Health is wealth: Everyone should have health insurance

The rising costs of health care place a burden on most households as most Indians continue to spend “out of pocket” on health care. India has one of the highest “out of pocket” in the world, which is over 60%.

According to a National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) 2015 survey, rural households primarily depended on their household income / savings (68%) and on borrowings (25%), while the urban households relied much more on their income / saving (75%) for financing expenditure on hospitalizations, and on (18%) borrowings. This is because not everybody in India has health insurance. People who have insurance constitute a very small percentage of the population. As a result, hundreds of families fall into the medical poverty trap every year due to high costs of health care.

Most of us who have cars also have car insurance as protection from damage due to accidents or floods or thefts, which often comes out to be a high amount. Yet, we abide by the policy requirements and pay annual premiums with no questions asked. Car insurance is a mandatory requirement under the Motor Vehicles Act.

So, when we can comply with the terms of the insurance policy, why can’t we do the same for our body? There is a very popular saying “Jaan hai to Jahan Hai” (If) theres life, then theres the world i.e. things matter, only if you are alive.

Government or PSU employees are automatically insured as ESI is compulsory. Many corporates have an insurance policy.

The Ayushman Bharat scheme or the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) provides insurance cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year at any government or empanelled private hospital all over India, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. More than 10 crore poor and economically deprived families and more than 50 crore people will be the beneficiaries of this scheme. This means that now all needy people will have an insurance of Rs 5 lakh with the premium paid by the government.

Health insurance protects against medical expenses, especially those that are unplanned for, when there may not be enough funds on hand to cover the cost of treatment in an emergency.

Everybody should have health insurance. It’s no longer an “option”; health insurance has become a necessity now.

Nothing is more valuable than good health. After all, “Health is wealth”.

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has partnered with the 26th Perfect Health Mela, which will be held from 18th to 20th October at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. Visit the LIC stall to know more about health insurance and choose the best policy for yourself and your family.

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