Image for representational purpose only (Image Courtesy: AFP Relaxnews)
Although, diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, polycystic ovaries, female sexual arousal disorder, cardiovascular and thyroid diseases are on a rise in women, when it comes to buying health insurances, women are still lagging behind. As per the IRDA Insurance Awareness Survey Report, 2012 merely 39% of total women have opted out for health policy and out of these only 22% have their own health insurance plan whereas the rest depend upon the policies bought by their fathers or husbands.
There are a number of factors contributing to this, but one major factor is the lack of awareness in women. There are good number of insurance plans covering maternity and female specific health problem expenses. However, the takers are very few due to the lack of awareness. Moreover, as women are charged more than men, because they utilise more medical services than men due in part to longer life expectancies, greater likelihood of chronic disease and disability, and the need for reproductive care, many women prefer getting included in their husband’s or father’s insurance.
Thus, here’s why women need to buy a separate health insurance:
Sedentary lifestyle and critical diseases
As women age, their health needs and coverage utilization also changes. The main culprit is the sedentary lifestyle, owing to which not only have women health issues escalated but also have become more complex in nature. Potential health risks are high in women, right from cardiovascular diseases, heart ailments to breast cancer, osteoporosis. Thus, having the right health insurance is important, so that however critical the illness is, one’s financial independence remains unaffected.
One of the major reason for every women to have a separate health insurance is the rising cost of medical treatment of the mostly occuring women diseases in India such as endometriosis, seropositive rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis with pathological fracture, polycystic ovarian syndrome and uterine fibroids.
Unsurprisingly, these diseases affect women of all ages but their severity increases with increase in the age. Thus, it is important for women to financially secure their future.
Maternity benefit and health insurance
Motherhood holds a special significance in a woman’s life. In the present scenario, the event of childbirth has also become an expensive affair. The fact that more and more couple are opting for Caesarian section as opposed to the normal delivery; ratio rate now stands to 65:35. This has led to the rise in treatment costs.
In India, maternity insurance is not an exclusive insurance product, rather it is offered as an additional benefit to its loyal customers and one can claim maternity benefits only after 3-6 years of buying and renewing the policy.
Buying a health insurance isn’t just about protecting yourself, it is also about investing in yourself. We invest in things that are important to us like our education, family and home. But isn’t health the most important, since we require a sound health to take advantage of the great things coming in the future. Make sure you have a health insurance that covers all your needs.