The National Center for Biotechnology Information has disclosed that India accounts for about one-fifth of the global 17.9 million deaths due to cardiovascular diseases. What is worse is that this trend favours the younger generation. Investing in health insurance for heart patients can help protect one from the risk of losing a significant part of their wealth in an unexpected cardiovascular emergency. Health insurance companies have curated a dedicated insurance plan for people with pre-existing heart problems or at risk of having them.
Importance of getting health insurance for heart patients
The rapid inflation in healthcare costs is not your only concern anymore; the number of individuals affected by cardiovascular diseases is also increasing–even youngsters are afflicted with heart problems. These factors accentuate the need for health insurance for heart patients and those likely to encounter this disease. Medical requirements to treat cardiac ailments differ from regular healthcare; a dedicated medical insurance policy can be tremendously beneficial.
The most significant advantage of investing in health insurance for cardiac patients is the financial coverage it can offer.
Different types of cardiovascular health problems
Understanding cardiovascular diseases and their types can help you choose the best health insurance for you and/or your family. Here are the major types:
- Coronary heart disease
When the blood supply to your heart’s muscles is blocked partially or entirely due to blockage, it can lead to chest pain and even heart attacks. This category of heart disease can quickly increase the risk of fatality.
The condition hampers the blood supply to your brain. Your brain cells begin to die due to the disturbed blood flow, and symptoms such as the inability to control parts of your body may arise. If left unchecked, a stroke can be fatal.
- Aortic disease
When the largest blood vessel in your body starts acting, you can develop an aortic disease. Although rare, the disease can be fatal. An aortic aneurysm is a typical example in which the aorta swells up. In severe cases, it can burst and cause internal bleeding.
- Peripheral arterial disease
A blockage in a limb’s artery can impede your routine activities and trigger a heart attack if not treated on time. The blockage usually occurs in your hips, thighs, or calves. If you have this disease, you will experience dull pain in your legs while walking or running.
Who should buy health insurance for cardiac patients
With the rising number of cases registered each year for cardiovascular patients, the need for you to invest in medical insurance has also increased. Treatment for cardiac ailments can continue for extended periods and is challenging if you do not have an insurance plan.
The following groups of people will benefit the most from purchasing an insurance plan:
- People who already have heart problems can prevent burning their savings for medical expenses in the future.
- People who have a family history of cardiac ailments.
- People who live a sedentary life and do not pay heed to their health and food intake
- People who have diabetes
- People who have a spouse or family member with cardiovascular disease can think about purchasing a floater/family plan
Top health insurance for heart patients
Medical insurance for heart patients: Key features & benefits
It is essential to understand the insurance policy to choose the right health insurance for heart patients. Knowing the key features and benefits of the plan can help you make the decision yielding an optimum outcome. Here is a range of attributes associated with most cardiac insurance policies:
- Financial cushion
Life can be unpredictable, and there is no guarantee that you are not at risk from a cardiovascular event if you have a heart condition. While the need for medical care intensifies, you cannot ignore the financial burden it can put on you and your family. A health insurance plan for cardiac patients can offer you solace by providing financial support in times of need.
- Coverage for medical expenses
Your insurance policy may cover the treatment cost incurred for cardiac ailments; this includes expenses for ECGs, angiography & angioplasty, and pacemaker surgeries. A comprehensive plan covers OPD, IPD and daycare expenses as well.
- Tax benefits
You can avail of tax benefits of up to INR 25,000 on the premium paid for health insurance policy under Section 80C & 80U of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
- Coverage for treatment in a foreign land
Health insurance policy may cover medical expenses for overseas medical care. This way, you can consult the best doctors in the world and prioritise your recovery.
- Coverage for loss of income
You can rely on your health insurance policy to compensate for the loss of your income. Most insurers offer claims for miscellaneous expenses to their customers. Good health insurance for heart patients can help you keep up with rising medical costs. However, reviewing policy documents before concluding the sale is essential.
Inclusions & exclusions of health insurance for cardiac patients
No health insurance policy is the same, but all policies share common attributes. You can gauge the merit of medical insurance for heart patients after analysing the following list.
Typical inclusions of the policy:
- Pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses
- Outpatient department, inpatient department, and daycare expenses, including domiciliary hospitalisation
- Fees for diagnostic and investigative tests, including ECG and detailed cardiac risk marker tests
- Annual check-ups for following up on cardiac health
- Costs for the following medical treatments:
o Myocardial infarction or first heart attack
o Valvuloplasty or balloon valvotomy
o Minimally invasive surgery of the aorta
o CABG or coronary artery bypass graft
o Heart transplant or repair of heart valves
o Angiography and angioplasty
o Insertion of a pacemaker, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), and ventricular assist devices
o Surgery for cardiac arrhythmia
o Primary pulmonary arterial hypertension
Common exclusion of the policy:
- Expenses attributed to treatment for injuries from self-harm and unlawful activities
- Costs for pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, and abortion
- Expenses for treating internal congenital diseases
- IVF and infertility treatments and tests thereof
Please read the policy documents to avoid misunderstanding the inclusions and exclusions. Seek clarification from your insurance provider before finalising the deal.
Consider the following before purchasing a medical insurance
Health insurance provides insured heart patients with a financially safe harbour.
- Your current heart health, potential risks, and the policy coverage
Get an update on your current heart health from your doctor. A routine check-up will be wise before considering a medical insurance plan. This way, you can assess potential health risks and make an informed decision. Being aware of your requirements will help you select a policy. For example, based on your medical exam, if your doctor advises that your heart is at risk, you can take practical steps and seek a suitable policy that covers your heart condition.
- Your family’s heart health
Cardiac ailments are usually hereditary, which means your children may have the same or similar diseases. Naturally, it is your responsibility to look out for them.You can get a health analysis for all your family members and look for an appropriate plan that offers coverage— a family or a floater plan.
- Financial analysis
Purchasing health insurance is a crucial decision that will inevitably affect your finances. It is better to evaluate the policy you are considering against your budget. While doing this, keep the future in mind, along with potential health risks and treatment costs.
- Eligibility criteria
Considering the increasing occurrences of cardiovascular diseases across younger age groups, anyone aged 10 -65 can purchase health insurance. However, most health insurance companies require previous medical records to analyse your eligibility. You may have to endure the waiting period to claim expenses if you have pre-existing cardiac ailments. In most cases, you can avail of health insurance regardless of your health condition; however, the premium costs will vary.
How to raise a claim
- You will receive a detailed guide on raising a claim request from the health insurance company. However, there is a standard basic process.
- Initiating a request is the first step, where you will inform your agent or policy executive about your claim. They will require basic details regarding the nature of the event and your identification at this stage. You need to initiate a request within a specific period stated by the insurance provider; delaying this may lead to a claim rejection.
- After this, your agent or executive will ask for supporting documents to validate the claim, including the original medical bills, test reports, and consultation forms. If all goes well, you will get a notification about your claim’s status and a tentative date for reimbursement.
- Health insurance companies offer a cashless claim facility in their hospital network. If you receive treatment from any network hospital, your insurer will directly cover the costs on your behalf with the hospital.
Which health insurance is right for you?
Consult your doctor for a check-up to assess your health and plausible risks. Doing this will give you a fair estimate of your requirements and help you make an informed choice.
Discuss the policy you have selected with your financial advisor and your spouse/elders for insight. If you have doubts or are unsure about the plan, seek clarification from your insurance executive. Proceed with the policy after receiving satisfactory answers.
The way forward
Your heart is a vital organ, and the first step is to ensure that you take meticulous care of your health. Educate yourself, your loved ones, and your extended family about the need for a healthy lifestyle. Most heart problems can be reversed with a balanced life that includes a healthy meal plan, positive thinking, and regular exercise. Simple habits like eating wholesome foods and cutting out oily and packaged foods will keep you healthy and active–if you eat the right foods, your health parameters will also remain stable. Lifestyle habits like smoking, consuming tobacco, and drinking alcohol, can negatively impact your health, and These habits also put more strain on your heart. It is advisable to refrain from them to ensure good health and increase your chances of buying a suitable insurance policy. Also, do not delay purchasing heart insurance for the heart, as you are also protecting your family’s financial safety eventually. Most importantly, it would be best to stay covered under a critical illness insurance plan to keep your finances safe throughout your life. The crucial step is to do everything you can to improve your health–and to search and compare policies of different insurers to find a policy you can afford that provides the coverage you need.
Why do I need to buy a Heart health insurance policy?
Investing in health insurance is your best answer to secure your future against medical uncertainties. Having the right policy is beneficial when you have pre-existing cardiac ailments or are prone to them.
Is angioplasty covered in heart health insurance plans?
Yes, most medical insurance policies for heart patients cover the expenses incurred on angioplasty. However, carefully review the policy documents for details about sub-limits or caps for proceeding.
Can I avail of the tax benefits of health insurance?
You can avail of tax benefits of up to INR 25,000. Section 80C and 80U under the Income Tax Act 1961 empowers you to claim deductions against your medical expenses.
Are the treatment costs for heart failure covered under cardiac health insurance plans?
Yes, if you get a heart attack, your insurance provider will cover the expenses for treatment. You are covered even if you suffer from heart failure for the first time (myocardial infarction). The only exception is if you suffer a heart attack during the waiting period. Ensure that you have understood the waiting period conditions of your policy in advance.
Are there any sub-limits under the cardiac health insurance plans?
The sub-limit depends on the health insurance company, as the terms and conditions will vary across policies. Ask your insurance provider about sub-limits before finalising a policy.