Health emergencies can knock on the door without warning, and yet a very small fraction of people in India in their early 20s take out health insurance. Most of them realize the importance of health insurance coverage in their 30s or 40s. While there is no wrong age for health insurance, financial experts recommend getting health insurance early in your career.
The outbreak of the COVID pandemic has made people aware of the many health insurance plans available in the market. Additionally, the presence of online platforms has made purchasing health insurance easier than ever. There are many benefits of health insurance, including medical expenses coverage, critical illness coverage, and tax benefits, among others.
Here are 10 reasons why professionals in their 20s should get health insurance.
Pros and cons of health insurance portability – when and how to port
Affordable Premium: Choosing health insurance at the age of 20 gives you more time to pay your premiums and the premium rate becomes more affordable. You’ll pay significantly higher premiums in your 30s and 40s for the same coverage.
No waiting time: Most health insurance companies have a fixed waiting period. During this time, you will not be able to make any claims, even in the event of a health emergency. Therefore, buying a policy in your 20s is a wise idea, as most illnesses appear in old age when you’ve exhausted your waiting period.
comprehensive coverage: It’s difficult to get good insurance coverage when you already have a medical condition. However, if you take out health insurance in your 20s, any illness diagnosed after you take out is automatically covered in the policy.
Low rejection rate: If you are healthy, you can negotiate the best health insurance. As you age and develop illnesses, it becomes difficult to find health insurance that meets all of your needs.
Tax Benefits: Aside from covering medical expenses, health insurance policies are also an attractive tax saving tool as premiums paid for the plan fall under Section 80D of the Income Taxes Act 1961.
modern lifestyle: Pollution, long working hours, lack of exercise and junk food have increased the likelihood of contracting the disease in modern times. Therefore, it is advisable to take out health insurance to cover the rising cost of health insurance.
Bonus: Most insurance companies offer a cumulative bonus—often on the order of 5-10 percent of the sum insured—if you haven’t applied for health insurance in the previous year. This is more likely in your 20s when you are relatively healthy compared to later ages.
Pre-Medical Screening: If you decide to get health insurance in your 30s or 40s, the company may ask for your health check report. If the report is not encouraging, companies charge a higher premium. However, if you take out the policy at an early age, you may not even need a pre-medical exam.
Insufficient employer coverage: In view of rising healthcare costs, employers’ health insurance often falls short in times of need. Employer health insurance may sound superficially attractive, but it is hardly comprehensive. It is therefore advisable to take out your own health insurance in addition to the benefits provided by your employer.
Better financial management: Purchasing health insurance when you are young means you don’t have to set aside savings for unforeseen medical expenses. It allows a person to convert finances into other long-term investments.
(Edit: Sudarshanan Mani)