Not all health crises come unannounced. Some creep in slowly like diabetes, and people usually know when it’s on its way. Being a lifestyle disease, diabetes is likelier to occur in people who make poor lifestyle choices – such as consuming excess carbohydrates, fats and sugary foods, being physically inactive, etc. The risk factor goes up if you have a family history of diabetes, though the genes are not 100% accurate predictors.
You are, therefore, at an advantage when it comes to taking precautions. Since you know the factors that cause it and those that keep it at bay, you can mould your lifestyle accordingly. Another step you can take is to sign up for a diabetes health insurance plan. Yes, there is indeed a specific type of health insurance for diabetics. It is not difficult to understand why, given that the probability of hospitalisation is high for people with diabetes, and its treatment can be very expensive.
Here are ten things you need to know before you take a diabetes insurance plan:
1. If you’re wondering why it is necessary to have a diabetes-specific plan, this is because regular plans that cover diabetes have a long waiting period – usually around four years. If it is shorter than that, they come with high premiums.
2. But if you have a family history of diabetes, you can buy a regular cover as a preventive measure, as early as possible. A regular health indemnity plan includes diabetes and is cheaper than a specific one.
3. It is recommended that instead of buying the entire cover under a regular indemnity plan, you go for a top-up plan, critical illness plan, or family floater along with the base policy.
4. However, if you develop diabetes much later, the regular insurance plan can be jeopardised unless you inform the insurance company about this change in your medical condition. Only then will you be covered.
5. Getting a plan in the early stages after detection might keep you covered even for the waiting period, before hospitalisation. This option differs depending on the plan – for instance, some plans do not have a waiting period for Type I and Type II diabetes.
6. In case you already have diabetes, then opt for a specialised diabetes plan, in which you will be covered as soon as you sign up for the plan. This will cover all illness related to diabetes as well.
7. There are fewer health insurance plans for Type I diabetes than for Type II diabetes.
8. Most plans cover Type II diabetes, and also the costs of other diseases associated with it, such as kidney and heart disease, amputation, dialysis, kidney donation, etc.
9. Prediabetes counts as a pre-existing disease that you already have at the time of signing up for the health insurance policy. This usually has a waiting period, so you have to wait for a few years before it is included in the scope of the coverage.
10. Diabetes health insurance plans are costlier than other plans, even those specific to diseases. The reason could be that its occurrence is on the increase and the pay-outs along with it. It is also very likely that the insured will outlive the policy term.
It is important that your arm yourself with information before you sign up for a health insurance plan. For more information on the various types of health insurance plans available,