Customized Health Insurance Plans For Women To Help In Their Financial Protection

There has been a 40% increase in the number of women covered under health insurance in FY’24 Vs FY’23 indicating a positive shift in terms of awareness as well as improved healthcare access.
Customized Health Insurance Plans For Women
Customized Health Insurance Plans For Women

In the dynamic landscape of the evolving society, women are moving ahead at an accelerated pace nationwide. They are making a mark in the professional sphere and achieving financial independence. Today, women are sounder financially and are aware of multiple investment tools. Government and private sector initiatives too are playing pivotal roles in this transformation, offering tailored savings schemes, facilitating low-interest loans, and ensuring accessibility to business financing, collectively empowering women on their financial journeys. However, encouraging women to take ownership of their health and making it a priority is of paramount importance. Women should be equally aware of insurance policies which are available in the market today, catering to their needs and requirements.

Indraneel Chatterjee, Co-founder of RenewBuy, said, “A significant number of women in India are suffering from multiple lifestyle disorders and illnesses and the numbers are fast increasing the Tier 2, 3 and beyond cities too. Lack of physical activity is leading to increased health issues in both men and women. The growing prevalence of sedentary lifestyles with extended work hours, reliance on comfort foods, prolonged periods of watching TV, videos is contributing to a decline in physical activity amongst individuals. The sedentary lifestyle is increasing health issues like PCOD/ PCOS, especially in younger women. Recent studies have also found that the increase in cancer cases amongst women have outnumbered men.”

Siddharth Singhal, Business Head - Health Insurance, said, "Women today are actively making their financial decisions independently. Our recent data suggests that the adoption of health insurance among women has increased by over 40 per cent in the last 12 months. A separate health insurance policy for women is of paramount importance since it plays a crucial role in safeguarding their well-being for various reasons. Firstly, it provides access to comprehensive coverage tailored to women's specific insurance needs. For example, maternity cover in health insurance financially safeguards women from the exorbitant expenses associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Some of the new-age health insurance plans also cover the costs of infertility treatments, surrogacy, and vaccination expenses for a newborn.”

“Secondly, women may encounter various health issues throughout their lives, including chronic conditions, pregnancy complications, and routine check-ups. Having insurance coverage helps alleviate the financial burden associated with these healthcare needs. Additionally, with the rising cases of breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer among women, it is advised that along with comprehensive insurance, women should also opt for critical illness plans to enhance the coverage further and provide them with a sense of financial security. Lastly, a separate policy will offer insured women continuity of insurance, especially in cases when they switch jobs and lose their employer-sponsored insurance," Singhal added.

According to a report by PolicyBazaar, there has been a 40% increase in the number of women covered under health insurance in FY’24 Vs FY’23 indicating a positive shift in terms of awareness as well as improved healthcare access. The number of women buying standalone coverage for themselves has gone up by 43% from last year. Women have traditionally been known to put their needs last; it is a heartening change to witness where women are taking charge and planning to secure their health. This signals a move towards financial independence and proactive health management

With the escalating health concerns in the country, it is crucial for women to secure proper health insurance coverage. The good part is that the demand for health insurance is progressively growing across the country. In addition to the already growing consumer base in the metro cities, there has been a huge demand from consumers (post the pandemic) in Tier 2/3 cities and beyond. Though marginal, there's been an increase in the share of policyholders hailing from Tier- 2 & 3 cities, as per PolicyBazaar Report. “There’s been a 10.5% surge in the number of policyholders from Tier-2 cities, while the growth is 4.3% for Tier-3. The rise in policyholders from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities suggests a democratization of healthcare access, breaking urban-centric barriers and extending insurance benefits to women in previously underserved areas,” it added. Despite this positive trend, women are significantly under-insured in the country; this highlights the need to enhance health insurance accessibility for women.

“Cost-effective and tailored health insurance policies can play a pivotal role in expanding accessibility for female consumers. By addressing the distinct health requirements of women, especially in smaller towns and cities, such policies can bridge the gap for individuals seeking insurance coverage but facing financial constraints. This affordability is advantageous for younger women, who may face difficulties in securing health insurance with higher premiums, due to their limited financial resources,” RenewBuy’s Chatterjee said.

Moreover, low-cost and customized insurance options can prove highly beneficial for women aged 22 to 49 years—the age group most susceptible to lifestyle disorders. These tailored policies not only provide financial relief but also serve as a proactive approach to managing and preventing health issues, the highest in this demographic. Such policies also benefit women with cost effective maternity plans. In essence, a low-cost and personalized health insurance solution empowers women to prioritize their well-being without compromising on financial stability.

PolicyBazaar’s report added that not just in buying health insurance, the growing awareness among women extends to claims too. There’s been a 25% increase in the share of women filing claims indicating how the insurance industry has been able to cater to more women ensuring timely access to healthcare without the financial strain. Women-specific health issues like fibroids (30%), breast cancer (30%), and cervical cancer (10%) top the chart when it comes to claims. It highlights the importance of tailored coverage and specialised care for addressing prevalent health challenges among women.

"Over the last two years, many insurances and InsurTech companies have been working to create low-cost insurance products offering cover for critical illness plans, maternity plans, OPD based health cover, lab tests, medications; no room rent capping is increasingly getting popular amongst consumers today," RenewBuy’s Chatterjee added.

As insurance companies develop tailored, cost-effective plans, a pressing need arises for heightened awareness and comprehension of these offerings. In the years ahead, providing greater financial protection to women is crucial. Amidst rising life aspirations, family responsibilities, and escalating health risks, the significance for insurance has never been greater. "Empowering women with the right insurance coverage ensure a proactive response to the evolving challenges and securing their financial well-being in the ever-changing landscape," said Chatterjee.

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