Indian women today are more aware and confident. They know their responsibilities and their rights and are more willing to take control of their lives. Women are taking up different types of corporate responsibilities and they are quite active in defense services as well. They are able to do their jobs with excellence and ease.

Women are also more health conscious and work towards their physical and mental well-being. A good health insurance plan is an excellent way to help women move towards their better progress. As women-related health issues increase combined with rising medical costs, a health insurance plan provides them with peace of mind and financial security.

Here are six benefits of health insurance plans for women.

  1. Cashless hospitalization

Most insurance companies tie up with hospitals and medical facilities to offer cashless hospitalization to their policyholders. This means, when you seek treatment at one of the network facilities, you do not have to pay towards the treatment costs as covered under the health insurance plan.

You must simply provide the policy number that you receive when you buy health insurance to the medical facility. The hospital directly receives the money towards your treatment from the insurance company.

Cashless hospitalization is convenient and reduces the efforts required to fill out forms that are needed when you file for a claim. Moreover, you do not have to suffer from the additional stress of arranging for cash while being treated for your medical condition.

  • Pre and post hospitalization expenses

Based on the type of coverage you purchase; health insurance benefits may include pre and post hospitalization expenses. The coverage may be between 30 and 60 days and varies from one insurer to another. Under this benefit, expenses incurred for a certain period prior to hospitalization and post-discharge are reimbursed by the insurance company. It is recommended you read the terms and conditions to clearly understand such coverage.

  • Ambulance charges

Some insurance companies include the ambulance charges incurred to transport you to the hospital under the health insurance plan. A few other insurers offer this benefit as an add-on at an extra premium. It is important that you check with the insurance company about this coverage before you make your purchase decision.

  • Outpatient department expenses

Traditionally, coverage under a health insurance plan was available only if you were admitted for at least 24 hours. However, with medical advancement and technical development, several conditions may be treated without requiring any hospitalization. These are known as day care procedures. Most insurance companies recognize these procedures and offer compensation even when you are not hospitalized for the treatment.

  • No claim bonus

This is offered as an incentive by the insurance companies to encourage you to take care of your health and well-being. The insurers offer a No Claim Bonus (NCB), which accumulates for every year during which you do not file a claim under the health insurance plan. A majority of the insurance companies offer you a discount on the renewal premium through the accumulated NCB.

  • Tax benefits

Another advantage when you procure health insurance coverage is the tax benefits. Under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the premium paid towards the health insurance plan is eligible for tax benefits. You are able to take advantage of a tax rebate for the premium paid for an individual health plan or for a family floater health insurance policy.

Several insurers provide different types of health plans designed for women. If you are single and a working professional, a comprehensive plan is advisable. Such plans cover surgeries expenses, physician fees, hospitalization costs, room rent, and more. You may also include your parents and immediate family members under the health insurance plan.

The recommended health coverage if you are married is a family floater plan that includes maternity benefits. These plans offer coverage to you, your spouse, and children. It is recommended you compare different plans to make the right decision.

If you are older, it is advisable to opt for a health plan designed for senior citizens. Such health plans are catered to meet the specific needs of individuals over 60 years of age. Before you make a decision, you must check for lifetime renewal, nursing, and pre and post hospitalization coverage for maximum benefits. Moreover, choose a plan that offers a lesser waiting period along with coverage for pre-existing health conditions. For more security, you may include critical illness coverage along with your basic health insurance plan.

Even the best health insurance planhas certain exclusions. Some of the common exclusions include cosmetic procedures, diagnostic expenses, dental treatment costs, and pre-existing medical conditions. Most insurance companies also do not provide coverage for alternative treatments, such as Unani, Ayurveda, and Naturopathy. It is crucial you know the exclusions beforehand to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future.

Stressful careers, unhealthy eating habits, and lack of exercise are primary reasons why lifestyle-related illnesses are rising in India. Moreover, women-related health issues, such as breast cancer are also on the rise and affecting women at an early age. Treating such conditions is a long-term and expensive process. If you do not purchase a health insurance policy, treating these conditions may become a huge drain on your financial well-being. Therefore, it is important that you avail of such coverage at the earliest and enjoy peace of mind in case you are diagnosed with any illness.

By Chakraborty

Dr Chakrabarty is the Chief Innovation Officer of IntuiComp TeraScience. Earlier she was Assistant Professor of Delhi University, a QS ranked university in India. Before that she has held research positions in IIT Mumbai, IIT Chennai and IISc Bangalore. She holds 2 patents and over 20 research publications in her name which are highly cited. Her area of research is in smart technologies, integrated devices and communications. She also has a penchant for blogging and is an editor of Business Fundas.

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