Special health plans for diabetics? You may wonder why. Read the statistics to know yourself. The International Diabetes Federation reported in 2017 that close to 73 million people in India were suffering from diabetes. The number will be much higher in 2022 and is estimated to touch around 134 million by 2045. The numbers are no doubt alarming. But the situation can turn disastrous if people do not take charge of their life & lifestyles.
Prevention is always better than cure. Proper food habits and regular exercise go a long way toward preventing the occurrence of diabetes. But apart from these lifestyle changes, genes & environmental factors also contribute to the massive rise in the number of diabetics across the world. People with diabetes are 3X more likely to get hospitalized for diseases as compared to others. Health insurance for diabetics is thus not a choice but a necessity.
Diabetes & Health Insurance
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in recent times. It is believed that the population of diabetics in any country is directly proportional to its economic prosperity. India is undoubtedly proving this to be right. Stress, long working hours, irregular & unhealthy eating, and a sedentary lifestyle make people a sitting duck for this dangerous disease.
Inadequate insulin secretion in diabetics can lead to an imbalance in blood sugar levels. So diabetes becomes a gateway to other diseases such as cardiac problems, kidney failure, and damage/loss of eyesight. Though health insurance is essential to everybody, a diabetes insurance plan is critical for diabetics as the risk is much higher for them. A diabetes insurance plan covers all the expenses related to diabetes-related treatments.
Need for a Separate Diabetes Insurance Plan
As discussed earlier, diabetics are highly vulnerable to other illnesses, and hospitalization is a recurrent feature in their lives. Even a minor cut or a bruise can take a long time to heal if you are diabetic. Some important reasons why you may need a separate cover for diabetes are listed below.
● No Waiting Period
A standard health insurance policy has a waiting period of 2-4 years for diseases that exist prior to their purchase. If you are already suffering from diabetes before buying health coverage, you may have to wait for years to get the benefits. But with the best health insurance for diabetics in India, you can get coverage immediately without any waiting period. Even if the diabetes symptoms arise within three months of purchasing the policy, it would not be considered a pre-existing disease.
● Covers the High Expenses
Diabetes can be life-threatening if proper care is not taken to manage the disease. This requires frequent doctor visits, diagnostic tests, medicines, and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels. Any hospitalization only adds to your existing financial burden. A separate diabetes cover will be beneficial in such cases.
● Pre & Post Hospitalization Cover
A health insurance plan with diabetes coverage will take care of all the expenses starting from lab tests to the post-hospitalization medical bills. Health insurance for diabetic patients also covers the expenses for daycare procedures that require less than 24 hours of hospital stay. The OPD expenses are covered by the policy too.
Coverage for Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is typically seen in children & young adults. It is caused due to autoimmune reactions within the body. Type 2 diabetes is seen in older people and is primarily due to lifestyle factors. Many insurers now offer separate plans for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. A few companies also provide a combined plan to cover both types. There may be some restrictions in each of these plans. It is essential to read the terms & conditions carefully to ensure that you get the best health insurance for diabetics.
General Inclusions & Exclusions
The list of general inclusions & exclusions in diabetes insurance plans is given below.
● Hospitalization related expenses
● Pre & post-hospitalization coverage
● Daycare procedures & OPD coverage
● Domiciliary hospitalization
● Organ transplantation costs
● AYUSH treatments
● Annual health checkups, etc
● Any other pre-existing disease
● Cosmetic surgery, obesity treatments
● Self-inflicted injuries
● Sexually transmitted diseases
● War or terrorism-related injuries
● Treatment without a doctor’s recommendation
Note: Read the policy document carefully to know the complete list of inclusions & exclusions. Contact the customer care center and resolve all your queries before you purchase the policy.
Prerequisites for Diabetes Health Insurance
The eligibility criteria depend on the insurance company and the specific plan that you want. Some of the typical requirements to purchase a policy are given below.
● Age: Individuals in the 18-65 age group are covered. Children below 18 are covered by a family floater policy.
● Medical Examination: Providing health insurance for diabetic patients is a tricky business. Insurance companies may require you to undergo a medical checkup at designated clinics/hospitals to verify your health condition.
● Waiting Period: Any pre-existing disease except diabetes may have a waiting period of 2-4 years and shall not be eligible for immediate coverage
Some Important Factors to Consider
It is worthwhile to take into consideration a few crucial things before buying a policy.
● Compare the plans offered by different insurers to get a fair idea about what you get in a diabetes insurance plan.
● The premium should be reasonable while providing adequate insurance coverage to diabetics.
● The lower the waiting period for pre-existing diseases, the better it is for the policyholders in a diabetic insurance plan.
● The insurer must have a high claims settlement ratio with a simple & fast settlement process. The company should have a good hospital network to provide cashless claims.
● The policy should provide a lifetime renewal facility. A free annual health checkup is another excellent benefit.
Health insurance policies are no longer seen as expenses but as investments for an uncertain future. You can only appreciate their value in an hour of crisis and not during happy times. It is much safer & wiser to count on health insurance than your friends & relatives.
It is unfortunate but true that lifestyle diseases like diabetes have become a household name today. Do everything in your might to prevent them. But health plans for diabetics can be your savior even if prevention fails!