I woke up, as grumpy as a child who doesn’t want to go to school. What a pathetic day it’s going to be, I thought. It was T-day; income tax return filing day. Actually, it was the tax return filing deadline. I had been postponing this detestable task for months now.
Yes, you got it by now. I hate taxes. Or hated them till the day I got ‘taxlightened’ (more on that later). Sometimes, I get lost in daydreams, thinking of walking along a Dubai beach with my family, wearing extravagant beachwear and expensive sunscreen, all the while hoping I didn’t forget to lock my flashy Aston Martin.
Back to T-day; with a long face, I woke up, got ready and reached office, all the while muttering about taxes under my breath. I dumped my bag on my desk and sat down with a thump next to my ever-smiling colleague. How could anyone have a smile on during tax season?!
‘What’s wrong?, Mr. Ever-Smiling asked. ‘What’s wrong, you ask? My son has just started going to school, I have to pay off my home loan and my parents’ health is deteriorating. And, on top of it all, I need to give away 30% of my hard-earned salary in taxes!’
‘Oh, sorry to hear about your parents’ health’, the colleague sympathised. ‘But do you realise that even if you didn’t have to pay taxes, your savings could never match up to the double-digit medical inflation in today’s time? Have you ever checked just how much do medical treatment and surgeries cost in private hospitals nowadays?’
‘Why don’t you consider getting health insurance?’, he added.
‘Health insurance? I am sure my Mom’s daily prayers to all her favourite gods does more than enough to insure our family’s health.’
‘Haha, I am sure that helps too! But health insurance can offer you extensive financial coverage against unexpected medical circumstances and you can claim a tax deduction of Rs. 30,000 on the premium you pay for your parents’ health insurance policy, as they are senior citizens. Else, you would have got up to Rs. 25,000 tax deduction.’
‘What?!’, I almost fell out of my seat. ‘I wouldn’t have to pay tax on Rs. 30,000?! I thought only life insurance plans and savings schemes helped you save tax.’
‘No, so does health insurance. In fact, you should get a plan for yourself, your wife and your son too for an additional tax deduction of Rs. 25,000 on the health insurance premium. You could even opt for an add-on maternity cover in preparation for the future. I remember you mentioning you’d like a baby girl to brighten up your house soon!’, he spoke smilingly.
‘Wow! This health insurance business sounds good! I thought it was only for the rich and fancy. Like those celebrities who have different body parts insured for truckloads of money. Did you know Lionel Messi’s legs are insured for 750 million Euros?! Hah!’
‘Hahaha! I know you don’t like Lionel Messi.’
‘Yes, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo all the way! But really, would health insurance be worth the investment?’
‘It would be worth much, much more. It won’t just get you a mighty
tax deduction of Rs. 55,000 on the premiums but it will ensure that, God forbid it, if anyone in your family ever needs medical treatment, they’ll get the best!’
are the best, my friend. Now I know the reason behind your smile. By the way, which health insurance plans have you got for your family?’
‘Oh, I have an Optima Restore family floater plan
from Apollo Munich Health Insurance for myself, my wife and my children and Optima Senior
from the same insurance company for my parents. My mother just got her knee joint replaced and the operation cost us nothing but the premium I had paid at the start of the policy year.’
‘Wow, that sounds ‘optimum’. Hope your Mom is doing well! Right after I file my income tax returns, you are going to help me buy these plans, right?’
‘Of course Sir. Why else am I here?’, Mr. Ever-Smiling spoke dramatically, with a comical half-bow.