Health emergencies could come knocking on doors without much warning and yet a very small section of people in India purchase health insurance policies in their early 20s. Most of them realise the importance of health insurance cover in their 30s or 40s. While there is no wrong age to go for a health insurance plan, financial experts suggest buying a health insurance policy in the early stages of one’s career.
The outbreak of the COVID pandemic has made people more aware of the several health insurance plans available in the market. Besides, purchasing a health insurance policy has become easier than ever with the presence of online platforms. There are several benefits of having a health insurance plan, including coverage against medical expenses, coverage against critical illnesses, and tax benefits, among others.
Here are 10 reasons why professionals should buy a health insurance policy in their 20s.
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Affordable premiums: When you opt for a health insurance policy in your 20s, you get more time to pay the premiums and hence, the premium rate becomes more affordable. For the same cover, you would pay a significantly higher premium in your 30s and 40s.
No waiting period: Most health insurance plans have a certain waiting period. During this period, you cannot make any claims, even in case of a health emergency. Therefore, buying a policy in your 20s is a wise idea as most illnesses start showing up with older age, by when you would have exhausted your waiting period.
Comprehensive coverage: It is tough to get a good insurance cover when you already have a medical condition. However, when you buy a health insurance plan in your 20s, any ailment diagnosed after the purchase is automatically included in the policy.
Lower rejection rate: You will be able to negotiate the best health insurance policy when you are healthier. As you age and develop ailments, it becomes difficult to get a health insurance plan that covers all your needs.
Tax benefits: Apart from the coverage you get against medical expenses, health insurance policies are also a lucrative tax-saving instrument as premiums paid towards the plan come under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Modern lifestyle: Pollution, long working hours, lack of physical activity and junk food have increased the chances of developing an ailment in today’s times. Hence, it is advised to get a health insurance cover to gain security from rising healthcare costs.
Bonus: Most insurance companies offer a cumulative bonus — often in the range of 5-10 percent of the sum insured — when you don’t file any health insurance claim in the preceding year. This is more likely to happen in your 20s when you are relatively healthier than at a later age.
Pre-medical screening: When you opt for a health insurance plan in your 30s or 40s, the company may ask you for your health check-up report. If the reports are not encouraging, companies charge a higher premium. However, if you buy a policy at a younger age, you may not even need to undergo any pre-medical check-ups.
Insufficient employer coverage: In the wake of rising healthcare costs, the health coverage provided by employers often falls short in times of need. Employer’s medical insurance may seem attractive on the surface but it is hardly comprehensive. Therefore, it is prudent to buy your own health insurance policy on top of the coverage provided by your employer.
Better financial management: When you have a health insurance plan at an early age, there is not much need to separately save for any unforeseen medical expenses. This enables an individual to divert finances to other long-term investments.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)