Most of us are covered under health insurance or mediclaim, which only provides for hospitalization expenses when diagnosed with an illness or a minor injury. 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 will put you under financial duress as you may need to take a sabbatical or quit your job to recover from these critical illnesses. Some are lifelong conditions that may not allow you to get back to work at any time in the future.
Top 5 illnesses and their financial ramifications
- Kidney failure requiring regular dialysis: 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 artificially replaces the lost kidney function. For patients with chronic kidney disease, this is a lifelong process which renders the patient incapable of coping up with hectic working hours. Generally, dialysis does not require hospitalization as it is a recurring activity. However, because of dialysis you will become weak and may be unable to work. 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 resulting in permanent symptoms: Formation of a blood clot in the brain causing certain functions to be impaired is called a stroke. Stroke can result in partial blindness, paralysis of limbs etc. Any kind of stroke requires a lot of time to recover during which it is mostly not possible for the patient to contribute productively. A stroke can result in a recovery period of anywhere between six months to a year. If physiotherapy is involved, it might cost around 5000-10000 per month.
- Paralysis: When a person is unable to use his limbs to their full effect, it’s called paralysis. If the paralysis affects only one part of the body, it will restrict a person’s movement and prevent him from discharging his responsibilities fully. Again, physiotherapy may be necessary for you to become capable of discharging normal functions like bathing, walking etc.
- Cancer: Cancer is basically 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 road to recovery 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 up to Rs.1 lakh. Although, this may be covered by mediclaim, what is not covered is the loss of income due to the treatment of cancer.
- Cardiac arrest resulting in CABG procedure: When oxygen supply is blocked to the heart due to a clot in the arteries, 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 six months depending on the severity of the clot. Costs vary from Rs.1.5 lac to Rs.3 lac depending on the city in which you plan to get the procedure done.
Although a mediclaim policy covers hospitalization expenses, the loss of income which will be a direct result of a critical illness is not covered. Secure yourself financially against these critical illnesses by buying a critical illness plan. It will help you with the financial support needed during your recovery phase.