decade so has the penetration of diseases and chronic conditions making the younger generation its victim in hoards. It isn’t unheard of for young people suffering from lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other such conditions. Being diagnosed with any such chronic condition can be devastating. Add to it the cost of treatment and ongoing medical care, it will only increase your anxiety and make you stress about your future. This is why having health insurance becomes crucial. A comprehensive health insurance plan can take care of your medical needs and ensure your savings are safe to live life on your terms.

Even if you are someone who takes utmost care to stay healthy and fit – eat right, exercise, sleep well, meditate, walk, jog or run every day – your health can still take an unexpected turn for the worse. Because matters with health are unpredictable. While healthy habits can keep lifestyle diseases and other health crises at bay, you never know when you fall victim to one, especially if you have a family history of any chronic condition. So, buying a health insurance policy to secure yourself from such pitfalls is crucial. Many people think that with youth on their side, buying health insurance can wait. This is where they make the mistake. Buying insurance at a later stage in life can come with its challenges – higher premiums, major exclusions, limited coverage and more.

Here are some advantages of buying health insurance at an early age

Lower Premium Rates: Did you know your age is a significant factor while calculating your premium? Most insurance companies charge a higher premium to the older population as compared to the younger ones. The reason is, with age your risk of falling sick often or getting associated with a medical condition increases. So, a higher premium is calculated to cover the impending medical costs and hospitalisation. On the other hand, when you are young in your 20s or early 30s, the chances of getting a comprehensive healthcare plan at a lower premium increases. You can get access to wider coverage like – hospital expenses, diagnostic costs, pre and post-hospitalisation expenses, and ambulance changes at a lower premium.

No Medical Check-Up Needed: Most health insurance companies demand a medical check-up for people above the age of 40 before issuing them a policy. This is done to ensure if there is any underlying medical condition that needs attention or can pose a hindrance later, like in times of claims or during a hospitalisation. These medical tests usually bring to light a medical condition that can increase the premium rates considerably. When you are young you can skip this medical test and still secure yourself at a lower premium for comprehensive coverage.

Completing Waiting Period: Remember waiting period and coverage for pre-existing diseases are two important factors in your health insurance policy. Most health insurance policies do not cover certain pre-existing diseases as mentioned in their policy or have a waiting period for the same. In general, most companies have a waiting period of two to three years after the issuance of the policy. During this period you cannot place a claim for any hospitalisation or medical emergency for a pre-existing disease. When you buy a policy at an early age, you can easily complete your waiting period as most of the illnesses mentioned usually show up in the later stages of life or as one age. If you have a family history of any disease, you should be armed with health insurance for any such eventuality. Having health insurance early and completing the waiting period would only mean that you are prepared to face any crisis without having to think of your finances in the last hour.

No Claim Bonus: Most health insurance policies have a feature of a no-claim bonus where if you don’t make a claim in the first year or first two years you get a refill on your sum insured which can be up to 50% of your sum insured or as mentioned in your policy. This means you will be paying the same premium while renewing for a bigger sum insured. This will benefit you in the future if you add your family members to the policy. To ensure that your entire family stay protected and secure you can also opt to buy a health insurance plan for family to avail these benefits.

Lower Rejection Rates: When you buy a health insurance policy at an early age there are chances that your policy will be issued without any hiccups as there are fewer chances of it getting rejected due to an underlying health condition or pre-existing disease as compared to a 60-year-old.

Better Choice Of Plans: Since at a younger you are less likely to have any health issues or be prone to any illness you can choose from the bouquet of plans that are there on offer. You might most likely end up buying a plan of your choice and on your terms, do your customisation about the add-ons you would like to include, without much restrictions.

Tax Benefits: Another reason to invest in health insurance is the tax benefit. Under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you can claim deductions for payment of health insurance premiums. When you invest young, you get to enjoy these benefits for a longer period. You can claim tax deductions of up to Rs.25,000 for buying health insurance policies for yourself, your spouse, and your dependent children. You can claim an additional Rs.25,000 if you buy health insurance for your parents. If your parents are aged over 60, the limit increases to Rs.50,000.

The Take Home Message

Most people wait for too long before investing in a health insurance plan. But it would be ideal if you invest in one after you get your first paycheck. You will be able to enjoy the benefits for a prolonged period and stay secure from any eventuality. One biggest advantages of buying health insurance at an early age is that you get the freedom to choose your plan from the various options laid in front of you without many restrictions or rejections.

This article is part of a featured content programme.
Published 26 June 2024, 11:57 IST

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