According to the IRDA Insurance Awareness Report, as of 2012, only 39 percent of total women are health insurance policyholders. Out of these, only 22 percent of women have individual health insurance policies. When it comes to self-care and health, women are still largely lagging behind. They tend to ignore their health issues and risk their own welfare either for their families or for professional insecurities. This further explains why many women either do not have any personal health insurance or are clubbed in the family’s health insurance.

Key Takeaways:

  • Women hesitate to buy health insurance because they do not know how it can be beneficial to them and it requires a lot of money.
  • The number of breast cancers, death due to depression and heart diseases and complexities during pregnancy is increasing at an alarming rate.
  • Women have longer lives and hence avail more medical services, thus they need to have individual health insurance policies.

Why do women hesitate to buy health insurances for themselves, as an attempt towards personal well-being?

The two main factors that explain this hesitation are firstly, women are not aware of the proper benefits that health insurances and especially the women-specific health insurances can provide. They need to understand how the changing lifestyle, pollution and other adulterating factors pose serious threats to their health and especially their reproductive health. The number of breast cancers, death due to depression, heart diseases and complexities during pregnancy is increasing at an alarming rate. Women should know how health insurance can help them seek good health services without any obstruction. Secondly, they are hesitant to spend money on buying individual health insurance that is of a higher cost compared to men since women live longer and require more medical services. So they either do not buy individual health insurance or include themselves in the family health insurances.

Besides, a study of 2011, mentioned by Tomorrow Makers, has revealed that women have lower savings and investments. Out of 67.25 million people with a savings account in a bank, only 4.82 million were women. In order to encourage more women to penetrate into health insurance, the pricing of health insurance can be reduced and made easier and approachable for them.

Also Read: Women influence financial decisions, must be part of financial planning too

What does a woman need in her health insurance?

If health insurances are made more women-friendly, by including women-specific policies and making it a comprehensive solution for medical emergencies, and by reducing its charges, women will be encouraged to buy them. Here’s how can health insurances be women-friendly:

Health insurances should include policies for maternity and infertility issues

With the changing lifestyle of the modern world, adulterated further by the polluted environment, reproductive health of a woman is facing serious risks. According to the Better Health Channel, around 15 percent of the couples are facing infertility issues. The treatments of infertility are very expensive and rare. Many health insurances do not provide any provision for infertility and do not even consider it as an illness. So, health insurances need to provide services for the infertility issues also as these are increasing every day, affecting many women which cannot be ignored.

Besides, pregnancy-related issues are also on an increase, both because of the lifestyle and changing preferences in life. Women today are career-oriented and do not mind delaying the age for marriage and pregnancy. However, the complexities in pregnancy that arise in such situations should be properly treated to save both the mother and the baby. The health insurances could provide coverage for the cost of treating such complexities that is again very expensive. According to a study of 2016 mentioned by Tomorrow Makers, around 46.6 percent of women are pushed into poverty due to the maternity-related expenses. The health insurances provided to men do not cover these expenses and if women do not have their individual health insurances, the family will ultimately be impoverished under added expenses.

Health Insurances should have additional provisions for women-specific critical illness

Since women-specific critical illnesses like breast cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian cancers are on the arise, health insurances should either include them in their base policies or provide additional benefits to women suffering from such illness. This will further make health insurances as the safest and the most comprehensive solution for women and their health care.

Lower pricing of health insurances for women

Since women have longer lives than men and so require more and better health care services. According to a survey conducted by MDedge.com, women utilise more medical care services and have higher associated charges compared to men. Besides, a study of 2011, mentioned by Tomorrow Makers, has revealed that women have lower savings and investments. Out of 67.25 million people with a savings account in a bank, only 4.82 million were women. In order to encourage more women to penetrate into health insurance, the pricing of health insurance can be reduced and made easier and approachable for them.

Since women-specific critical illnesses like breast cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian cancers are on the arise, health insurances should either include them in their base policies or provide additional benefits to women suffering from such illness.

Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

Also Read: Women And Health Insurance: Why They Must Be Friends

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