TomorrowMakers

Women are prone to certain medical conditions that are simply not relevant to men. Hence, having the right protection is a must for all women.

Women need health insurance plans that are designed specifically for them. This is simply because certain illnesses are specific to women. Yet, most women are merely part of their family health insurance plan. Or, are part of a group cover, provided by their employer.

Ideally, you must have your own insurance plan. Why? Because it offers better financial security and medical treatment options. Additionally, if your health plan does not cover critical illnesses, buying a specific critical illness cover is essential. Here are the seven women-specific conditions that you must be insured for.

Breast cancer: Recent research shows that breast cancer is the most common form of cancer. It occurs in 25.8 per 100,000 women and the mortality rate is 12.7 per 100,000 women. Additionally, the possibility of early onset makes it a matter of grave concern.

Ovarian cancer: Ovarian cancer is another common form of cancer that affects women in India. A critical illness or cancer plan must address this, as it can help treat and even prevent the occurrence as many policies provide free check-ups. Some plans offer benefits depending on the stage or severity of the disease, while some offer a premium waiver. It is important you check all these details with your insurer before buying the policy.

Vaginal cancer: Primary vaginal cancer is different from cervical cancer. It does not affect the external cervical or the vulva. It is believed that about 80% of all vaginal cancer is metastatic. So, a robust health insurance plan is necessary to deal with the treatment.

Cervical cancer: On an average, 1,22,844 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, annually. The National Health Portal estimates it to be the second-most common cancer afflicting women between 15 and 44 years of age. Getting yourself insured could reduce healthcare costs significantly. It can also help you get the necessary treatment at the right time.

 

Maternity: Pregnancy is a natural thing. Since it is not a ‘disease’, many insurers do not cover maternity expenses under a regular health plan. Some health covers do have in-built maternity benefits, but the covered amount may only be 5% of the total requirement. In some cases, there could also be a waiting period. A maternity cover, on the other hand, would include hospital expenses, and may also cover your newborn baby for a certain period, depending on the selected policy.

Congenital disability: This covers children born with congenital disabilities like Down’s Syndrome, cleft lip and palate, and so on. The insurance company pays a part of the sum insured for the treatment of the child.

Cosmetic surgery after accidents: Many health insurance policies also offer accident benefits and cover additional treatment after an accident. However, you must make sure that cosmetic reconstruction is part of the cover you are buying.

Things to remember

  • Each insurer covers at least a few of the many critical illnesses prevalent. Check, in detail, what illnesses your policy protects you from and how much of cover you are entitled to. Consider your genetic history and talk to your physician about what illnesses you could be prone to.
  • The waiting period is also a factor to take into account. Some policies cover you from day one, while others could have a waiting period of six months to a year or more from the date of buying. This is particularly relevant for illnesses that call for hospitalisation.
  • There are other considerations, too; cashless hospitalisation being one of the biggest, followed by income tax benefits. Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, the premium you pay for health insurance is tax-deductible. Some policies also include compensation for job loss after a critical illness.
  • Know your exact entitlements. See if you can get a daily hospitalisation cash benefit. Insurers provide benefits like post-hospitalisation treatment reimbursement and discounts for health check-ups, among other things.

In conclusion, your genetic history and current health may show the kind of coverage you need. But there are many other aspects, too. Critical illnesses are, of course, not predictable. Weigh all the factors with care. But do buy your insurance without further delay. With healthcare costs increasing by 15-18% annually, it is best to have this protection sooner rather than later.

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