Taking heart: About 80% of premature deaths from CVDs can be avoided if the risk factors are controlled   | Photo Credit: Chinnapong

It was just two months ago when Mridul, a marketing professional, from Kolkata, opted to undergo a casual cardiac-screening test under a health check-up camp organised by his employer.

A non-smoker and an avid runner, Mridul recalls he wasn't worried at all while taking the different tests. However, the results were shocking. Through a number of further tests, he got to know that he had mitral leaking valve disease with blood leaking into the wrong parts of his heart.

Soon, he underwent a keyhole surgery to repair the valve which cost him ₹3 lakh. Unfortunately, he was not covered under an individual health cover policy and his employer-provided health policy only covered expenses up to ₹1 lakh. To pay for the hospital expenses, he had to break his savings. Had he taken an individual health insurance policy, his savings would have been intact.

As per several reports, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of mortality worldwide as they contribute to over 17.5 million deaths worldwide every year.

While the deaths due to CVDs have declined in the U.S., in India it has increased by over 34% in the last two decades. CVDs will be the largest cause of death and disability in India by 2020 as per a World Health Organisation report. This is because of the genetic make-up of Indians and the consistent lifestyle change they have undergone over the last few decades.

Experts believe that at least 80% of premature deaths from CVDs could be avoided if the main risk factors — tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity — are controlled.

Working towards a healthy heart also means keeping yourself insured against the massive expenses of unexpected onset of CVDs. Treatment of CVDs is costly in India.

An open-heart surgery costs ₹5 lakh to ₹7 lakh and valve surgeries between ₹3 lakh and ₹6 lakh. To cover these expenses, one must invest in a comprehensive health insurance policy that provides adequate coverage. Considering the rising incidence of cardiac ailments in India, insurers have come up with specifically-designed plans.

The plans provide financial protection in case you are diagnosed with a cardiac condition or are undergoing a procedure as covered under the policy.

A fixed benefit cardiac plan allows you to avail the best medical treatment by helping meet your medical needs and letting you use your savings for a rainy day.

They provide comprehensive cover for an extensive list of cardiac conditions and procedures and fixed lump sum payout irrespective of actual expenses incurred for diagnosis/procedure.

Multiple claims of same or different conditions/procedures can be covered subject to the exhaustion of applicable sum insured. Moreover, consumers can even choose hospitalisation benefit to get lump sum payout in case he/she is hospitalised due to any of the covered conditions.

Plans that offer coverage to people already suffering from heart-related ailments include Star Health Insurance’s Cardiac Care which is available at a premium of ₹19,010. One may even choose to invest in Religare’s Care Heart available at a premium of ₹9,208 while Aditya Birla’s Enhance plan can be bought for ₹26,570.

For those not suffering from heart-related ailments but wish to cover themselves against CVD can invest in plans like Max Bupa’s Health Companion at a premium of ₹8,752, Apollo’s Optima Restore at a premium of ₹8,431 or Star’s Medi Classic that costs ₹6,431.

All the premiums are for a 35-year-old male residing in a metro city and the sum insured for each of these plans is ₹5 lakh.

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Printable version | Oct 8, 2019 7:03:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/have-a-heart-for-insurance/article29614505.ece

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