Health Insurance for the freelancing soul!
Being your own boss is fulfilling, exciting and enriching. But with that comes a few other factors. Like - having your own back, especially during a medical crisis. Women are taking chances we never would have before. Leaping into businesses, freelancing, taking up gig work and so on. However, with that comes the need to also have a health insurance policy that covers your health emergencies. Most employers provide their employees with benefits such as a health insurance cover. While it is usually the basic cover, it is still one of the initial benefits you can get as an employee in the event of an emergency. When you are a freelancer, however, you do not have this safety net - this means that you need to have health insurance that covers you in case of a medical emergency. So let’s get down to business! First things first - how much do you need? If you live in a metro city where the medical expenses shoot through the roof, a health insurance cover of ₹ 7 lakh to ₹ 10 lakh should be a good place to start.
If you are looking to cover your spouse and kids as well, you can choose a family floater plan of ₹ 15 lakh to ₹ 20 lakh.
One thing that you should look out for is the option of a free health checkup. Most health insurances allow for 1 free health checkup in a year. What’s more? You can even get a health return on your insurance. If you show a positive difference in your health since the previous year, your health insurance provider will give you what’s known as a ‘health return’ in the form of a discount. As a freelancer, your work might have you travel to various places. In such a situation you should think of a PA (Personal Accident) cover over your health insurance. This is an additional cover that takes care of uncertainties that might arise due to accidents.
First things first, the cooling off period - most policies have a cooling off period i.e. they take effect after a month, for example. So you want to make sure that this cooling off period is a short duration, as if anything happens to you within that time period, you will not be covered under that insurance policy. Another important thing you must look out for is the Co-pay option. This means, you offer to pay a certain percentage of the insurance claim on your own. This can be very steep for a freelancer. Many times these come as a fine print on policies that have a considerably cheaper premium. You might feel that you are getting a good deal on the premium, but when it finally comes to the claim, you will have to pay a certain percentage of the total claim amount from your pocket. So watch out! And the very last, look at your future. 1. Understand the cooling off period on things like a maternity cover: Are you planning to have a baby a few years down the line? In that case you should get maternity cover. These covers have a cooling off period of between 2 to 3 years, so getting it early is a good idea. 2. Critical illnesses: You should look out for this as we, as women are more prone to illnesses like cancer amongst others. Oh and one more thing! If you get a health insurance policy for 2 or 3 years, you will be eligible for a sweet 7.5% and 10% discount. That could save you a couple of bucks in the long run!
What does this mean for you? As an independent freelancing woman, you need to make sure that you have yourself protected on the health insurance front. With uncertainties and the pandemic, it is always good to watch out for yourself and a protection against future emergencies is the best way to go about it!