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Are You Covered Against 4Ds?

The strength of a nation lies in the well-being of its people. To build on this strength, India needs a strong health care ecosystem. A critical aspect of being a general population is - the constantly dangling financial sword of ‘catastrophic health expenditure’, where people end up taking huge financial burden through debt or giving up all their savings.

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Every year, the World Health Day held on 7th April draws worldwide attention towards giving people access to quality healthcare, where and when they need them, without the prospect of financial hardship. Recently, the Indian government has also announced an ambitious plan to achieve universal healthcare for Indian citizens. With sustained financial support, strong government support and favorable regulations, the universal health coverage will not be a distant dream but a reality in India and the common man will indeed be a part of a healthy and strong India.

So where do we start and what do we do to live a healthy life and have a smart financial safety net for yourself and family. The rule of the game is to be covered against 4Ds i.e. Diagnosis, Diseases, Disorders and Disabilities, so that nobody should have to choose between good health and other life necessities. 

Diagnosis 

Diagnosis of a disease at any point of time can lead to sudden panic. The major reason behind this panic is generally the high cost involved for medical and treatment for certain ailments or even injuries. While most people have a health policy in place, many a time, when they actually need the money, they realise that they are falling short. They turn to their friends, families or dip into their savings to salvage the situation putting them in more debt.  It is even worse if there is only one breadwinner in the family and is the afflicted person. Not only do they have to deal with the loss of pay while they are in the hospital, but also face hardship as they are unable to go to work during the recovery phase. So, it is important to do preventive health check-ups to ensure that you don't end up spending lakhs for an illness.

Diseases 

Urbanization, increase in non-incommunicable diseases and lifestyle diseases have taken a toll on the health of our nation. Moreover, the current fast food eating fad has contributed to the rise in chronic illness and obesity driving the cost of medical bills and inflated medical spending. Critical illnesses such as cancer, kidney diseases and others are also on the rise and can prove fatal if timely medical aid is not available. To add to this medical inflation is on the rise. Given all these facts, it is important to have protection against diseases and hospitalization need.

Disorders

 

Critical illnesses often come without prior warnings and treatments can be long drawn and can take a major toll on the financial health of the person. While many people lead relatively normal lives after suffering a critical illness, they no longer enjoy the same mobility or good health. While the cost of covering these diseases is going up, people who suffer end up with diminished ability to work, forcing them to make severe lifestyle changes. Therefore, it’s important to have protection against chronic disorders due to lifestyle changes that may cause critical illnesses. Hence, the earning member of the family should look at critical illness cover as it takes this financial burden off the patient and safeguards finances.

Disabilities 

You never know what life holds for you. An accident can come uninvited and leave you, and your family with an uncertain future. But you can take charge of your family’s financial health by making smart decisions to protect yourself and your loved ones. Hence, it is imperative to be prepared for adversity arising due to uncertainties and be financially protected against disabilities due to an accident.

This World Health Day, let us pledge for good health because it an essential basis for defining a person's sense of well-being and financial security.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Sapna Desai

The author is Senior Vice President & Head – Marketing and Communications, Cigna TTK Health Insurance

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