pays for your hospital bills for diagnostics, surgery etc.
“A woman is like a tea bag – you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water,” said American writer-activist Eleanor Roosevelt.
As true as this epigram may be, when and if you land up in ‘hot water’ with your health, you would need more than just strength to come out alright.
As a twenty-first century Indian woman – a homemaker or an at-home off-work mom, or a working mom or a single working professional lady – you ought to give health insurance a serious thought.
The unfortunate scenario of a critical illness knocking at your door can be faced with the aid of the right health insurance cover for a woman. While the treatment for such diseases as may be specific to women’s health can be long-drawn, expensive and entail major lifestyle modifications, you could also be faced with the inability to continue work among other challenges.
Reaching into your savings or taking a loan at a time of illness is surely not the best plan for life. In view of health and lifestyle changes, and greater pressures accruing from multiple roles at work, at home and in relationships, women have more than usual health cover needs in the present-day scenario. Yet, they are traditionally known to have a better lifespan as compared to men. So, you have a case for health cover specific to the needs of a woman.
Look at health policies from various insurance players in the Indian market and choose your ‘mate’ in this life-long journey of wellness riddled with unpredictable visitors in illnesses.
Most of these health policies targeting women specifically claim to provide insurance for costs including hospitalization expenses, critical illness cover and cover against congenital disabilities that affect new-born babies.
For instance, Tata AIG Wellsurance Woman plan claims to pay a lump sum if the policyholder is diagnosed with one of the eleven critical illnesses – cancer and heart diseases included. It is a health policy that combines hospitalization benefit with critical illness cover. Giving daily cash benefit in the scenario of hospitalization, it offers you a lot. Yet, it is advisable to club this one with a regular health insurance plan to cover hospitalization.
Similarly, Bajaj Allianz Women-Specific Critical Illness Insurance pays half the sum assured upon the birth of a child.
Let’s see “what women want” or what are the main features women should want from their health insurance plan.
Competing against time, traffic and co-workers, battling two or more often completely different spaces at work, home and maternal home, and eventually leading a stress-filled, less wellness-oriented schedule – here is the modern urban Indian woman for you.
As a result, more and more women are facing issues like inability to conceive or infertility as well as others could be dealing with health complications due to delayed pregnancy.
Even when they conceive, urban Indian women during have a unique life event that makes them more at health risk than their male counterparts – pregnancy. Medical needs during pregnancy, at the time of childbirth and afterwards are costly affairs in the current scenario.
Hence, infertility and maternity cover are a must for most adult working women.
As the modern Indian woman‘s lifestyle is packed tight with taxing work and home schedules leaving less time for fitness, women are equally at risk when it comes to critical illnesses like heart diseases and cancer. In turn, it makes them prone to obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other factors which lead to coronary artery diseases.
The high prevalence of many kinds of cancer unique to women such as cancer of breast, cervix, ovaries, and others, has also put greater demands on the savings of women.
Critical illness benefits are of utmost important when choosing a health policy as a woman.
Now, that is what one must look out for – companies offering differential premiums to women for health insurance in India. A few health insurance companies like Bajaj Allianz, Cigna TTK and Aditya Birla Health are known to offer this benefit to ladies – of a lower premium vis-à-vis a male in the same age scenario. Similarly, many other companies offer a differential premium now on health policies covering critical illnesses following from the perceived risk of women as compared to men.
Do not ignore recovery benefits or the cover provided by a health insurance policy for incidentals incurred by the patient due to an extended stay in the hospital for recovery. These convalescence benefits may be offered after a period of hospitalization is completed. For instance, if you happen to lose income due to absence from your job on account of your hospital stay, it would be your recovery benefit. Look out for such features, when choosing your health policy.
It goes without saying, that you must explore the scope, benefits, riders and exclusions that come as a part of the deal with a health insurance policy – comparing pricing as well. Better still, go for a general health insurance policy and couple it up with a health policy for women that give you critical illness or maternity benefits.
It is advisable to put aside some money to fund this need which you could be faced with in all probability in the future.
It is a well-known fact that women are not paid equal to men in most Indian companies, and it is something that even women in the West have complained about. While this situation remains to be checked through alteration in corporate mind-sets and policymakers in the government departments, buying a health policy for a woman is looked at as an unnecessary extra burden, while it is just the opposite.
This financial cover in times of medical exigencies can be the best possible friend you can count on. It also lets her lead a life free from stress for the unpredictable events of the future. Whatever comes your way, you will find yourself ready for it!