Critical illnesses and finance
A lot of people cover themselves with medical insurance, which only provides for hospitalization expenses when one is laid low by an illness. Equally important is the provision that you make for the loss of income and financial drain that you suffer during the recovery period. There are some critical illnesses which put you under financial duress as you are rendered incapable to work and earn income. Some are lifelong conditions that may not allow you to get back to work at any time in the future.
Below are the Top 10 illnesses and their financial ramifications
- Kidney failure:
Our kidneys are supposed to filter waste products from our body. In kidney failure, the kidneys malfunction and are unable to process the waste generated by our bodies. Dialysis is a process using which waste and excess water from the blood is removed. It is used to artificially replace the lost kidney function. For patients with chronic kidney disease, this is a lifelong process which renders the patient incapable to work anymore. Generally, dialysis does not require hospitalization as it is a recurring activity. However, it renders you incapable to engage in a gainful occupation as you become very weak with the multiple dialysis sessions. Dialysis can cost anywhere between Rs.2000-3000 per session. Assuming two sessions a week, it will result in Rs. 24000-25000 per month. This amount will be burdensome especially if you are not earning.
- Stroke: Blood clots forming in the brain causing certain functions to be impaired are called as a stroke. Stroke can result in partial blindness, paralysis of limbs etc. Any kind of stroke will require a lot of time to recover during which it will not be possible for the patient to contribute productively. A stroke can result in a recovery period of anywhere between 6months to a year. If physiotherapy is involved, it will result in a recurring and continuous cost.
- Paralysis: Paralysis is when a person is not able to use his limbs to full effect. If the paralysis is partial affecting only one part of the body, it will restrict a person’s movement and prevent him for discharging his responsibilities fully. Again, physiotherapy may be necessary even to exhibit normal activities like bathing, walking etc.
- Cancer: Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells. If not diagnosed early, it may spread to all parts of the body. There are 100 types of cancer and recovery pace may depend on the kind of cancer and its severity. Chemotherapy is required with multiple cycles; as much as 6-8 during the lifetime of the disease. Each cycle may cost between Rs.50000-70000/- with the scans and tests costing upto Rs.1 lakh. Although, this may be covered with a medical insurance, what is not covered is the loss of income due to the treatment of cancer.
- Brain tumours: When some cells in the brain grow in an abnormal, uncontrollable manner, it is called as a benign tumour. Most brain tumours may need a surgery for removal, which will result in some time being lost in recovery. The surgery will definitely cost upwards of Rs.2 lakhs.
- Burns: Burn injuries are classified on the surface area that is burnt along with the severity of the same. Third degree burns are the most severe needing a longer time to recover and may also require cosmetic surgery. Although most medical insurance plans cover burn injuries, during the time taken for recovery from severe burn injuries, you may not be able to move around much and will have to definitely take time off from work resulting in loss of income
- Blindness: Total blindness can be debilitating and can render the affected person permanently unemployable.
- Cardiac arrest: When oxygen supply is blocked to the heart due to, mainly a clot in the arteries supplying oxygen-rich blood to the heart, the person suffers a cardiac arrest. As a consequence, the affected person may need to undergo an angioplasty or an open-heart surgery to unclog the arteries. The recovery process may take anywhere between a week to 6 months depending on the severity of the clot. Costs will vary from Rs.1.5 lac to Rs.3 lac depending on the city in which you plan to get the procedure done.
- Motor Neurone Disease: It is a neurological disorder affecting cells that control the muscles of the body leading to weakening of the muscles. It affects the locomotive and motion abilities of the patient and can affect his productivity adversely. This is a permanent and irreversible condition and treatment involves increasing the life expectancy. The affected person will definitely lose his locomotive abilities and may never be able to engage in any gainful occupation.
- Multiple Sclerosis: This disease disrupts the normal communication between all parts of the nervous system leading to various problems like lack of proper vision, muscle weakness, lack of co-ordination etc. It is generally an irreversible condition and the affected person can be rendered permanently unemployable.
Although you may have covered yourself against the hospitalization expenses by buying a mediclaim policy, the loss of income that will be a direct result of the illness is not covered. Cover yourself against these critical illnesses by opting for a critical illness rider. It will help you with the financial support needed during your recovery phase and for early phase critical illness as well.