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  • Facts About Health Insurance You Can Learn from a Sports Person

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Sportspersons are not only healthy and fit, but they also live a disciplined and focused life. Not one sportsperson out there will ignore getting a health insurance cover, because they understand its need and benefits. They also effectively realize that health is wealth and here are a few tips about health insurance you can learn from a sportsperson.

    Make a Commitment to Health

    Every sportsperson will agree that commitment is the first and the most important step for achieving your goals. Make a commitment to health and take the practical decision of buying health insurance. Healthy eating, exercise and healthy habits are ideal but ill health and accidents can come knocking at random doors. Protecting yourself from such uncertainties and their heavy costs is possible with health insurance.

    Set a Realistic Goal

    Once you’re committed to a cause, setting a goal and figuring how to reach it is the next step. Just like a runner trains on the basis of the time in which they want to finish the race, you too have to figure out how much sum you need to be assured of. This depends on the diseases you’re prone to, which other family members you’re getting covered and the plans available in the market

    Make an Informed Decision

    Like every sport has its own rules and penalties, health insurance covers come with their own conditions, exclusions and exceptions. Do your research and know what you’re signing up for. Some people get a rude shock at the time they make a claim. You can avoid that by making an informed decision.

  • Health Insurance: Before And After Budget 2018

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    The Finance Minister has already presented Union Budget of 2018. Here’s how it is going to impact your health insurance policy

    Every year, the Central Government comes out with the Union Budget amidst high hopes from every section of the population. Everyone is hooked to every word spoken during the budget speech, in the hope of something favourable being announced for them. Salaried people, farmers, corporates and economists all anticipate some good news that will make their daily affairs simpler.

    Union Budget 2018 was presented by the Finance Minister on February 1 this year, and was predominantly a farmer’s budget, with healthcare also finding ground. There was a clear emphasis on rural India with the launching of new schemes for the agriculture sector.

    As for insurance, there were some welcome changes made in the sphere of health insurance, bringing in some much-needed relief to senior citizens that are struggling to cope with rising cost of healthcare.

    Increase In Deduction For Senior Citizens

    The budget has increased the limit of deduction under Section 80D from ₹30,000 to ₹50,000 for senior citizen taxpayers with respect to health insurance premiums or medical expenditure. This move is a positive step towards improving the health and safety of senior citizens in the country. It will also reduce their tax liability and give them some respite from the ever-increasing cost of medical treatments, that consequently demand higher coverage amount.

    This deduction is applicable towards payment of premium on health insurance policy or preventive health-check-up by a senior citizen. However, for a super-senior citizen (above 80 years of age), this deduction can be had for medical expenditure as well.

  • High-Carb Diets and Obesity Connection

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    The mere thought of standing by the roadside and stuffing in those hot fried stuff makes your tongue water. Even the most hygiene-conscious can’t deny the hunger spell induced by those aromas! But if you peel back the covers and look little beneath the aroma and taste, a whole different picture starts to emerge.

    Thanks to the intake of simple carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, and the wide availability of fast food, India has broken into the list of the top five countries in terms of obesity. Adding to the worries, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) in 2016 revealed that the percentage of obese men and women has doubled over the decade.

    Obesity, a malaise in itself can also lead to several diseases like diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory problems, etc.

    Do you know the factors that lead to obesity? Here is a list of the top factors that contribute to making you obese.

    1. High amount of carbohydrates in diet

    2. Our diet is often held as the primary factor responsible for causing obesity. The problem starts right from childhood. Doctors and researchers opine that wrong eating habits developed in one’s childhood, lead to obesity. India is on the path to becoming a home for 17 million obese children by the year 2025, making it second among 184 countries.

      Doctors are of the opinion that eating a greater amount of simple carbohydrates, like white rice, bread, usually found in ‘junk food’, as compared to proteins and complex carbohydrates is causing an increase in obesity. So, the next time you drool over fried food or other mouth-watering delicacies, think about the impact it would have on your health.

    3. Sedentary lifestyle and a reduction in physical activity

    4. Along with the diet, experts also put the blame on lack of physical activity for an increase in obesity. It is only inevitable that burning more calories than the amount you consume, will result in a healthy or lower Body Mass Index (BMI).

      Experts blame increased mechanisation along with apathy and lethargy as the reason behind a lack of participation in physical activity. An important factor to note in this regard is as per NFHS report, cases of obesity are rising in the countryside as well.

      The next time you think of taking the lift instead of the stairs, think again! Stair climbing and a daily workout routine might just be the activities that can get you back in shape.

    5. Genetics

    6. The maxim ‘it’s all in your genes’ seems to hold true for obesity. Doctors state that there are several different genes which enhance the risk of obesity. These genes are those regulating appetite, metabolic rate and satiety.

      While 5% of the carbohydrate is converted to fats in an adult, a genetic abnormality can increase the percentage to 60%. If there is an immediate family member who is obese, you would be better off managing your diet even more strictly so as to keep your weight under control.

  • Deductibles in Health Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Understanding how a deductible in your health insurance plan works can help you make savings on your health care costs. A deductible is essentially the sum of money you agree upon to be paid towards your cover before you begin to make claims on your insurance.

    The terms Health Plan Deductible, Medical Deductible and Health Insurance Deductible are used interchangeably in most cases. Here is a quick overview of deductibles one can see in a health plan.

    Types Of Deductibles And What They Stand For

    There are two types of deductibles that are available in India on a health insurance plan, these are compulsory and voluntary deductible. In international markets, there are a few more which are also mentioned below.

    • Compulsory Deductible: These deductibles are mandatory and are governed by the insurer. This is a fixed amount that has to be paid by the insured on every claim he makes.
    • Voluntary Deductible: As the name states, these are voluntary and are opted for by the insured, in order to reduce his insurance premium.
    • Comprehensive Deductible: A single deductible which is applicable across covers. It keeps adding up till you have paid the total amount agreed upon towards your policy.
    • Non-Comprehensive Deductible: A Non-Comprehensive Deductible is applicable towards designated covers. It may only require you to pay an amount of money before you can claim benefits to meet certain medical costs and not for others.
    • Cumulative Deductible: When you are willing to begin a family health insurance plan, a cumulative deductible will be applicable where all the members included within the plan makes payments towards the deductible till the total amount payable is met.
  • Know How New Proposals on Health Insurance Can Change Your Life

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    An effective risk mitigating tool that prevents out-of-pocket expenses during a medical emergency, health insurance  is a modern-day need. A growing segment, the standalone health insurance market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30% in the next five years and will be worth Rs. 21,904 crore by 2022.

    In what could further make health insurance more customer-friendly, transparent and boost the growth of the sector, a working panel constituted by insurance regulator IRDAI has proposed several changes. Read on to know the effects of these changes on your health insurance policy.

    Clearer Definition of Pre-Existing Diseases

    A major bone of contention in a health insurance policy is the interpretation of pre-existing diseases. The working panel has suggested a simpler and clearer definition of pre-existing diseases to weed out any anomaly over its interpretation and subsequent disputes.

    According to the suggested definition, any disease, injury, condition or ailment diagnosed prior to buying the first policy for which medical treatment or advise was recommended or received from a doctor qualifies as a pre-existing disease.

    With a simpler definition, as a policyholder, you would know about the conditions or ailments that qualify as a pre-existing disease which you need to disclose while filling up the proposal form to avoid rejection. The working panel has also asked insurers to take a lenient view in case a pre-existing disease is discovered later.

    Insurers have been recommended by the working panel to put a waiting period on such diseases, instead of cancelling the policy. The option, however, will be available only during the moratorium period.

    Lowering Waiting Period of Lifestyle Diseases

    Lifestyle diseases have evolved as one of the biggest killers in India. As per studies conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and other institutes, estimated proportion of all deaths from lifestyle styles has gone up from 37.09% in 1990 to 61.8% in 2016. The high-treatment cost of lifestyle diseases can derail a family’s finances.

    On most occasions, the waiting period of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiac problems range from one to four years. Waiting period refers to the time/duration during which you can’t make a claim from your Mediclaim insurance.

    However, the working panel has suggested lowering the waiting period of lifestyle diseases up to 30 days (maximum), unless they are pre-existing.

    Standardisation of Pre-Existing Diseases

    The working panel has also proposed a standard list of 17 pre-existing diseases which could be excluded from a Mediclaim policy. The list includes diseases such as epilepsy, cerebral stroke, chronic heart and kidney diseases, HIV, AIDS, Parkinson’s, hepatitis B, loss of hearing and other physical disabilities.

    It has also said that policyholders can’t be denied coverage for AIDS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and morbid obesity if diagnosed after the purchase of a policy.

    This means if you contact the above-mentioned diseases after buying a health insurance policy, you will be entitled to receive coverage for them. To put it simply, the working panel has suggested all health conditions acquired after policy issuance to be covered. Experts believe that this standardisation will help in the smooth settlement of claims.

    Easy Coverage for Individuals with Severe Health Conditions

    People with severe health conditions such as epilepsy and physical disabilities find it difficult to avail a health insurance policy. Also, insurers are wary about extending cover to cancer survivors. They are usually denied coverage for procedures and diseases that may be completely unrelated.

    If the proposals of the panel are accepted, it’ll become easy for such individuals to avail health insurance. However, no coverage will be provided for specific pre-existing diseases. Nevertheless, if you are suffering from a severe health condition and are denied a Mediclaim insurance, the road ahead might be a little easy for you.

    Claims Can’t be Questioned After Eight Years of Continuous Renewals

    Another proposal mooted by the panel is that insurers can’t question claims on basis of non-disclosure after eight years of continuous renewals, except in cases of frauds. It means if you’ve renewed your policy for straight years since its inception, the insurer can’t raise objections on your claims on grounds of concealing information.

  • Digitization Wave in the Health Industry

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 16, 2021

    One of the fastest-growing segments in India, the country’s health insurance sector has registered a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% for the last 10 years [1]. While growing awareness among the masses regarding healthcare is one of the major catalysts behind this growth, digitisation has further given the industry a major push.

    The industry, too, is leaving no stone unturned to make the most of the digitisation wave to enhance customer experience and make health insurance plans available to all. Read on to know how the industry is leveraging digitisation to boost its penetration.

    Selling health insurance plans online

    A primarily agent-driven industry, health insurers today are banking on the increasing penetration of the web to sell policies, particularly to millennials. A survey found about 30% of people in the age group of 25-34 years [2] buy health insurance plans online.

    Buying online health insurance has its advantages. You can fill up the proposal form, upload the relevant documents, pay the premium and you’ll be done. There are no intermediaries involved, and insurers save on commissions. As a result, you get to insure your health at an affordable premium

    Improve customer experience

    The digitisation wave is helping health insurers improve the customer experience. Today, you can gather information about a new policy, check the status of your application or claim, and renew the plan online in a few clicks.

    By integrating advanced action-oriented chatbots on websites, health insurers are elevating the customer experience to the next level. The advanced chatbots, integrated with artificial intelligence and machine learning, based on the queries decipher what you are looking for and make suggestions accordingly. Today, they can also help you do mundane tasks such as filling up the proposal form

    Better underwriting

    The crux of insurance, underwriting helps in better risk assessment and compute premium(s) accordingly. With rising cases of frauds in the sector, insurers have tightened their underwriting process of late. However, they face a challenge to ensure that genuine customers don’t suffer due to frauds committed by others and get adequately rewarded.

    Digitalisation is helping health insurers overcome this challenge with ease. With Wearable devices are going to rule the future of your healthcare health insurers can extract crucial information about your lifestyle, which goes a long way in risk assessment and compute premium accordingly.

    For instance, if you are leading a healthy life, insurers can know it through vital data such as your BMI, heart rate, sleep hours, etc. In such a scenario, when you renew your health insurance policy, the premium amount will come down.

    Craft tailor-made products and be competitive

    Personalisation is the new-age success mantra. Every industry is looking to craft tailor-made products, as per the needs of customers, and strike a chord with the target segment. The key data of the target audience is aiding health insurers create products suiting the needs of their customers.

    For example, health insurers can better understand the diseases affecting senior citizens such as Alzheimer’s and are coming up with specific mediclaim policy for this ailment. Some insurers are even adding coverage for this disease in their existing plans. Along with personalisation, it’s important to innovate.

  • These Everyday Habits Are Damaging Your Kidneys

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 16, 2021

    If your #wellnessgoals2020 included glowing skin, clean eating and a healthier you, here's one organ you should be paying careful attention. Kidneys are an essential body organ which absorbs minerals and nutrients, act as filters for toxins and maintain healthy acid to alkaline ratio. However, there are certain habits which can damage them, leading to various ailments in the process.

    Smoking

    Smoking not only increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases but also narrows the blood vessels present in the kidneys, causing arteriosclerosis in the renal arteries.

    A habit which damages arterial branches, smoking also reduces blood flow in the kidneys and expedites loss of kidney function. Therefore, to protect your organs, it's in your interest to quit smoking at the earliest.

    Not urinating enough

    This is another habit which is significantly bad for kidney health. If you don't urinate enough, the body and the kidneys retain all the toxins meant to be flushed out.

    Over time this could lead to the formation of Lifestyle changes to keep kidney stones away that are quite painful. Also, it could result in developing of urinary incontinence, a condition which leads to leaking urine during coughing or sneezing.

    Not drinking enough water

    For the kidneys to properly function, they need to remain hydrated. This is possible only when you drink enough water. Lack of adequate water in the system leads to toxins getting accumulated in the blood. An easy way to find out if you are drinking enough water or not is to check your urine. If your urine is dark, it means the water intake is insufficient.

    Consuming too many sweets

    It's hard to resist the temptation for sweets, but eating too many of them too often can damage your kidneys. As per a study, consuming a lot of sweets could lead to a rise in the levels of uric acid, leading to cardiorenal diseases in the long run. If you have diabetes, consuming sweets can worsen the problem. Therefore, make sure to consume food that is low on sugar. For packaged foods, read the label before consumption.

    Too much salt intake

    This is another habit which can have a detrimental effect on your kidneys. Several people have the habit of adding extra salt to their food while eating. Consuming too much salt can raise blood pressure and may even lead to kidney stones. Hence, make sure to limit your daily salt intake for better kidney health. If you are an adult, you shouldn't consume more than 1 teaspoon of salt in a day.

    Skipping exercise

    Regular exercise not only keeps your body in top shape but also has a positive impact on your kidneys. Exercise keeps your blood pressure and diabetes in check, and weight loss positively affects renal function.

    Therefore, make sure to take some time out of your schedule and exercise regularly to maintain healthy body weight.

    Swallowing painkillers often

    Most people, even in the slightest of pain, consume painkillers. While they do help to subside the pain, taking these pills frequently can adversely affect the kidneys. Consuming painkillers, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), often can make the body hold onto fluids, and this can damage kidneys in the long run. Before consuming them, it's essential to check with your doctor first.

    Not eating right

    To keep your kidneys healthy, plan your meals properly. Note that eating healthy always doesn't necessarily mean that you are eating right. If your kidneys are strained, then it's essential to avoid food that is high on phosphorus such as tomatoes, phosphorus-rich oatmeal, oranges, fish, meat and colas.

  • Now Mental Illness Will Be Covered by Health Policies

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 16, 2021

    People in India are not aware of the adversities that one goes through while suffering from a mental illness. Be it financial or mental, one must seek support in times like these. Insurance regulator IRDAI issued a circular stating that insurers must cover mental illness, which is rapidly increasing in the country. Mental health conditions have always been excluded from health insurance policies.

    On May 29th, the Mental Healthcare Act 2017 came into being. The Act states that it is mandatory to provide insurance for treatment of mental illness. The insurance policy should cover ailments such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. But, none of the 33 insurance companies in India has launched a single product covering these.

    An executive from a top health insurance firm welcomed the move of providing health cover to those suffering from mental illnesses, stating that it will normalize the myths and stigma associated with the malady. This will make people aware of the problems faced by mentally ill patients and ensure a life of dignity for them.

  • Stay in Shape While Working With These Workout Tips

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 16, 2021

    Ways to stay in shape along with a routine 9-5 job

    Workouts are optimised around physiology and what we know about our body. Humans generally have a good capacity to expand energy for many hours during sustained exertion.

    For working people, long working hours are one of the most common reasons for not exercising. However for runners, the challenge is to be a ‘Ninja’ and plan stealthy workouts when the schedule is overflowing.

    Key Work-outs

    There are few key work-outs that every runner must plan for the week and are very essential. Typically these would be speed sessions, strength work-outs and long runs. This way there is time to recover and then run hard. The first run can be planned at the start of the week followed by the strength workout on Wednesday and long run towards the weekend.

    It is very important to warm up before all of your key workouts to elevate heart and respiration rates along with proper resting period as the body gets catabolic (the breakdown of tissues) when it hits aerobic capacity for too long. Short and Intense runs are good for speed work. 50m sprints would be helpful to move feet quickly and adapt a good running technique. The session need not last more than 60-90 minutes.

    Plan repeat runs against a hill or up-slope to build running strength. Butt kicks can be done on the way down. Long runs need to be faster than the average pace needed for the next race. The idea is to run negative splits - to finish faster than you start. It can improve mental toughness and build pace awareness.

  • Things to Know Before Getting Yourself Inked

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 16, 2021

    The history of getting tattooed goes into the deep past of early divisions of Stone Age. However, in recent times, tattooing has become increasingly popular and has unfurled itself across professionals, genders, different economic classes, and various age groups.

    For some, getting inked is a fashion statement, for some, it’s a source of inspiration and for some, it’s a way to express their love and ideology, while for others it’s a creative art. No matter what your purpose is, it’s important to be well informed of the process and be adequately prepared before going under the needle to avoid its ill effects on your body.

    Here we’ve compiled a list of points that you should keep in mind before getting yourself inked:

    Be sure about your decision

    It’s imperative for you to be certain about your decision. Understand that tattoos are somewhat permanent in nature. Yes, they can be removed using laser treatment, but that’s a long and expensive process. In case of large and detailed tattoos, getting them off can be too frustrating. Also, keep in mind that with time, the color of the tattoo will fade, and its shape may also change owing to the changing folds of your skin with growing age.

    Know how it will affect your body

    The tattoo is created using a needle that ruptures your skin and deposit the tattoo ink at the point of rupture. The puncture goes beyond the epidermis, for the ink to stay. The needle reaches the dermis where it meets with the nerves and blood vessels. The ink used for tattooing is not exclusively made for the human skin.

    Also, it has been found that over the time, these pigments can assimilate in the liver through blood. Hence, before getting inked, be sure about your body will react to such foreign particles.

    Know your pain tolerance

    As mentioned above, tattoo needle penetrates deep into your skin to deposit the ink beyond the epidermis. Be informed that this can be a painful process. Hence, before you get under the needle, be aware of your ability to bear such pain and for how long you can sustain it, so as not to abandon the process in between, which may make it look ugly.

    Get a cost estimation

    Do not go after the cheaper options while getting yourself tattooed. It’s better to shell out few bucks from your pocket now rather than getting your skin infected with inferior quality inks and regret later. Also, ask the tattoo artist about the healing process and the maintenance costs post-tattoo. Before starting with the process, make sure you have a fair idea about the total amount of money that you would have to spend during the whole process.

  • Preventing Cataract at Any Age

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 16, 2021

    Cataract is a vision disorder that can lead to blindness. Read on to know more about its prevention.

    According to a WHO report, cataracts are responsible for 51% of world blindness. It is also the main cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40, which makes preventing cataract essential. Before taking precautionary measures, it’s important to understand what cataract is and what are its effects.

    What Is Cataract?

    Cataract is clouding of the eye lens, which results in blurred vision. It occurs due to accumulation of protein on the lens surface, which blocks light to reach the retina. This results in reduced visual acuity and blurred vision, which makes things appear as if looking through a foggy window. Symptoms of cataract include blurred vision, frequent change in eyeglass prescription, increased sensitivity to light, seeing halos around bright lights, or double vision.

    Risk Factors for Developing Cataract

    Several risk factors contribute to the development of cataract, age being the most common one. The risk factors include:

    • Age: There is a greater risk of developing cataract as you grow older. This is because of exposure to environmental factors such as UV light, smoke, and other health disorders that lead to cataract.

    • Gender: Women have a higher chance of getting cataracts than men. Studies have linked this to menopause, which causes decrease in oestrogen levels leading to the development of cataracts.

    • Health conditions: Health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity are also known to increase the risk of cataracts.

    • Environmental conditions: Exposure to UV rays and smoke directly affect vision and make one more susceptible to developing cataracts.

    Cataract Prevention Methods

    While there are debates on whether cataract can be prevented, research shows that there are measures you can take to reduce the risk of getting cataract. Here are some ways that can reduce your chances of getting cataract:

    • Lifestyle habits: Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption severely affect your eye health. Both these habits increase the chances of developing cataract. Reducing or quitting them is advisable for reducing the risk of cataract and an overall improvement in your health.

    • Diet: Ensure inclusion of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote eye health in your diet. Dark green leafy vegetable such as spinach, kale, turnip, etc. improve eye health. Besides this, sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as fresh water fish and flaxseed further reduce the risk.

    • Steroid medication: Usage of steroid medicine is said to increase the chances of developing cataracts. Know the risk factors or consult your eye doctor before starting new medication. It is better to avoid them unless specified by an ophthalmologist.

    • Protect your eyes: Exposure to UV rays hastens the development of cataract, even in younger patients. Always shield your eyes from UV rays, either with a wide-brimmed hat or sunglasses with UV protection while outdoors.

    • Diabetes: Studies show that diabetics are more prone to developing a cataract. It’s necessary for these patients to maintain their blood sugar to prevent cataracts. Take proper medication to keep a tab on your diabetes.

    • Regular check-ups: Schedule regular eye exams, especially as you grow older. Your eye doctor can detect cataract and other vision disorders when you cannot. With early detection, your doctor can prescribe the best treatment for you.

  • How To Choose The Best Health Insurance Plan With Cancer Coverage

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 16, 2021

    Cancer awareness is essential in order to take an informed decision

    In spite of the progress in research and technology, cancer is still one of the most lethal diseases out there. While there are no guaranteed ways of reducing the risk of cancer, there is a responsible decision you can make to reduce the financial burden in the face of such odds.

    Need for Health Insurance with Cancer Cover

    The thought of being diagnosed with cancer is a frightening one but what’s more frightening is the probability of that becoming reality.About 70 to 90 percent of all cancers are because of environmental factors instead of the genetic make-up, and researchers predict that by 2020 there will be over 17 lakh cancer cases in India. Under the light of this information, it becomes crucial for oneself to protect their wellness by opting for health insurance with cancer cover.

    Cancer is a very taxing disease, physically and emotionally, but also financially. Cancer treatment involves massive costs that keep increasing as the disease progresses. The last thing a person suffering with cancer needs is the burden of the heavy treatment costs. A health insurance with cancer cover will be a much needed source of relief in such stressful times.

    Types of Cancer Covered by Insurance Plans

    Most insurance plans with cancer cover various types of cancers like lung cancer, stomach cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer and more depending on the plan you opt for.

    Coverage Against Multiple Stages of Cancer

    There are four stages of cancer ranging from the early stage to the critical stage. An important thing to keep in mind while getting cancer cover with health insurance is to check whether it covers all the stages and meets the financial demands of each stage.

    Term of the Plan and Tax Benefits

    The term of the plan is essential. Some plans have maximum term of 20 years, which may seem like a long time now but if you get it at 30, it will cease to cover you once you turn 50. You should go through the term of different plans carefully and choose the one that suits your needs.

    Also remember, under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, cancer insurance plans are liable to avail tax benefits.

  • Autistic Kids: Special Insurance for Special Needs?

    by User Not Found | Apr 23, 2021

    Taking care of autistic kids is expensive, making a special cover for them a necessity

    The number of children living with developmental disabilities like autism is on the rise. Globally, 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as per the statistics from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.

    In such a situation, general insurance companies are looking to provide covers for the disease or at least specific add-ons to existing health insurance policies.

    Current Situation

    Currently, there are very few policies in the health insurance market to cover autism-related expenses. More often than not, parents cover the expenses for the treatment of this disease from their own pocket, and usually also have to create a corpus for their child’s lifetime, since the child may not be able to work.

    The Indian government however, has done something to combat this situation. The government offers a health insurance scheme called ‘Niramaya’, which offers a sum assured of up to ₹1 lakh for the treatment and care of children with developmental disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy and so on.

    The scheme covers outpatient treatments including those for pre-existing ailments, and expenses for corrective surgeries and non-surgical hospitalisation. It comes at an annual premium of ₹250 for families with a monthly income of less than ₹15,000, and an annual premium of ₹500 for those with a monthly income higher than ₹15,000.

    Among private insurers though, there aren’t many schemes that offer a special cover for developmental disabilities. This is because they are not sure of the viability of launching standalone health insurance policies for autism and other such developmental disorders.

    Coverage Required

    However, the question arises of whether the cover of ₹1 lakh that the government scheme offers is actually enough. You see, ASD affects a child’s development including his/her speech, gestural, non-verbal and social interaction with his/her peers. So, it’s not just paediatrics that needs to be taken care of with ASD; therapy for all the above also becomes necessary.

    That is to say, an autistic child would require multi-disciplinary treatment. So, along with regular visits to a paediatrician, they would need assistance and care from a psychiatrist, a counsellor, a special educator, a speech therapist and an occupational therapist. Consulting all of these people is quite expensive, and can lead to the annual cost of treatment being as high as ₹2-3 lakh.

    Moreover, children with ASD are accident-prone, and the treatment and care for these accidents further add to the cost of treatment. Therefore, one would require a cover of minimum ₹4-5 lakh to cover the complete cost of treatment for autism.

    Mr. Sanjay Datta, Chief - Underwriting and Claims, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, believes that adding a customised offering for autism to an existing health insurance product could go a long way in providing financial relief to parents with autistic children.

  • Health Insurance Face-Off: Super Top-Up vs. Top-Up

    by User Not Found | Apr 23, 2021

    There are some key differences that make super top-ups highly beneficial.

    Inflation and demand for specialty healthcare have led to a rise in basic medical expenses. In case of hospitalisation and a claim, one often realises that while having a complete health insurance policy was a great financial decision, the sum assured was a constrain. It is often noted that rising healthcare costs render the cover insufficient.

    Thankfully, you can avoid such a situation by opting for either a top-up plan or a super top-up plan. In some cases, a third alternative is to opt for an additional policy. However, for most cases, a top-up is the ideal way ahead as it enhances the sum assured of your base plan to cover the shortfall. Let us learn more about Top-Ups and Super Top-Ups:

    Top-Up Plans

    The Top-Up allows you to make a claim that exceeds the deductible value & the sum assured of the base policy during a single hospitalisation. All claims are treated individually in this cover and multiple claims under the same policy period are not aggregated. The deductible is the limit set in your policy schedule.

    Super Top-Ups

    A Super Top-Up pays claims for cumulative medical expenses within a policy year once it exceeds the deductible and the sum assured of the base policy. It offers coverage not payable by your top-up or base plan. Such a plan can be availed from any insurer and is not limited to your base policy insurer.

    While both top-ups kick in only after the claim amount exceeds the deductible and the sum assured of the base policy, the difference lies in its working. The illustration below will help you better understand how both these plans are beneficial.

    Situations Top-Up Cover Super Top-Up Cover
    Policies Mr. Sharma has a base health insurance of ₹5 lakhs sum assured.
    In case he buys a Top-up plan of ₹10 lakhs with ₹5 lakhs as the deductible In case he buys a Super top-up of ₹10 lakhs with ₹5 lakhs as the deductible
    Case 1: Single claim of ₹12 lakhs Health Insurance plan will cover ₹5 lakhs. Top-up plan will cover the remaining ₹7 lakhs as it exceeds deductible. Health Insurance will pay ₹5 lakhs. Super Top-up will cover the remaining ₹7 lakhs as it exceeds deductible.
    Case 2: Two claims of ₹4 lakhs each Health Insurance will cover for the ₹4 lakhs of first claim and ₹1 lakh of second claim. There will be no claim pay-out from Top-up Plan, as the individual amount of the claim does not exceed ₹5 lakhs. Health Insurance will cover for the ₹4 lakhs of first claim and ₹1 lakh of second claim. Super Top-up will cover the remaining ₹3 lakhs.
    Case 3: Claim of ₹7 lakhs and ₹4 lakhs Health Insurance will pay ₹5 lakh from first claim Top-up Plan will pay the remaining ₹2 lakhs for the first claim. No claim is payable for second claim as it does not exceed the deductible limit. Health Insurance will pay ₹5 lakh from first claim Super Top-up will cover the remaining ₹2 lakhs for the first claim and ₹4 lakhs for the second claim.

  • Heart Attack First Aid Steps Everyone Must Know

    by User Not Found | Apr 23, 2021

    An unconscious patient needs to be given immediate CPR

    Between 1990 and 2016, the death rate due to cardiovascular diseases rose by 34% in India. While a heart attack is a serious, life-threatening occurrence that is increasingly spreading across our country, it is possible to save someone’s life if only one knows how to provide basic heart attack first aid.

    Witnessing a loved one or even a stranger in the deathly embrace of a heart attack is overwhelming and scary. But what’s worse is to be helpless and to not know what to do. After reading this quick guide on heart attack first aid, you will feel more empowered and aware to help save a life.

    Spotting a Heart Attack

    The symptoms of a heart attack differ for men and women, but the need for quick action remains as crucial. Spotting a heart attack by quickly realizing the symptoms is critical in order to provide heart attack first aid. >

    Men

    • Crushing/ burning chest pain
    • Sensation of squeezing, pressure or discomfort in the chest
    • Discomfort or tightness in the neck and/or jaw
    • Shortness of breath and palpitations
    • Pain in the arms, often left arm, shoulder blades and back

    Often, men suffering a heart attack will break out in a sweat and can lose consciousness. The pain is usually gradual and can last for several minutes. It’s not uncommon for the pain to fade and come back again, in which case heart attack first aid becomes essential.

    Women

    • Pressure or pain in the lower chest
    • Pressure or pain the upper abdomen
    • Pressure in the upper back
    • Nausea and lightheaded
    • Shortness of breath
    • Extreme fatigue

    Women suffering a heart attack usually believe it to be indigestion, a heart burn or extreme tiredness. Being aware and providing heart attack first aid will do no harm even if it turns out to only be indigestion.

    Providing Immediate Heart Attack First Aid

    For a Conscious Patient

    • Ease strain on the patient’s heart by helping them in a comfortable position. An ideal position is on the floor, leaning against a wall with head and shoulders supported and knees bent.
    • Loosen the clothing around their neck, chest and waist. For instance, if they are wearing a tie, remove it and unbutton the top button.
    • Call for help but don’t let bystanders crowd the patient. Avoid leaving the patient unattended.
    • Call an emergency helpline number 112 or 102 for an ambulance. You can call the local, neighbourhood hospital if you believe that’s going to be quicker.
    • If the patient has prescribed medicine for a cardiovascular diseases, help them take it.
    • Continuously monitor the patient — check their breathing, pulse and keep an eye on their consciousness.

    For an Unconscious Patient

    Heart attack first aid for a patient who loses consciousness goes a little beyond the above steps.

    • Make sure to inform the ambulance/emergency number operator that the patient is unconscious. This is essential because they will despatch the ambulance with needed equipment like a defibrillator, which is used to restart the heart, ECG machine, ventilator, oxygen cylinder, etc.
    • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is advised when the patient is unconscious.
    • If you aren’t trained in CPR, provide hands-only chest compressions. You can be guided by the emergency number operator/medical assist on call to perform them.

    How to Give Chest Compressions (for adults)

    • On the centre of the patient’s chest, place the heel of your hand, one on top of the other and lace your fingers together.
    • Keep your shoulders directly above your hands and straighten out your arms.
    • Compress chest at least by 2 inches by pushing hard and fast.
    • Compress at least 100 times per minute with minimal interruptions.
    • Let the patient’s chest rise completely before you push down again.
    • Stop only if the patient starts breathing normally again, a trained person or medical assistant takes over, you’re too exhausted to continue properly or an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available.
  • Simplified Health Insurance Claim Process

    by User Not Found | Apr 23, 2021

    Simple steps to help you file a claim under your health insurance policy

    So you’ve opted for a health insurance to safeguard your finances against the soaring healthcare costs. Now that you have this assurance, it is important to understand how the claim process works, to ensure you are not worrying in case of an emergency.

    Opposed to common belief, making a claim is relatively easy. Let’s get acquainted with the various elements of the claim procedure to avoid unpleasant surprises in your time of need:

    Claim Type

    Claims are commonly of two types:

    Cashless Claims Reimbursement Claims
    Cashless claims can be made at a network hospital only. Reimbursement claims can be filed for treatment in a non-network or a network hospital.
    Once your claim is approved, the amount will be paid directly to the hospital without your further involvement. Post-hospitalization, you have to pay for all the expenses immediately and file for reimbursement later.

    Claim Intimation

    Claim intimation is a crucial step of the claim process as it informs the insurer of the upcoming expenses. There is a high possibility of your claim being denied if you fail to inform within the specified time as mentioned in your policy.

    In case of planned hospitalization at a network hospital, the specified time required to intimate your insurance company is at least 1-2 days in advance. For emergency hospitalization, you have to inform the company within 24 hours.

    Claim Forms

    Pre-authorization forms encapsulate all the information required to make a cashless claim. You have to submit a copy of required documents such as cashless ID, photo ID, previous consultation documents, if any for the company to approve the expenses. These documents will be verified by the hospital or a Third Party Administrator (TPA) to check if the illness or ailment is covered under the benefits of the policy.

    For reimbursement claims, no pre-authorization form is generally needed. However, after discharge you need to submit all the documents pertaining to the out-of-pocket expenses. You can mail these documents along with the duly filled claim form to your service provider or TPA.

    Claim Investigation

    Claim investigation helps the insurance companies analyze and differentiate fraudulent claims from the genuine ones. Your claim form and documents will be thoroughly scrutinized and a suitable decision will be made.

    Therefore, ensure you fill in the details correctly in the form and submit the documents as per the requirement.

  • Wellness Programs: Ensure financial and physical well-being

    by User Not Found | Apr 23, 2021

    In today's times, when critical illnesses and medical inflation are on the rise, a wellness program comes as a relief for policyholders. Read on to understand wellness programs and their benefits.

    What is a wellness program?

    ICICI Lombard General Insurance offers wellness program along with your health insurance policy or super top-up plan. Through it, you, as a policyholder, are rewarded with wellness points for keeping yourself hale and hearty by pursuing any of the activities covered. These points can be redeemed later as per the redemption terms and conditions, subject to a maximum.

    Why should I opt for a wellness program with my health insurance policy?

    According to a recent report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the probability of death in India from the four major non-communicable diseases – cancer, cardiovascular, chronic respiratory,and diabetes,is 26% for individuals aged 30-70 years. Let us have a look at the probable underlying causes:

    Diseases Causes
    Cardiovascular Tobacco and alcohol abuse, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet
    Chronic Respiratory Genetic, environmental – tobacco abuse, indoor and outdoor air pollution, occupational exposure
    Diabetes Heredity, age (chances increases with age), obesity, poor diet, stress, certain infections, etc.
    Cancer Heredity, tobacco and alcohol abuse, poor diet, obesity, infections, radiation, stress, sedentary lifestyle, environmental pollutants


    As evident, these four diseases can be prevented or controlled with a small yet significant change in lifestyle. While diseases caused by heredity, radiation and infections are not avoidable after a certain extent, tobacco use and sedentary lifestyle should be controlled to ensure a long and healthy life.

    What are the benefits of a wellness program?

    You can avail the following benefits with a wellness program:

    • Healthy mind and body: Wellness programs can be either lifestyle or disease centric. Lifestyle-centric approach mainly focuses on preventive care and good practices, such as membership to yoga or gym.
      • On the other hand, disease management helps individuals cope with pre-existing and chronic diseases. It also focuses on prevention of further complications through procedures such as periodic heart screening.
    • Discounts on your premiums: Some insurance companies offer redemption of points for the medical expenses not covered in your base policy. It may include dental procedures, consultation fees, prescription medicine, diagnostic charges, dietician and nutritionist counselling, etc., which can be a welcome relief from therising medical costs.

    How can I earn wellness points?

    Follow the three-step process below:

    • Step 1: Participate in any of the activities listed in thewellness program
    • Step 2:Collect all original bills and receipts of the activities you intend to redeem the points for
    • Step 3: Send these receipts to us along with the duly-filled submission form toICICI Lombard Health Care, ICICI Bank tower, Plot No. 12, Financial District, Nanakramguda, Gachibowli, Hyderabad-5000032.

    Once your form is received, we will send a confirmation with the details of your accumulated wellness points.

    You can also check your wellness points by:

    • Calling us at our toll free number 1800266
    • Emailing us at ihealthcare@icicilombard.com
    • Logging on to the claims & wellness management portal

    We also send the information of your total wellness points to your registered email address once every three months for added convenience.

    How can I redeem my wellness points?

    Each wellness point is equivalent to ₹0.25. With a wellness program, you will be eligible to receive reimbursement of miscellaneous medical expenses not covered in your policy such as:

    • Consultation charges
    • Medicine and drugs
    • Diagnostic expenses
    • Dental expenses
    • Wellness and preventive care

    The process for redemption is simple and very similar to registering your earned wellness points:

    • Step 1: Collect all original bills of medicines, consultations, and expenses of which you would like to claim for.
    • Step 2: Send these along with the test reports if any, and the redemption form to:
      ICICI Lombard Health Care, ICICI Bank tower, Plot No. 12, Financial District, Nanakramguda, Gachibowli, Hyderabad-5000032
    • Step 3: We will intimate you once documents are received and keep you updated of the status via email.

    To track the status yourself, you can:

    • Call our toll free no. 18002666 or
    • Check 'Track your claims' section of the Claims & Wellness management portal of our website. Next, enter your Claim No. or AL No. and press the search button.
    • Mail to ihealthcare@icicilombard.com to put up an enquiry

    Which activities are covered under ICICI Lombard's Wellness Program?

    The wellness points for each activity for which you can claim reimbursement are listed below:

    Sr. No. Activity Points accumulated per insured Maximum points accumulated per floater policy
    1 Health Risk Assessment (HRA) 250 500
    2 Medical Risk Assessment (MRA)* 1000 2000
    3 Heart-related screening tests for ages above 45 years(under PRA**) 500 500
    4 HbA1c/Complete lipid profile for any age(under PRA) 500 500
    5 PAP smear for females aged 45 years and above (under PRA) 500 500
    6 Mammogram for females aged 45 years and above (under PRA) 500 500
    7 Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) for malesaged 45 years and above (under PRA) 500 500
    8 Any other test as suggested by our empanelled medical expert (under PRA) 500 500
    9 Gym/Yoga membership for 1 year 2500 2500
    10 Participation in professional sporting events like marathon/ cyclothon/ swimathon, etc. 2500 2500
    11 Participation in any other health and fitness activity / event organised by us 2500 2500
    12 Quit smoking- based on self-declaration 100 100
    13 Share your fitness success story 100 100
    14 On winning any health quiz organised by us 100 100
  • Should Citizens Get Tax Benefits for Purchasing Home Insurance?

    by User Not Found | Apr 21, 2021

    Home insurance premiums may be exempted in the future

    Fiscal Support Needed for Home Insurance

    Insurance is a way of protecting oneself from a financial loss. It provides the insured a hedge against unforeseen loss events. General insurance provides protection against loss to property, unanticipated expenses, or future income.

    The government strives to improve insurance penetration, both life and non-life. It provides tax exemption for the amounts paid as premium for life insurance as well as health insurance.

    The government is also involved in creating capacity for insuring risks from terrorism and motor third party damage. Property insurance is of equal importance. Almost every business entity insures its property – factory and/or office premises. Home insurance is as good as non-existent.

    Individuals Consider Home Insurance Avoidable

    There is an absolute lack of awareness about home insurance. Even the sections of the population that are aware of and avail life and health insurance are ignorant of the importance of insuring their homes and belongings. It does not cost much but the premium for home insurance is considered a cost that can be avoided. General insurance companies have negligible portfolios of home insurance.

  • AYUSH Benefits & Alternate Treatment Insurance Cover: Things to Know

    by User Not Found | Apr 21, 2021

    Know how an in-patient AYUSH cover can benefit you and your family

    In 2013, the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) asked health insurance companies to provide cover for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) treatments. Similarly, there are several ongoing government initiatives also, to promote alternative medicine, including the promise for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-like Ayurveda hospital.

    In November 2014, the Department of AYUSH was elevated by forming a government body – Ministry of AYUSH – in order to develop education and research in the natural medicine departments and therefore make maximum medical assistance available to patients.

    The departments include Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) as well as other alternative medicine systems. The Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy was started in March 1995, whereas the name AYUSH was coined in March 2003.

    Despite such government initiatives and interventions to popularize AYUSH, both the rural and urban Indian population are still largely inclined towards allopathic treatments. According to the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), 90% of the Indian population – both rural and urban – prefer allopathic treatments over alternative healthcare options.

    However, AYUSH offers several benefits over allopathy, especially for recuperation from critical illnesses like cancer. It is believed to cause minimum side effects and considered to focus on treating the cause of the disease rather than just the symptoms. The treatment methods use organic components and are more cost effective.

    AYUSH Benefits Under Your Health Insurance Policy

    With the IRDAI move asking insurers to provide cover for AYUSH treatments, the demand for health insurance for alternative treatments has increased to some extent. An AYUSH cover in your health insurance policy covers in-patient hospitalization expenses.

    What Do AYUSH Benefits Cover?

    The medical expenses incurred for in-patient treatment taken under Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy will be covered in the policy. We also reimburse enrolment fees paid by the policyholder to Yoga institutes as part of our preventive and wellness healthcare add-on. The sum insured for this benefit ranges from ₹2,500- ₹20,000 depending on the plan.

  • Are You Scared of Losing Your Job? Buy Income Protection Insurance

    by Tanvi Bodhe | Apr 13, 2021

    Life is full of uncertainties and health insurance is the best way of protecting yourself from them. Often people insure their health, home and assets but ignore their source of income. An accident can leave you partially or permanently disabled for the rest of your life and result in loss of income.

    A majority of casualties arise due to road accidents and the numbers of accidents have increased in the past few years. Most accident-related policies have a permanent or partial disability cover where a fixed percentage of sum insured is paid to the policyholder depending on the nature of disability.

    While choosing a policy you must opt for income protection benefits depending on your monthly expenditure. The benefits of monthly income are triggered only in the event of death or permanent disability. For temporary disability, income protection benefit would be available only for a brief period.

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