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I was personally always covered by the health insurance/medi-claim provided by my previous employer and thought that there is no need to have health insurance coverage for myself separately. The same even covered all my family members. It catered to all my health needs so I never looked around for additional health insurance.
There was some amendment in the health insurance scheme provided by my previous company and we were asked for our approvals on the same. During this time, I actually read the medi-claim policy of my employer. I noted the following points.
- The medi-claim was a 20% co-pay health insurance (i.e. every time there is any claim to be recovered, I have to personally bear 20% cost of the medical bills as the insurance company will reimburse only 80%).
- Siblings are not covered under the health insurance policy (my younger sister did not have a health insurance cover).
- I was paying INR 350 per month towards critical illness diseases and an additional cover of my parents (i.e. INR 8400 per annum towards a health insurance premium which did not even give me a 100% cover).
I knew there were certain immediate action points that I must take.
- I took a basic health insurance policy for my sibling.
- I also got a health insurance policy for my mother. I had been delaying it for the pre-existing clause and the policy was expensive due to her age and blood pressure issues. However, I realized the more I push it, it is going to become more expensive.
- When I decided to quit my job, I bought a health insurance policy for myself even before I put in my papers. In fact, I should have bought it the day I realized it was 20% co-pay. Nonetheless, later than never. I had quit my ex-employer in January 2016 and in February 2016, I had to be hospitalized for typhoid and all the expenses of my hospitalization were taken care off by my health insurance. Some may call it lucky, I call it smart financial planning.
Thus, one cannot completely rely on the health insurance provisions of the employer. I have listed below various reasons why you should not rely 100% on your employer’s health insurance policy.
- When you change your jobs – The earlier you buy insurance, the better and cheaper it is for you. Thus, if at the age of 40, you wish to change your job or retire early, your new employer may not provide your health insurance and buying one now could be very expensive or not possible.
- An employer may decide to change the configuration of the health insurance: The employer may even decide to reduce the members of your family to be covered at its expense or update certain conditions like introduce co-pay, refuse to cover pre or post hospitalization expenses etc. In such a scenario, though you would still be covered, the expenses to be incurred by you will definitely increase.
- Post-retirement: The health insurance provided by your employer shall in majority cases not extend post your retirement. Health Insurance may not be available for you in the years where it is most needed and you may not be able to obtain one during your retirement. Hence, buying a basic health insurance plan today itself (in spite of having one from your employer) is one of the major steps you can do for your financial plan.
Many of us do not buy the right financial products merely out of laziness, endangering our savings and future financial plan. Almost everyone knows the cost associated with a sudden health problem, in spite of that many of us refuse to obtain good and appropriate health insurance for self.
Read more about health insurance and things to focus on in our Article http://www.wealthcafe.in/health-insurance-things-to-note/