Published Article Details

Do you need health insurance in your 20s?

Posted by: Arti Bhargava on Jun 27, 2017, 05.00 AM IST

Jack started working six months ago. He loved the financial security his job offered. He could party, travel, and hang out with friends without any worries. He even managed to save some money.

All that changed when he was rushed to hospital with stomach pain. He had appendicitis and then suffered a near-fatal infection. The hospital bill was a whopping Rs 1 lakh. He had to liquidate his fixed deposits and borrow some money from his parents and friends to settle the hospital bill.

His uncle advised him to take health insurance right away, explaining how he could have avoided all the financial stress had he taken one. Jack always thought health insurance was for older people! Does he need one in his 20s?

Jack must understand that an adequate health insurance plan will cover him against fat medical bills and uninvited medical exigencies. It is cost effective when taken early and therefore, a sensible choice to make in one's 20s. When Jack says he doesn't need health insurance in his 20s, he's in denial mode.

Amid his new-found financial freedom, maintaining good health is not really going to be priority. A sedentary lifestyle doesn't help. There would be binge drinking on weekends, burning the midnight oil to meet deadlines, consuming increasing amounts of fast food or a growing dependency on technology. This makes it all the more necessary to invest in a health insurance plan as early as possible. Jack should know that the premium is directly proportional to his age.

The younger he is, the lower will be the premium. It will also be much easier to get his insurance application approved. Most insurers tend to waive off the requirement of a medical check. This makes the process hassle-free. Jack should know that when he buys health insurance in his 20s, he will be crossing the pre-condition regarding waiting period for some illnesses, as when you are young, the likelihood of hospitalization due to serious diseases is pretty low. In his 20s, Jack feels that paying a health insurance premium is an unnecessary expense.

But he should opt for health insurance and consider it as a step to safeguard himself. Instead of relating a health insurance plan to something that should be bought at an advanced age, he should appreciate the merits of buying a health insurance policy at a young age and get covered as soon as possible.

(The content on this page is courtesy Centre for Investment Education and Learning (CIEL). Contributions by Girija Gadre, Arti Bhargava and Labdhi Mehta.) This article appeared in Economic Times dated Jun 27, 2017, 05.00 AM IST

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