Written by Amit Chhabra
Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) are today a primary cause of mortality in India and in the coming few years, it is expected that CVDs will carry a much significant economic and social burden on the Indian population. Cardiovascular diseases are a combination of various kinds of heart-related disease, stroke and ailments of blood vessels nourishing the body parts.
As per a study published in the popular health journal ‘The Lancet’, until the year 2016, the estimated frequency of CVDs in India was 54.5 million. However, deaths due to CVDs in India have increased from 1.3 million in 1990 to 3.7 million in 2019.
Today, one in four deaths in India is because of CVDs with ischemic heart disease and stroke responsible for more than 80 per cent of this burden. Unfortunately, more than half the deaths caused by heart-related ailments are in individuals less than 70 years of age.
Lately, it has been observed that CVDs tend to affect people in the most productive years of their lives and result in catastrophic social and financial consequences.
As per the study findings, Indians are 10 times more likely to die of CVDs than people in other parts of the world, and this primarily because of the genetic make-up of the Indians. Another leading factor why Indians possess the highest risk of CVDs is the consistent lifestyle change they have undergone over the last few decades.
Some major reasons for the ongoing cardiac disease crisis are unhealthy diet, air pollution, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Considering the given factors, it is crucial that each one of us must take a step back and start working towards ensuring a healthy heart.
Ensuring a healthy heart not only means living a healthy lifestyle but also means securing yourself against the massive expenses of unexpected CVDs. And this is because it is not always important that a person living a healthy lifestyle will never be affected by a CVD. Though chances are quite low that people living a healthy lifestyle will get a CVD but there have been several incidences where people following a strict lifestyle have also become prey to the cardiac disease crisis. Over this is the exaggerated cost of treatment for heart-related ailments.
In order to undergo angioplasty to unclog the arteries may cost you anywhere between Rs 3 Lakh to Rs 5 Lakh in a metro city. Similarly, an open heart surgery costs Rs 5 Lakh to Rs 8 Lakh while valve-related surgeries cost anywhere between Rs 4 Lakh and Rs 7 Lakh. It is not always possible for everyone to have enough finances to cover this huge cost and take the best possible treatment.
It is only possible to easily cover these costs by financially protecting yourself through a comprehensive health insurance policy. Your health insurance policy will cover you against all possible health care expenses for the treatment of CVDs and every other disease as well.
A health insurance plan covers you for all hospitalisation expenses along with pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses as well. Moreover, considering the rising incidences of cardiac disease in India, numerous insurers have even come up with customized fixed benefit health plans that only cater to conditions related to the heart.
These plans provide financial protection in case you are diagnosed with a cardiac condition. Just like a fixed benefit plan, under these plans as well the entire sum insured is paid out to the insured on diagnoses of a CVD. The payout amount can be used for the treatment of the illness and even compensate for the loss of income due to the recovery period.
The author is the Head- Health Insurance at Policybazaar.com. Views expressed are that of the author.