Rakesh, 29, was working as a freelance writer for the last three years. His journey so far had been good, and he had been getting projects consistently. Though the income was erratic, it helped him to support his monthly financial needs.
As is common in freelancing fields, there came a period in Rakesh’s life when he found it difficult to source any projects. Unfortunately, during the same time, Rakesh fell severely ill and had to be hospitalised. With no stable income at the time, Rakesh had to exhaust his savings for the treatment. After he was discharged, Rakesh’s father advised him to opt for a health insurance plan.
Rakesh obliged, having understood the importance of securing a financial backup for emergencies.
If you are a freelancer like Rakesh, then you should also opt for health insurance. Here’s why.
Reasons Why Freelancers Should Buy Health Insurance
From financial support to peace of mind, here are several reasons why health insurance can be a good choice for freelancers:
- Protection Against Medical Expenses
One of the significant benefits of health insurance
for freelancers and self-employed individuals is financial protection against the high costs of medical treatment. Without adequate coverage, a sudden illness or injury can quickly mean having to deplete savings. In the absence of savings, one may even have to incur debt. This can be tragic for a self-employed individual due to unstable income sources.
Depending on the plan, one may also receive coverage for in-patient hospitalisation, day-care treatment, diagnostic tests, road ambulance services, and so on. By having a comprehensive health insurance policy, freelancers can ensure that their medical needs are taken care of without compromising their financial stability. Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under health insurance policy. *
- Access To Good-Quality Healthcare
Health insurance enables people to access good-quality healthcare services via network hospitals. Most insurance providers have a wide variety of network hospitals wherein one can enjoy cashless services. This means that a policyholder, like Rakesh, does not have to pay cash upfront to the hospital and then get reimbursement from the insurer. It also allows you to choose the best healthcare professionals and facilities, ensuring you and your loved ones receive the right treatment. *
- Tax Benefits
Paying health insurance premiums makes you eligible for tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act in India. If you are paying the premium for a health insurance plan that covers individuals under 60 years, then you can claim a deduction of up to Rs 25,000. For people over the age of 60 years, the tax deduction limit is Rs 50,000.
Freelancers can claim deductions on health insurance premiums paid for themselves, their spouses, dependent children, and parents. By buying health insurance for family
coverage, you can increase the amount of tax benefits you can enjoy. **
- Solid Substitute for Corporate Health Insurance
Salaried employees often enjoy health insurance coverage from their employer. However, as a freelance professional, one may not have access to such insurance coverage. Hence, buying a private health insurance policy is the ideal alternative to secure yourself from medical expenses.
Even if you work as a freelance professional with an organisation that is extending health insurance coverage to you, it is advisable to opt for a separate plan for yourself. Corporate coverage will end once you part ways with the organisation. A separate health insurance plan that you buy for yourself and your loved ones will be available as long as you pay the premiums.
How To Ensure Timely Payment Of Premiums As A Freelancer?
As a freelancer, you may be concerned about how you can pay the premiums on time, considering that you may not always have consistent income. Here are some ways around that:
- Buy Multi-Year Health Insurance
If you have come across a large amount of money, it can be a good idea to invest it in a multi-year health insurance plan. This plan is valid for multiple years. All you have to do is pay a lump-sum premium during the purchase.
- Opt For The Right Premium Payment Term Option
Health insurance premiums can be paid on a yearly, half-yearly, quarterly, and even monthly basis. Take stock of how often you can save enough to pay the premium and then choose a premium payment term accordingly.
You can also use a health insurance premium calculator
to ease the process for you. It gives you estimates of the premium so that you get an idea of how much you may have to pay every year. This can help you plan your annual finances in an organised manner from the start.
By buying health insurance, you can empower yourself and your loved ones to face difficult situations without any financial worries. More importantly, you can continue your freelancing journey knowing that you have a backup plan to take care of medical emergencies.
* Standard T&C Apply
** Tax benefits are subject to change in prevalent tax laws.
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.