Health Insurance for Women!

Smartchoice Editorial
December 03, 2020

Women are not only homemakers but are also an important part of our workforce. They build a family as well as also help in economic prosperity not just for a single household but for a whole community and nation on a larger scale. Buying a health insurance policy for women can ensure protection, not just for themselves, but also for their loved ones. Here’s a list of some more reasons why it is significant for every woman to have a health insurance policy in Pakistan.

Health Insurance plans for Women

From home to politics to science, women are making progress in all walks of life. They are breaking the glass ceiling across different working environments while amazingly managing their homes and families with ease and expertise. Women are believed to be natural caregivers. However, in this life long journey of taking care of others, women often forget to look after themselves and their own physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Looking at the present world and everything around us we do realize that everyone needs a health insurance policy, every woman in the society, whether she is a homemaker or working in an office, school, anywhere needs it. Below mentioned are some of the reasons why is it important for women to have health insurance.

Increasing heart-related ailments

The diseases are on the rise, we also know that pandemic has made the situation vulnerable at the same time the current almost immobile lifestyle has led to increasing in Heart diseases among women in Pakistan. According to a research study, approximately 40 to 50% of the women in Pakistan are at risk of heart problems. Heart-related diseases are costly to treat, with expenses running into hundreds of thousands at times. Hence, we need to realize that dealing with a heart ailment without health coverage can have a significant impact on your finances.

A rise in critical illnesses

As per the World Cancer Report, in Pakistan, a higher number of women were diagnosed with cancer (especially breast and ovarian and cervical cancer) taking the lead as compared to men. Breast cancer had the most occurrences, followed by cervical cancer. We’re cognizant of the point that cancer is an expensive disease to treat and can disrupt your savings completely and entirely. There have been incidents in the real world where people had to sell off their properties and valuables and even take loans to treat such life-threatening illnesses. Having a comprehensive health insurance policy which provides covers for all the medical issues, along with a critical illness cover (for extreme life-threatening diseases) will reduce your financial burden considerably.

Changing lifestyle

We have gone towards more sedimentary lifestyle over the past few decades; women have become more susceptible to diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis and other diseases due to changing lifestyles and scenarios. Women are not only managing their households but also look after their work and families, which increases the stress and strain factor. This has contributed to the rise in these diseases. Since women have to seek regular healthcare facility, looking at the changes in the lifestyle and other factors it is sensible to have a health insurance policy to manage their finances better.

As women and men grow older, they become prone to illnesses. But looking at the women live and the ups and downs she has had starting from maternity to treatment of any disease. It is important as any delay to secure the right treatment path on the part of the patient can worsen the medical condition. Moreover, since most health insurance plans have a waiting period after which policy comes into force, women should not delay purchasing health insurance for them. A health insurance policy will not only help women and family to better manage their finances in case of health emergencies but also enable them to pay more attention to their health. It is wisely put by some intelligent people that “A healthy woman is truly an empowered woman”.

Things to keep in mind while buying a health insurance policy being a woman: Prepare yourself for the unexpected: Having a protective shield of health insurance prepares you against unexpected health issues that you may face in the future that can create an imbalance in your life. Without a health cover, a sudden medical emergency can put an added burden on your shoulder and cause financial strain.

Economic options are not sufficient: When you buy a health insurance policy, you come across a variety of basic health plans that offer varying coverage for diseases while being hospitalized and even after pre-and-post hospitalization. While looking at the policies one should not look for a cheap policy, but the coverage offered should be sufficient and appropriate. It is important to avoid a financial crisis during health care emergencies by buying adequate coverage.

Buy personal health insurance for the woman in your family: The validity of your company-sponsored or employer health insurance policy coverage is directly related to your working contract with the organization. As soon as the association with the institute is over, and you leave the job, the individual/family health insurance policy lapses. In case of personal health insurance policy that you buy it yourself, as long as you are paying policy premium, your insurance coverage is valid and the coverage is intact.

Inflation, that is everywhere: When you don’t have suitable health insurance coverage, hospital and medical bills can completely wipe away your savings and push you towards an unexpected financial crisis. The medical expenses and inflation is increasing at an alarming rate and a health insurance policy can be your financial safety net.

Be an early bird: Women should start buying health insurance policy when they are in their young age and continue with it. When the women health is good, and you are free from any medical complications. The perk of buying health insurance early on is that the premium is lower with comprehensive coverage. Continue buying of health insurance policy also leads to coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. As you grow old, the cost of health insurance increases and coverage decreases correspondingly.

Income tax benefit: we might not pay much attention to this fact but apart from providing insurance cover against the medical emergency, a health insurance policy offers you the benefit of tax deduction under section 62 of Income-tax ordinance 2001.

However, when it comes to making investment decisions be it health or life insurance such as investing in a mutual fund, women’s health insurance or life insurance, they still lag far behind men. A 2018 McKinsey research report revealed that 77% of working women depend on their significant other or parents for their investment decisions. Additionally, only 20 to 30% of life and health insurance policyholders in Pakistan are working women.

Evidence-based data and investigation, however, tells another story. Researches and studies have shown that women do live longer than men and hence they require more healthcare services. Women are also more at risk of prolonged illnesses compared to men. Yet, only some percentages of women in Pakistan have health insurance.

All the figures and data being researched make a strong case for women to buy health insurance and safeguard themselves from rising medical expenditures. If you are a working woman well in your thirties and have been postponing for long, let us give you five good reasons why you need to buy health insurance now.
Why are we focusing on the women in 30s is because women of this age are independent, smart, working starting families transitioning in health and other avenues of life. At the same time, women in their 30s are more at risk of diseases.

According to data published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018, life expectancy in Pakistan is 66.9 for males and 70.3 for females. Women outlive men in most parts of the world but are more at risk of being afflicted by chronic illnesses and ill health.
Here are a few cases that prove how women carry more health risks as they hit 30. Percentage of women who suffer from polycystic ovary disease during their reproductive years: 5% – 20%.Women in their 30s with Type 2 Diabetes: 18%. Women in Pakistan in their mid-30s are at high risk of heart disease. Risks of osteoporosis and bone disorders intensify in women once they reach 30 because they have lesser bone tissue than men have. You can also derive maximum health insurance benefits in your 30s.

Considering that thirties is when you are more at risk of illnesses, it’s the right time to adopt a regime and buy health insurance before you have pre-existing diseases. If you are late and don’t procure the health insurance policy at the right time, you may have to wait another 2-4 years for your coverage of pre-existing illnesses to start.

Many health providers provide special health insurance plans for hardworking women in and provides coverage for multiple critical illnesses and surgical procedures including heart and cancer-related ailments. These health insurance plans also provide coverage for hospitalization expenses ensures cashless hospitalization and provides a large hospital network where you can choose the hospital for treatment based on your level of comfort.

Final Thoughts

Last but not the least, don’t buy health insurance just to save up on the taxes but keep in mind the real purpose of buying health insurance. Understand the real essence and importance of health insurance. Read the fine print carefully before you purchase a health insurance policy and check the illnesses and conditions that the procured health policy covers, what are the exclusions, waiting for the period for pre-existing diseases (if any), premium amount, and the amount of coverage among others.
A woman can be the breadwinner of the family or a homemaker of the house, but we can say it without a doubt that a no household can function without a hustling bustling mother. Therefore, her health and safety are of extreme importance to everyone in the family. It is important that when in need, of medical attention and care she gets the best health care facility that is out there to protect her and her family (loved ones).

Well, we all know that the urban Pakistani woman has arrived; and she has arrived with a bang tasting success in every sphere, she has even made inroads into traditional male fortresses be it business, career, sports, politics, defence forces, or art and entertainment. Now it is also being said that women even make better share traders than men.

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