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Buy Health Insurance Plans-Now or Later?

By Deepak Yohannan

Buy Health Insurance Plans-Now or Later?
I overheard a conversation a few days ago which really got me thinking. An agent was grappling with a young executive's objection towards buying a health plan. His objections got my attention as the man said-"I am just 29 years old and I am in perfect health.

Moreover, I exercise regularly, do Yoga and eat healthy so there is no chance of me falling seriously ill anytime soon. So what is the hurry? I will think about buying a Health Insurance Plan when I do need it in my older years." Is this objection justified? When do you think you actually need a health insurance plan? Should you postpone buying it till you are in your mid 30s or early 40s?

The answer to this is fairly simple as Health Insurance Plans should be bought earlier in one's life. But let us also consider the reasons why you should buy it early. For starters, there is the escalation in premium rates. The premium amount at younger ages is much less compared to when you are around 35-40 years old.

At higher ages, there are many types of loading in the premium to counter the higher risk associated with older age and the diseases it brings. So the premium amount shoots up considerably which forces the customer to opt for a lower cover (of course everyone cannot afford higher premiums for higher coverage) which is like buying no insurance at all.

Secondly there is the provision of exclusion of pre-existing illnesses. Majority of the population do not realize the necessity of a health plan unless they or someone from their family do not actually get hospitalized. (How many of us start an exercise regimen before we put on weight?) Similarly, after we are diagnosed with BP or diabetes or any other abnormality, we hanker after buying a health insurance policy.


But most often these abnormalities are excluded from the risk cover under the provision of pre-existing illnesses. Even if they are covered, there is generally a waiting period after which these diseases get included in the range of coverage and you end up paying for the cost of these diseases.

Moreover, the premium gets inflated too due to the result of these diseases. Eventually, you are burdened with the dual effect of higher premium and diseases excluded from your cover.

Finally, if we look at the premium trend of health insurance policies, we can see that they are similar to the price trend of gold. The price of gold always follows an upscale trend and so does the premium of your policy (the premium goes on increasing with age).

If we are prudent enough to prioritize buying gold as an investment why do we delay investing in our health? Health is wealth isn't it? Then what is the delay?

So, to conclude, the premiums paid when you are younger may not immediately yield results but they sure help you in future when the need actually arises. Buying the policy early on in your life also ensures lower premium rates and most importantly, all kinds of diseases are covered from the onset.

Though the agent failed to explain this to the executive you should not make the same mistake after all, "A stitch in time does save nine".

The author is the CEO of, an online insurance price & features comparison portal.

Read more about: insurance
Story first published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 9:53 [IST]
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