• Top 10 reasons to buy health insurance at a young age

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    Awareness about health insurance has increased significantly in the recent years. A few decades ago, people never bothered about having health insurance at a young age as it was quite uncommon for a young person to contract any major illnesses. The changing lifestyle of the modern generation has brought with it a host of new health issues. Diseases that were once considered to be a result of old age are now seen among the young population too.

    If you are young and single, you may not feel the need to invest in a health insurance policy. However, many young people are now realizing the importance of having health insurance even at a very young age. The whole idea of waiting till you reach thirty or forty before signing up for health insurance is no longer valid. The following list gives you 10 good reasons as to why it is good to have a medical insurance policy even at a young age.

    1. Low cost of premiums

    Without a doubt, this is one of the major reasons why many young working professionals consider opting for health insurance. If you are a healthy 30-year old male, you can get a Rs.3 lakh individual cover from a top health insurance company for as little as Rs.5,000 per year. By shelling out a small premium charge, you can get protection at a much higher level.

    2. Exhaustion of waiting period

    Most health insurance covers come with a waiting period for specific conditions. For instance, most plans provide maternity coverage after a waiting period of 2 to 4 years. Also, certain conditions like kidney ailments, arthritis, cataract, etc. have specific waiting periods under most policies. When you sign up young, you can exhaust this waiting period by the time you might actually need this benefit.

    3. Cumulative bonus

    All major health insurance companies provide cumulative benefits when no claims are made during a particular policy year. This accumulated bonus will boost the sum insured amount up to 50% in most cases. There are insurers who provide up to 100% increase in sum insured with the help of a rider cover. If you enter young, you can get a significant boost in cumulative bonus by the time you become older. The additional sum insured amount available here might come in handy when you actually need to spend for a medical expense.

    4. Range of benefits

    Health insurance plans are not just limited to hospitalisation benefits. Most plans in the market offer coverage for various things like day care procedures, domiciliary treatment, OPD expenses, drugs and medicines, ambulance charges, etc. This type of end-to-end coverage make your investment more worthwhile. Even if you are not hospitalised, you can use the above mentioned benefits without burning a hole in your pocket.

    5. Unpredictable illnesses

    The exceeding number of illnesses caused by sedentary lifestyle has made things worse in the recent years. A few decades ago, certain illnesses like heart diseases, kidney ailments, cancer, stroke, etc. were common only among people over 60 years of age. This no longer seems to be the case. While healthcare has significantly improved in the recent years, so has the number of diseases threatening young people. Considering the range of unpredictable illnesses, it is wise to invest a small amount in health insurance even if you are still in your twenties.

    6. Better financial planning

    Investing in health insurance from a very young age can lead to better financial planning. The cost of health insurance will increase as you age. When you start the investing habit from a young age, you can get into the habit of setting aside adequate money for premium charges every year. In return for the money spent, you can get yourself protected from various unforeseen medical expenses.

    7. Minimal chances of rejection

    After a certain age, most health insurance companies require applicants to undergo a medical test during the time of entry. If there are any major ailments, there is a big chance that your application might get rejected by the company. Even if your application is accepted, you may have to wait for 2 to 4 years to get coverage for pre-existing illnesses. When you enter a health insurance cover at a young age, there is a very minimal chance of getting rejected.

    8. Lack of flexibility in employer health insurance

    If you are a working professional, it is most likely that your employer might provide you with a health insurance cover. While this is a valuable benefit, it may not be adequate for everyone. Employer-provided covers provide only the basic form of coverage, and there will not be any option to customize the policy cover. When you buy medical insurance on your own, you can make sure that all your needs are addressed through your medical insurance policy.

    9. Better coverage options

    Health insurance companies offer a range of options for young policyholders. As you age, the options available to you will become limited. Though most health insurance policies have a wide entry age, certain conditions set forth by the insurer may deem you unfit to take a specific policy cover. When you enter a cover at a young age, you can also get access to the loyalty benefits provided by an insurer.

    10. Income tax benefit

    Most working professionals pay income tax. The premium amount paid for health insurance is eligible for income tax benefit as per section 80D of the IT Act. By investing in health insurance, you can take advantage of the tax benefit offered to you. It is not a good idea to invest in health insurance for the sole purpose of tax relief. The tax relief available here is an extra benefit in addition to all the above mentioned benefits of taking a health insurance policy at a young age.

    Conclusion

    In the recent years, it has become a necessity to have health insurance no matter what one’s age is. When you enter a health insurance cover at a much older age, the cost-to-benefit ratio may not be that significant. Besides, the financial security offered by a health insurance plan brings in the much needed peace of mind. If you are a young person starting your financial planning, make sure that it include health insurance as well.

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