5 Health Trends in India That Showcase Why Critical Illness Insurance Is Necessary

Jul 11, 2018 | 1 year ago | Read Time: 3 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

With more choices, longer working hours and easier availability of resources, our lifestyles have undergone a dramatic shift in the last 20 years. From fizzy soft drinks to American television shows, the life of an average Indian has been dominated by Western trends and their lifestyle. But have all these changes been for the better?

Nearly 66% of the entire disease burden in India is borne by lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular ailments and cancer. Despite these odds, only 11% of Indians today have some sort of health insurance. And even fewer know about the impact of diseases like heart blockages and strokes can have on their life. An easy way of mitigating this lack of awareness is to make an informed choice regarding your critical illness insurance policy.

Here are the 5 trends in India which showcase why critical illness insurance is necessary:

Higher Incomes

Compare your average income to that of someone working in a similar job 10 years ago, you will notice that not only is your purchasing power significantly higher, but so is your standard of living. An analysis by the Boston Consulting Group estimates that India’s nominal year-over-year expenditure of 12% is double the anticipated global average and it will make India the third largest consumer market in the world by 2025. You can spend more, save more or invest more with this rise in your disposable income.

Rising Stress Levels

In line with higher incomes, our working hours and therefore our stress levels have shot through the roof in the last decade. A Regus survey canvassing professionals across the world found that 51% of Indian respondents say their stress levels have increased over the past year. With the main reasons being work and personal finances, these high serotonin levels are seen to be a leading cause in hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Without an adequate critical illness cover, it is highly likely that your entire rise in income may be wiped out by rising treatment costs of these lifestyle diseases.

Technological Revolution

India, like the world, is experiencing an ongoing technological revolution. With online shopping websites and social media applications galore, most people today have a hard time staying off their phones. Think about it, you open up your phone to check your email and before you know it, it’s been two hours of mindless scrolling on social media or an e-commerce website. We seldom have time for ourselves in the high-powered lives we live today, yet when we do, we spend most of it on one gadget or the other. Constant sitting and straining our eyes have been extremely damaging to our health. Eye problems and obesity have become a common problem for most kids.

 Less Physical Activity

Tying in with our rising incomes and rapid technological advancements, our lives have become easier than ever before. The catch here is, with easier commutes and more screen time, our lifestyles have become sedentary. Haven’t we all heard our grandparents’ over-the-top stories about walking 7 miles a day to reach their school. Maybe we scoff at them, maybe we listen in wonder but what we cannot deny is that their lifestyles were much more active than ours. Sedentary lifestyles double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes.

Higher Medical Expenses

According to World Bank data, per capita health expenditure in India was $75 (Rs 4,793) in 2014. But the actual cost of treating life-threatening diseases, chronic illnesses and emergencies is much higher.

Procedures such as heart bypass surgery can cost more than $5,000 (Rs 3.2 lakh) in urban India. What’s more, healthcare inflation has hit double digits, and the trend looks unlikely to reverse.

Now consider this, only 1.5-2% of total healthcare expenditure in India is covered under a regular insurance, meaning households are left footing massive bills using savings or other means.

In this situation having a critical illness policy becomes a necessity rather than a choice. Critical illness policies like Aegon Life’s iCI Rider which provide a longer cover at a lower premium are highly recommended to battle the negative trends of our increasingly materialistic lives.

Advt. No.: IA/Jul 2018/4190


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