People are getting increasingly aware of the benefits of staying healthy and are making lifestyle changes to remain fit and disease-free. However, we live in stressful times, and lifestyle-related diseases are on the rise. Also, the costs associated with medical care are ever-increasing, making it difficult for people to manage treatment and hospitalisation expenses. Hence, health insurance plans have become a necessity in today’s times.
When you purchase a health insurance policy, you expect it to cover all illnesses and medical treatments. However, this is not the case. Standard health insurance policies offer coverage for a pre-specified list of diseases and also have a list of exclusions. Before buying a health insurance policy, importance must be given to the inclusions and exclusions of the policy to make an informed decision.
Here, we are going to talk about chronic diseases and whether health insurance plans cover chronic conditions.
What are Chronic Diseases?
There are different types of diseases that ail the human body. While some of them can be treated quickly using medicines or surgery, others are seemingly difficult to treat and affect people for many years. These are called chronic diseases. Some examples of chronic diseases are arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc. Patients suffering from chronic diseases need to take constant medication and might even require frequent hospitalisation. Over the years, these costs can increase. Hence, it is important to have health insurance that covers chronic conditions.
Do Health Insurance Plans Cover Chronic Diseases?
Most insurers offer chronic illness cover. Many standard medical insurance plans include these diseases. Some chronic ailments are also covered under the critical illness insurance plans.
Usually, the insurer includes a waiting period for offering coverage for chronic ailments. Hence, it is important to understand the terms specified by the insurer before buying the policy. If you have a pre-existing chronic illness, then the waiting period can be long.
Critical illness plans also offer coverage for chronic diseases. While these plans offer a lump sum payment if the insured person is diagnosed with a chronic illness, they usually have a waiting period and surviving period clause.
Do I Need to Disclose Any Chronic Illness Before Buying a Health Insurance Plan?
Before you purchase offline or online health insurance, you must ensure that you inform the insurance provider about any chronic disease that you are suffering from. This will allow the insurer to offer a policy accordingly. If you don’t disclose it and the same is discovered later, then the insurer might reject your claim. Therefore, make sure that you disclose any chronic illness to the insurer before signing the dotted line.
Things to Keep in Mind If You Are Suffering From Chronic Illness
- If you are aware of any chronic illness that you are suffering from, then make sure that you disclose the same to the insurance provider to avoid claim rejections at a later date.
- Health insurance policies have a waiting period that can vary based on your conditions. Hence, make sure that you have adequate savings to manage the treatment costs.
- Look for a health insurance plan that offers lifetime renewability. Chronic diseases are not easily treatable and usually last the entire lifetime of the patient.
- If you have a pre-existing chronic disease, then look for a health insurance plan with a lower waiting and survival period.
- Look for an insurance provider that has a high claim settlement ratio.
Having a health insurance policy is necessary in the current times. Also, high-pressure jobs, sedentary lifestyles, and increasing pollution in the air are resulting in many people suffering from chronic ailments. So, we must stress upon health insurance importance, more so if one has a chronic ailment. If diagnosed earlier, managing them can be easy. However, once a person is diagnosed with a chronic disease, he/she needs to make lifestyle changes to keep it in check. While most health insurance policies cover chronic diseases, make sure you check with the provider before buying.