Treating chronic diseases requires a lot more than hospitalization: Know the cost

Studies in India have found out that if there is one patient in a low-income Indian household, around 20% of the family income may be devoted to their care.

Updated: November 14, 2017 1:53 pm
According to an ‘idf’ report, “global health spending to treat diabetes and manage complications totaled at least $ 548 billion (US) in 2013.”

As per an ‘idf.org’ report, diabetes took the life of at least a million people in 2013. The number of diabetes cases in India skyrocketed to more than 65 million in 2013 and as a result, the overall cost of treatment increased as well. International Diabetes Federation, in a 2012 report, stated that the number of cases in India is going to cross the 100 million mark by 2030. From these reports, one thing is certain – diabetes is one of the biggest killers in India.

Because it is a chronic disease, controlling diabetes requires a lot of money. In addition to hospitalization and treatment, the patient has to undergo regular tests and check-ups. This can easily put a dampener on the household budget of the patient. Studies in India have found out that if there is one patient in a low-income Indian household, around 20% of the family income may be devoted to their care.

Early diagnosis can still benefit a patient in some ways, but if someone has a long-standing undiagnosed diabetes, the cost of treatment drastically increases. According to an ‘idf’ report, “global health spending to treat diabetes and manage complications totaled at least $ 548 billion (US) in 2013.” People in countries like India have to pay more for the treatment owing to lack of medical services and limited access to health insurance. The same report suggests in 2013, the economic burden of diabetes could’ve been around Rs. 30,000 Crore! The numbers are staggeringly high, and to some extent, the patients themselves are responsible.

A lot of people refrain from buying insurance early on in their life and feel the brunt of it at an older age. That is why it is crucial to have a separate emergency fund. At the very least, insurance gives you mental peace. Choosing the right insurance provider is of equal importance. An insurance plan that is solely centered around chronic diseases would benefit a diabetic more than a generic insurance plan.

Activ Health by Aditya Birla Health Insurance is one plan that comes equipped with an inbuilt Chronic Management Program tailor-made keeping chronic diseases in focus. It is unique because the plan covers you from day one i.e. as soon as you have bought the plan, or are diagnosed with diabetes during the policy term. Specifically designed for people with chronic conditions like Diabetes, Asthma, High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol, the program aims to help them on their journey to good health.

A special feature of this plan is that if you develop a chronic condition after buying the policy, you will get upgraded to the ‘Chronic Management Program’. This way the policy covers you not only for hospitalization, but also your regular medical expenditure on medicines, tests and doctor consultations. You also get access to wellness coaches who guide you towards a healthy lifestyle.
(Source: http://www.dgs.pt/programa-nacional-para-a-diabetes/documentos-e-comunicacoes/idf-diabetes-atlas-sixth-edition-pdf.aspx)

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