Don’t rely on your company health insurance

In short:

  • Your company’s health cover may not be enough for some diseases
  • If you don’t have a job, you won’t have an insurance cover
  • Your employer might change the group insurance policy
  • The older you get, the more expensive insurance policies become
  • Get personal health insurance by comparing plans online
  • Coverage of ₹3 lakh to ₹5 lakh is a good start for most people

At length:

First of all, health insurance is very important. Health problems usually come out of the blue and can potentially derail your finances. Without insurance, you will end up paying from your pocket and given how expensive surgery, hospitalization and medication is these days, you can end up facing a serious financial crisis. The effect will get compounded if your income dries up as well because of the health issues you are facing. Hence, it is best to have a good health cover. It is, in a way, a good investment to make.

A lot of salaried earners don’t buying a health cover because they are covered by their company’s group insurance policy. But, depending solely on your company’s health cover is a mistake. Here is why you should have personal health insurance:

  • How much insurance cover your employer provides is at their discretion. It may not be adequate for some disease that you face
  • The minute you leave your job, you are not insured by the company’s cover anymore. If there is a gap between two jobs, you will be uninsured during that period
  • Your employer might change the group policy coverage, something that you have no say in. It could even happen that your new employer might provide lesser coverage than your previous employer
  • The older you get, the more expensive health insurance policies become

For all of these reasons, you should have a health insurance policy of your own. They are not expensive and you can claim an income tax deduction under Section 80D of up to ₹25,000 on the annual health insurance premium you pay.

If you are buying a health insurance policy for your own self, a coverage of ₹3 lakh to ₹5 lakh would suffice. If you have a family to support, go for a higher coverage and include your family members in the policy.

You can compare plans online on websites like PolicyBazaar, BankBazaar, CoverFox & MyInsuranceClub and buy the policy through them or directly through the insurance company. LiveMint carries Mediclaim ratings that can be used to decide on an insurance policy to buy.

We’d like to recommend a plan right here, but there is no single health insurance plan that fits everyone’s needs. What you should buy depends on how old you are, how much you earn, where you live, your family members and their health status. That said, buying a health insurance policy is not as overwhelming as it sounds. Spend a little time doing the research and comparing plans. But buy a personal health insurance policy as soon as possible. Don’t rely on your company cover.

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