Invest your money for your health anoxic ischemic encephalopathy

RS. Iyer, former senior manager with a private company, has barely settled into his retired life. He developed cardiac problems even as he was planning his retirement. The surgery that followed cost him rs 1.5 lakh. I had to redraw my retirement plan, he says.

Suresh shah (name changed), 40, a middle-level executive in a private company, had planned to retire early. He had an accident on his way home from work. After three months in a private hospital, innumerable tests and costly medication, he returned home, poorer by rs 2.5 lakh. I had just paid off my housing loan, and was gearing up to save and invest more so I could retire at 50.


And here I was, reeling under a financial haemorrhage because of something totally unexpected, he says.Anoxic ischemic encephalopathy

After the initial shock wore off, both shah and iyer saw where they had gone wrong. Despite well-meaning advice from my friends, I didn’t buy health insurance, says shah with a rueful smile.

Buy health cover now. Many argue that a health insurance premium is a waste of money. The wisdom of putting one’s money in something remunerative seems unquestionable — until something nasty happens. People take health insurance lightly. They feel they are fighting fit and shouldn’t waste money on the annual premium, says a GIC official.

But there are compelling reasons to waste your money — and sooner, rather than later. The cost of medication has gone up over the years. Health risks increase with age. The longer you put off buying medical insurance, the more expensive it will be, because premiums are higher for older buyers.Anoxic ischemic encephalopathy and after retirement, when you no longer have an income, you want to pay as small a premium as possible. So what if the annual premium is non-refundable? Your mediclaim cover increases by 5 per cent for every claim-free year (up to 10 claim-free years).

Managing risk. The first step is to list your health risks. These would be related to family history, occupation, lifestyle, living and work environment, and age. The second step is to assess the risks. How long will each risk last? Will it change as you grow older? Third, set priorities for coverage based on your resources and risk profile. Risks must be monitored throughout life.

What’s available. Not a whole lot of choices. Here’s the list: jan arogya bima and mediclaim (for individuals and groups) from general insurance corporation of india (GIC), and the senior citizen’s unit plan (SCUP) from the unit trust of india (UTI).Anoxic ischemic encephalopathy new india assurance has three plans that are essentially improved versions of mediclaim.

Mediclaim reimburses up to rs 3 lakh. New india’s plans reimburse up to rs 10 lakh. Jan arogya is like mediclaim, but the limit of rs 5,000 makes it unattractive. SCUP kicks in only after you cross the age of 58.

Unlike life insurance, a medical policy must be renewed every year by paying an annual premium. If you don’t do this on time, the insurance company will assess your risks afresh and issue a new policy.

MEDICLAIM

Anyone between five and 75 years can buy the plan. It covers treatment expenses up to rs 3 lakh. The first claim can be made 30 days after buying the policy. You can buy it from oriental insurance, national india assurance, new india insurance and united india insurance.Anoxic ischemic encephalopathy

Variations. You can also buy modified mediclaim from private marketing agencies like medicare services india or winners. Such firms market mediclaim for GIC or one of its subsidiaries. They pass on group discounts to customers in the form of ambulance service, standard premiums irrespective of age, and so on. Medicare’s scheme, for instance, has standard premiums that don’t increase with age as they do in GIC’s mediclaim. Credit card issuers and hospitals also offer such policies.

However, buying a policy through a private agency has pitfalls. Says a GIC official: group policies are tailor-made and may differ from mediclaim. Before paying up, go over the modifications carefully. A group policy may have a low premium, or may cover maternity expenses, which the standard policy doesn’t do.Anoxic ischemic encephalopathy but if a group turns out to have a high claim ratio, the premium may be hiked. Also, the agency may have bought the policy from another city or state than the one you live in. In that case, claims would be processed there, and it would be difficult for you to keep tabs on the procedure.

Some private agencies, like medicare and paramount healthcare management, have tied up with various hospitals nationwide. They will settle clients’ hospital bills directly. That saves you a harrowing scramble for money and a 45-180 day wait for reimbursement. Check if any hospitals in your city have a health scheme or service mediclaim.

Premiums. These vary with age. For instance, if you are below 45, you would pay an annual premium of rs 2,825 for a cover of rs 3 lakh.Anoxic ischemic encephalopathy it may go up to rs 4,030 for someone between 46-55 years, rs 4,635 for 56-65 years, rs 5,235 for 66-70 years, and rs 5,770 for 71-75 years. Premiums qualify for tax deduction up to rs 15,000.

Exclusions. Before buying the plan, check what’s not covered. For example, mediclaim does not cover pre-existing conditions, dental treatment and eye care.

Claim procedure. Be meticulous when filing claims. File all bills and prescriptions, and keep photocopies. Inform the insurance company within seven days of hospitalisation, injury or death. Make sure the preliminary notice contains all the required information. The claim, along with bills and required documents should be submitted to the company within 30 days of leaving the hospital.Anoxic ischemic encephalopathy

Consumer rights activists tell stories about insurance companies refusing to renew a policy after a few claims were filed. Not surprisingly, retired people are the worst hit. The best way out is to buy SCUP.

SCUP

Anyone between 18 and 54 years can join the scheme by paying a fixed amount. The amount depends on your age, and is not tax-exempt. After you cross 54, you and your spouse get a logbook. After 58, you are both covered for treatment costing up to rs 2.5 lakh at any of 184 hospitals in 55 cities. After you cross 61, the cover rises to rs 5 lakh after adjusting earlier claims. You pay nothing at the time of admission to or discharge from the hospital. After age 61, you may withdraw the accumulated amount or opt for an annual payment.Anoxic ischemic encephalopathy in any case, your insurance cover continues for life.

NEW INDIA’S NEW POLICIES

In january, new india insurance assurance introduced three improved versions of mediclaim. The first is tertiary care, which covers major illness like renal failure requiring a kidney transplant, cerebral or vascular strokes, heart surgery, malignancy diseases, encephalitis, neurosurgery and liver disorder.

The second is the long-term hospitalisation/domiciliary insurance policy. Apart from the usual mediclaim benefits, additional expenses like surgery of an organ donor are covered.

The third, the long-term retirement medical benefit plan, offers basic group mediclaim benefits. Anyone between 18 and 60 can buy the plan by paying a lumpsum or annual instalments.Anoxic ischemic encephalopathy cover ranges from rs 1 lakh to rs 10 lakh.

The first two polices have a rs 5 lakh limit, but offer longer terms than mediclaim: five to 10 years. However, contributions don’t qualify for exemption under section 80 D of the income-tax act.

The author’s e-mail address is mt@iinvestor.Com