Why financial planning is not a poor man's problem

As much as we hate to admit it, our domestic helpers maybe in a better position toaccidental deaths or health risks as compared to us.

In order to draw attention to the lack of financial planning amongst the high-income, working population, we are are running a three-part series that will compel you to think about your financial goals and plans for the future.

We kickstart the series with a focus on the health sector. After all Health is Wealth.

Last month, we were in for a rude shock on many fronts with respect to our house-help– our go-to person for almost everything related to everyday affairs at home.

As his blood count dropped, he needed  However, appalling conditions (unhygienic and overcrowded wards) at the government hospital, where he was admitted to, was a far greater shock.

I visited him there and the place could best be described as a nightmare. Sure, a large part of the treatment was free but the thought that we could do better for him kept bothering us. Our doctor friends in the city agreed that it’s just the way things are at government hospitals where treatments are free and hence the number of patients is unreal.

That got me thinking about enrolling our house-helps (maids, cooks and drivers) in the Jan Dhan program. Under the Prime Minister’s financial inclusion plan, people can get a life insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh for a nominal premium of Rs 330. It provides accidental death cover of up to Rs 2 lakh at a meager premium of Rs 12 per annum. The government is also working on providing the poor with benefits of healthcare schemes (under Jan Dhan) in the next phase.

Going back to our man friday’s case, in the example above, we had his treatment approach and reports examined by a senior doctor friend who pointed out that while conditions in the hospital might have been sub-par, there was nothing wrong with the course of treatment prescribed and the corrective measures being taken – and that he would have done nothing differently.

As I reflect on this incident a little deeper I can’t help but think how much getting basic insurance will help all those who work for us. I cannot imagine how much worse off we’d be without them around.

Surely, the next trip (heaven forbid it be needed anytime soon) to the hospital for any of us will be far more comfortable than the one I described above. Even having, say, Rs 50,000 cover will make a world of difference to the kind of attention and quality of care they will receive the next time around, should they need it.

While a slightly better hospital will make a big difference to our house-help, I turn my attention to most of us.

Need for adequate health insurance

There are middle income and affluent Indians who have nowhere near as much health insurance as they need, but find it difficult to cope with anything but ‘the best’ quality treatment and care.

We’ve looked at thousands of users of our health insurance tools over the last year and are amazed to find people with incomes well over Rs. 10 lakh per annum having health insurance covers of only Rs 2-3 lakh for the entire family.

Throw in a bunch of complications, as I have experienced first hand with my own family, and you’re talking much larger amounts.

 

So, who’s going to help us? I don’t see any Jan Dhan equivalent schemes coming our way anytime soon. We can either accept how underprepared we are and do something about it and cover our families to ensure there’s enough coverage for the best treatment possible or do the usual “blaming the whole world” but ourselves.

It costs less than Rs 1,500 per month for a family of four – the eldest member being 40 — to get a family health insurance floater plan of about Rs 10,00,000 cover. Surely, if you earn a hundred or even fifty times this sum a month, paying this much for your family is not asking for a lot. The choice is (and I dare say responsibility) is solely



Source by Chintan Jain

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