Rishi was a young and a vibrant professional. He was happily married and had a school going son. He built his career in sales and distribution. He stepped up the ladder in his profession by getting a salary increment and two promotions in two consecutive years. Just like his income even his stress level was increasing.
He worked 14 16 hours a day and neglected his diet or exercise. This resulted in lifestyle disorders like high blood pressure which finally led to heart disease. A heart disease leading to hospitalization and a bypass surgery exhausted almost Rs. 10 lakhs of his savings. That was not the end, he was unable to work for the next 2 years as the doctor advised that his condition was serious and so his recovery would take quite some time.
Rishi’s wife being a teacher could only manage basic household expenses like grocery bills and utility bills. This resulted in home loan default.
Rishi and his wife had dreams about their new home, their son’s future career goals, and their retirement together. However, this sudden and unfortunate critical illness left them harrowed with a huge financial burden.
One day before getting a discharge from the hospital, Rishi was just frustrated and upset. That’s when Rishi heard the patient beside his bed speak.
“Don’t worry! Thank God I had opted for critical illness insurance along with my regular medical insurance.”
Rishi then thought he should speak to him;
“Hi. What’s your name? Sorry, but I heard the doctor say you have kidney disorder? The treatment for it must be quite expensive?”
The neighbouring patient replied, “My name is Pradeep. Yes, I have a chronic kidney disorder. It is very expensive but I had opted for critical illness coverage just a year ago.
Rishi was then curious and asked, “So is this plan like regular health insurance?”
Pradeep replied, “No. I opted for a plan named Edelweiss Tokio Life Zindagi Plus. It is a term plan which also covers critical illnesses like cancer, heart disease, chronic kidney disorder, organ transplants and so on. This plan provides the entire lump sum amount on the diagnosis itself and the amount can be used for hospitalization and regular use just as an income replacement. So now that I am unable to work and provide for my family, Edelweiss Tokio Life – Zindagi Plus is ensuring that their needs are taken care of. It also provides a multiclaim option where in case a critical illness strikes the second or the third time then the insurer will still pay the claim amount and I don’t have to pay the premiums after the first claim, which is now.”
Rishi replied in a regretful tone, “I wish I knew about this plan before then my family and I would have been financially secured during this difficult phase of life”
Rishi and Pradeep are both going through the same difficult phase in life. However, Pradeep had well planned his future and so he can now concentrate peacefully only on his recovery. But in the case of Rishi, he has to deal with physical, mental and financial stress. He was young and hardworking but he missed out in securing himself against uncertainties.
Just like Rishi, there are many young Indians who are scaling up in their career but also living a sedentary lifestyle.
Medical research suggests that India has the highest rate of cardiac arrests in the world and approximately 2 lakh heart surgeries are conducted per year. Even cancer cases are expected to rise by 25% by 2020. While these statistics are concerning, the advancement in medical research and development have made it possible to treat them. The key lies in getting the right treatment at the right time. However, the treatment cost involved is highly expensive and require extended medical treatment, frequent visits to the hospital and a lengthy recovery period.
To battle against critical illnesses you need early detection, timely medical intervention, and the finances to pay for the treatment. While your regular health plan will secure you against basic diseases or minor ailments it may not be sufficient to cover the treatment costs involved in a critical illness.
Hence, to be financially prepared against critical illnesses you need to plan like Pradeep!