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How many women are aware of the family’s medical insurance policies? Or know how to use them? Wake up before you receive a rude wake-up call.
So I have not written for quite some time, you could say I was not particularly inspired to write or maybe it was sheer inertia.
But a couple of events happened in the last few days that woke me up from my slumber.
The first event – I received a frantic call and a message from a lady who was in her late 50s. Her husband had suddenly taken ill and was paralysed. So, very limited or no communication was possible. She received a call from her insurance agent about the renewal of an insurance policy. Furthermore, the agent mentioned that the premium amount also was increasing from this year. This poor lady had no clue about the policy details, the need for it or the process, so through a friend, she got in touch with me to seek guidance on it. Needless to say she was hassled and uncomfortable since she had never handled this before.
Second event – a friend’s husband met with a road accident. He had to be rushed to a hospital nearby and had to undergo an urgent surgery. Obviously the surgery and medicines needed immediate payment. So she withdrew from her savings and made the payment. Thereafter I asked her about their medical insurance policy, she had no idea about it. Obviously she could not ask her husband either. After a few days she dug out the medical policy, but had no idea what it covered, how to claim it or use it for further expenses. She had to rely on friends and family for guiding her through the process. Of course some hospitals have an insurance desk who help with it. But to go through this while being stressed about your dear one can be quite traumatic.
Both these incidents showed me how vulnerable we women are financially when such crisis situations happen.
So here is what I have to say to all women – be involved in the financial matters. Don’t ignore it thinking it’s complicated or too much hassle or just leave it to your partner. Firstly, it’s not complicated, secondly you never know when you may need to handle all of this. When you buy a medical policy, be part of the discussion, ask the agent which illnesses it covers, check to see if all major hospitals are covered, ask if the plan offers cashless payment facility. Lastly, ask about the claims settlement process. Keep all these papers in a place where it can be accessed by both of you and your family. In fact, I believe it would be a good idea to include your children (teenage and older) also in the process.
I wish no one needs to use these policies but there is no harm in being prepared for it.
First published here.
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I have been in the finance and investment field for the last 15 years. I
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