Early Treatment Translates into Superior Outcomes
Imagine a fire that starts due to spontaneous combustion of dry leaves in a forest. Feeding on the twigs and bushes nearby, it spreads. Aided on by the lack of humidity and strong winds, the fire keeps growing and finally everything from the ground to the crowns of the trees is on fire. Now the fire fighters make an entry. Their job is tough due to the temperature as well as the extent and momentum of the spreading fire. Despite the amount of resources spent on the attempt to extinguish it, the outcome could go either way, i.e. the fire fighters could curtail the damage and put out the fire or it could eventually consume everything in its wake and then subside, for want of fuel. Yet even in the case of success, a large part of the forest is destroyed and will take years to recover. If only the fire had somehow been discovered and attended to while it was still restricted to a few twigs and bushes, it would have saved a lot of resources, efforts and most importantly, a positive outcome would have been almost assured!
That’s exactly the way it is usually with critical illnesses. When prolonged symptoms of physical deterioration are ignored or preliminary conditions, like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, localised numbness, unexplained change in appetite, visual impairment, difficulty in walking, lack of coordination, etc. go unattended, there could be a critical illness spreading like wild fire within the body. Due to a combination of lack of awareness and neglect, delayed attention to a set of relatively innocuous symptoms could make the course of treatment more complex and expensive. The deferment also lowers the chance of complete recovery or slows it down considerably.
To add to it, the costs involved in medical treatment are rising. According to a report by Mercer Marsh Benefits, the forecasted medical trend rate (the per-person cost increase due to medical inflation) in India is likely to be 10% percent in India, compared to an expected overall inflation rate of 5%. It also noted that outpatient expenses, including medicines, medical check-ups, doctor fees, etc. comprise a larger portion of this amount than actual hospitalisation expenses.
Accordingly, in addition to taking prompt action when early symptoms present themselves, getting adequate health insurance while one is still in the pink of health could make any future eventuality more manageable as the focus can remain on treatment and care.
Religare Health Insurance has launched its Supermediclaim product which is perfectly tailored to support the early detection and prompt care of critical illnesses. Although it does not call for pre-policy issuance medical check-ups, it comes with an annual health check-up from the second policy year onwards. Further, being an indemnity plan, it covers pre and post hospitalisation expenses in addition to in-patient costs and covers OPD expenses to an extent too. Specifically crafted to facilitate those with critical illnesses, it has unique inbuilt features such as dialysis cover, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and organ donor cover, upto the SI. It also comes with many thoughtful features including quick recovery counselling, doctor on call, air ambulance, option to get an international second opinion, etc. Yet at the end of the day, it seeks to reward good health with generous no claim bonuses of 50%, 25% and 25% for the first, second and third continuous claim-free policy years, respectively (upto a maximum of 100% of the sum assured). Lastly, realising the urgency in dealing with critical illnesses, it becomes accessible after an initial waiting period of just 90 days, with no specific waiting ailment periods. Even the PED waiting period is at a reasonable 4 years. With its promise of lifelong renewability and coverage of 32 critical illnesses, it becomes a reliable financial safety net in the face of the rising incidence of critical illnesses and the possibility of their recurrence.