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Have you included health insurance in your shopping list?

If you haven’t yet purchased a health insurance plan, do so at the earliest. It can literally be the difference between life and ill health.

The concept of 'good health' has been hardwired into our psyches down the ages. Ancient yogis and healers preached the virtues of nutritious food, enough rest and sufficient exercise to all. Realms upon realms of texts point to the use of herbs and fresh produce in Indian medicine. By these parameters, we should be a nation in excellent health.

But we are not. The stress of making a living, battling high costs and inflation take a toll on our bodies. We begin to fall ill more often as our immunity is compromised and we are constantly anxious. Lack of sleep and junk food contribute to our ill health. There comes a time when one needs sustained treatment and even hospitalisation to get better.

Taking health insurance can help
Adding to these woes is the fact that you may be insufficiently protected against the financial pitfalls of ill health. Getting treatment and undergoing hospitalisation are extremely expensive in India. These can upset your budget for months to come.

On the contrary, a person who takes health insurance need not worry about the financial repercussions of poor health. But taking health insurance promises complete peace of mind in today's day and age.

Types of health insurance in India
We are fortunate to have a well-developed insurance universe that offers several excellent products customised to suit many needs. Accordingly, you will find a one-policy-fits-all family insurance approach working as smoothly as individual insurance does.

The most popular category of plans among the types of health insurance in India is the family floater plan that includes the policy holder, his partner and dependent parents and children. There is a range of family insurance plans available in India, with varying sum assured and benefits. Another category is the individual mediclaim, while still another is cashless mediclaim for both individuals and families.

Companies in India can also buy group health insurance policies. Many large sized businesses in India today offer health cover to their employees – this coverage is often extended to employees' family members as well.

A significant addition to the health insurance spectrum in India is the critical illness insurance plan. It takes care of the high costs of treating a serious disease like cancer, from diagnosis to post-operative treatment.
Health insurance benefits
The benefits of health insurance are many. Primary among these are their propensity to take care of the family expenses even when the policy holder is absent in the future.

A key benefit of health insurance is that it gives one the confidence to seek medical treatment in a timely fashion. Too often, people are sceptical about going to the doctor because they fear they will have to undergo expensive testing and surgeries.

Many excellent health insurance policies also pay for the costs associated with hiring an ambulance, daily cash spends and post-operative therapy. The cashless medical plans are also a boon since they pay for the policy holder's treatment and hospitalisation without the holder having to shell out a single rupee for the same.