Healthcare can be a worry for seniors in India. According to a recent Mint article, 62% of healthcare spending here comes from people’s own pockets. This is one of the highest worldwide. It shows many people don’t plan for surprise medical bills and don’t have insurance. An October 2021 NITI Aayog report says 30% of people, called the “missing middle,” lack health insurance. The government helps the poorest 50%, and private insurance helps about 20%, leaving this 30% with no protection. This is tough for middle-class families who often struggle when unexpected hospital bills come up.
Even though there’s health insurance available to us, the best way to save money is to prevent health issues. Here are five things to do:
- Healthy Living
A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says just 75 minutes of active exercise each week can lower cancer, heart problems, and early death risks. Even doing half that could have saved lives. So, stay active and moving!
Eating well matters too, Studies show a good diet with veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and beans can prevent diseases. Less meat, especially red and processed kinds, helps. Quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol and caffeine are also smart.
- Regular Check-ups
Routine checkups are a must! Many insurance plans give a free yearly health check or a bonus when you renew your policy. Some big hospitals even offer free health checkups sometimes. For older adults, these check-ups can catch problems early and save money and trouble.
Health credit cards help pay hospital bills in smaller bits. They work like regular credit cards with yearly fees, you pay back the money in parts over some time. These can be a big help in emergencies and can also help you avail discounts and free health checks.
- Safe Homes
While we can’t stop all health problems that come with age, we can make our homes safer. Studies say around 26-37% of seniors in India fall often which leads to bad injuries and hospital stays. You can stop this by old age-proofing your house. Put grab bars and non-slip mats in bathrooms, keep walkways clear and use lights that turn on when you move. These changes cut the chance of falling and save money on healthcare.
- Cut Medicine Costs
- Right Health Insurance
Thankfully, there are lots of health insurance options for seniors. You can even try to talk down the price. When picking insurance, check if it covers doctor visits too, websites like policybazaar.com can help you compare plans. Also, remember you might get tax breaks for health insurance payments.
You can’t avoid all healthcare costs, but preventing problems is way better than curing them. So, seniors should focus on staying healthy to save money.