By Amit Chhabra
Every year, November 14 is World Diabetes Day. The origin of this day dates back to 1991, when the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization created it to raise awareness about the risks associated with diabetes, such as heart disease. However, this day became official in 2007 when the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 61/225 recognizing November 14 as World Diabetes Day.
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the level of sugar in the blood (also known as blood glucose) is too high. Your body’s main source of energy is derived from blood glucose that comes from the food you eat. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin that helps glucose from food be absorbed into cells to be used for energy. However, sometimes your body does not make enough insulin.
Then the glucose stays in your blood and does not reach your cells. Eventually, the high glucose content in your body leads to ailments including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, etc. Diabetes is of three types of diabetes, namely type I, type II, and gestational diabetes.
The cost of chronic diseases like diabetes is skyrocketing. 25% of family income can be spent on diabetes in India according to studies. Contributing to diabetes care can have a huge impact on your savings and therefore affect your other important household expenses, such as children’s education, loan repayments, etc. Estimates say that direct spending on diabetes healthcare worldwide will be between $ 213 and $ 396 billion. in 2025. In some countries, this will be up to 40% of your total financial estimate. Therefore, a comprehensive health insurance plan can be helpful in protecting yourself financially in the event of a medical emergency.
There is a perception among consumers that people with a pre-existing condition do not get health insurance. This is why they often put off buying health insurance. However, this notion is definitely not true. Even if you have a pre-existing illness, you can easily get health insurance.
Today, insurers offer health insurance plans that provide advance coverage or coverage even from day one for pre-existing conditions. Traditionally, there is a waiting period for coverage of PEDs that is usually 3 to 4 years. This means that you cannot make a claim for treatment coverage for a PED before this duration. There are plans like Aditya Birla Activ Health Platinum Enhanced (Diabetes) and Activ Health Platinum Essential (Diabetes) that provide early coverage for diabetes. In these plans, OPD benefits are covered from Day 1 and hospitalization expenses are covered after 30 days for any complications arising from Diabetes. It has a free chronic driving program that kicks in if you develop a chronic condition after purchasing the policy. Offers medical consultation – 3 visits, Diagnostic tests – HBA1c and Creatinine. You also get reward points for staying healthy that lower your premium. It also offers access to experts in counseling sessions for medical, nutritional, fitness, mental, homeopathy teleconsultation.
Similarly, Star Health offers a plan called Diabetes Safe Plan-B that only has a 12-month wait for hospital expenses arising from complications of diabetes. Anyone with type I or type II diabetes mellitus can opt for this plan. The plan covers hospitalization expenses due to diabetes complications, such as room expenses, surgeon’s fees, blood, oxygen and diagnostic expenses, the cost of drugs and medications, etc. It also covers the cost of fasting and postprandial and HbA1C tests, once every six months. – up to Rs. 750 per event up to Rs. 1500 per policy period.
Share Your PED Before Buying Health Insurance
It is very important to disclose your medical history when purchasing health insurance. Often times, people make the mistake of not disclosing it. However, this can have serious consequences that lead to claim rejection later on. If you have a PED, always read the terms and conditions of a policy carefully before purchasing. Check the sublimits, copays, and room rental charges so you don’t have to shell out money out of pocket at the time of hospitalization. Lastly, you prefer to buy health insurance online because it is faster and reduces the chances of incorrect sales. Today, telemedics and video doctors have been introduced to help speed up the issuance of policies.
(Amit Chhabra is Head of Health Insurance for Policybazaar.com. Opinions expressed are personal)