Respiratory Diseases on Rise as Pollution Worsens: Protect Yourself with Right Health Insurance

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Protected yourself from Respiratory Diseases with Health Insurance

As winter sets in each year, the rise in the air pollution levels becomes a yearly phenomenon affecting normal lives for people especially those living in the National Capital Region. Health experts are of the view that breathing polluted air is an invitation to numerous health problems including various respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses on a large scale.

As the toxic smog continues to obstruct your path towards a healthy life, you must stay well-protected by wearing anti-pollution masks, installing air purifiers at your home and most importantly, buying the best mediclaim policy to safeguard yourself in case any medical emergency occurs.

We discuss below the features of health insurance plans that you must consider before buying a policy for yourself and your loved ones this winter season. All these plans listed below provide specific coverage for the various medical expenses you could incur due to illnesses caused by the dangerous Air Quality Index (AQI) levels.

OPD Cover

After Diwali, hospitals in Delhi recently witnessed a rise in OPD cases with a majority of patients reporting respiratory problems viz. chest infection, cough and sneezing. These are some common symptoms exhibited by patients who do not even have any pre-existing disease. This is the magnitude of the damage caused by pollution that can lead to out-of-pocket expenses. The other common pollution-triggered ailments that usually require OPD treatment include dry throat, breathing difficulty and irritation of the eyes.

Therefore, you must pick the mediclaim policy that offers you a good OPD cover. Some companies like Religare Health Insurance also offer add-on covers with 1% of the sum insured for doctor consultations and diagnostic tests. Moreover, in this policy, the buyer is eligible for deductions under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act on the additional premium charges he or she pays for such add-on covers.

Cashless Mediclaim

In severe cases, constant exposure to polluted air can lead to asthma attacks, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and heart attacks. And, this requires immediate hospitalization of the patient.

In case of emergency hospitalization of a person affected by a pollution-related ailment, his or her family need not go through the hassle of procuring liquid money if they have a cashless mediclaim facility. Hence, buying family health insurance with a cashless claim facility is recommended for every family. In fact, even in the case of planned hospitalization, cashless insurance proves to be highly beneficial.

Do remember to check the list of network hospitals where you could avail of the medical facility.

ICU Charges

Individuals who are highly vulnerable to the negative effects of air pollution include senior citizens, children, new-borns and pregnant women. A recent study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that around 6 Lakh children die every year as a result of inhaling toxic air. Furthermore, research experts reveal that new-borns are more likely to be admitted in the intensive care unit in worst-case scenarios. Moreover, the harmful effects of air pollution might also include a stroke or a heart attack, which could make a person land in the ICU. Being prepared for any such eventuality is necessary. The best mediclaim policy also comes with the benefit of ICU expenses cover. Make sure you thoroughly read the policy details before opting for an insurance plan.

Critical illness cover

Those suffering from pre-existing diseases like diabetes and hypertension need to be cautious during the time when air pollution is at its peak as the toxic atmosphere could worsen their condition. This is particularly true in the case of elderly patients, which is why it is advisable to opt for a senior citizen's insurance plan.

Choosing affordable health insurance that provides protection against critical illnesses can help minimize financial risks during medical emergencies. Some must-have features that a policy cover for critical illness includes are ambulance cover, air ambulance, organ donor cover and alternative treatments.

With mounting pollution levels, it is crucial to take preventive healthcare measures. At the same time, it is important to be rational and be ready with health insurance plans in order to face any unexpected medical situation without worrying about the inevitable expenditures associated with it.

Religare Health Insurance provides coverage for 32 major critical illnesses with high coverage for a low premium. Moreover, the mediclaim policy for critical illnesses also includes pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalization cover for a maximum period of 30 days and 60 days, respectively.