Importance Of Health Insurance Cover for Asthma Patients in India
With ever-worsening levels of air pollution, it is no wonder that respiratory ailments are on the rise, and diseases like asthma affect a majority of our population. Asthma is one of the most common diseases worldwide, and a whopping 10% of the patients are from India. WHO states that almost 300 million people worldwide have asthma.
Do asthma patients need Health Insurance coverage for this specific disease? To answer this question, let us first understand the disease itself.
Asthma is primarily triggered by air pollutants or other allergens present in the air. It leads to inflammation and swelling of a person’s respiratory tract, affecting constant airflow to the lungs. This subsequently results in difficulty in breathing, constant coughing bouts, and chest pain. Asthma attacks can occur at any time of the day, and one needs to be prepared with an inhaler and other medications. However, the attacks are usually more severe at night or after strenuous activities. The good news is that Asthma patients can lead a perfectly normal life if they abide by their set course of medications and stay away from polluted environments as far as practicable.
Various Tests to determine the intensity of asthma
It checks the time taken to exhale air and, based on it estimates bronchial tube volume
- Peak Flow Test
The Peak Flow meter is used to measure the breathing flow.
Lower Peak flow ratings indicate respiratory problems, worsening lung capacity, and asthma. Your doctor will decide the treatment based on these readings.
- Methacholine Challenge
This is a medical test to diagnose asthma, wherein the test subjects breathe in nebulized methacholine.
Chest x-ray and CT Scan of nasal cavity and lungs can help identify the anomaly.
- Nitric Oxide Test
It measures the level of Nitric oxide in the patient. In asthma patients, the nitric oxide level is higher due to respiratory tract inflammation.
- Allergy Testing
This test is conducted to identify triggers of allergy. For example, a skin or blood test is done to identify allergies to pets, mold, dust, etc. If allergy triggers are identified, one might go for allergen immunotherapy.
How to keep asthma attacks under check?
Asthma can be successfully managed by following doctor’s advice, prescribed medications, and staying away from potential triggers.
Asthma can be categorized into three zones based on the severity of symptoms.
The patient has no visible symptoms and can breathe normally.
The patient exhibits mild symptoms like coughing and difficulty in breathing.
The patient exhibits aggravated symptoms like chest pain and severe difficulty in breathing.
As asthma attacks can trigger at any time and the severity of the attack can vary, it’s prudent to stay covered under a Health Insurance
policy, which will take care of the finances and help avail quality healthcare.
Is it a wise move for asthma patients to buy Health Insurance?
- Asthma has become extremely prevalent and can affect anyone at any point in time.
- Asthma attacks can occur at any time and may worsen rapidly and lead to hospitalization. Good Health Insurance takes care of the hospital charges and doctor’s bills.
- Various asthma-related investigations and tests cost money, and a good plan will also cover these expenses.
- Even after discharge from the hospital, one needs rest to recuperate. This leads to loss of productivity and monetary loss.
- A good Insurance cover helps provide financial assistance.
Various Pointers to select the right Asthma Health Insurance Plan
- Wide Coverage
A good Health Insurance plan should ideally cover your hospitalization charges, doctor’s fees, and treatment bill. Check all the available plans, compare the policy details before zeroing in on the most suited plan.
- Policy Renewal
The policy might require annual renewal, depending on the terms of the Insurer. However, many plans come with a lifetime renewal plan as well.
- Policy Exclusions
Do read the fine print to get a clear picture of what is covered and what remains uncovered under the policy to avoid disappointments and misunderstandings later on.
- Terms and Conditions
It always pays the Insured to go through the exhaustive list of terms and conditions. In case of severe complications, you might seek your physician’s advice while selecting the plan best suited to you.
- Deciding the premium amount
One should opt for an affordable plan with reasonable premiums and broader coverage at the same time. The Premium amount depends on several factors. In the case of Health Insurance, age is a significant factor. With each passing year, the premium to be shelled out also increases. Hence, it’s prudent to buy insurance in your younger years.
- Claim Settlement Ratio
Claim Settlement Ratio is the number of claims approved against the number of claims submitted. Select a provider with a higher claim settlement ratio as it increases your chances of your claim being approved.
In a nutshell
Asthma has become prevalent due to ever-rising levels of air pollution and poor air quality in the cities. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe. The patient experiences manageable discomfort in mild cases and can complete day-to-day tasks. Whereas severe episodes may require immediate hospitalization as breathing is difficult.
There is no cure for the disease; however, it can be managed well with regular medications and confident lifestyle choices. Investing in good health insurance coverage is a prudent decision for a person living with asthma, as not only entire medical expenses are covered, but also it pays for regular health checkups. Your hard-earned money also stays protected. Buy a health insurance plan only after carefully examining policy offerings. Then, select a plan which caters to your individual needs.