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Blog > Why Every Woman Needs a Separate Health Cover?

From being a humble homemaker, confident professional to a doting mother, a woman’s role in a society cannot lurk in the background for long. In fact, it wouldn’t be outlandish to say that todays’ women are ‘doing-it-all’. At the same time, we cannot ignore a very vital aspect i.e. ‘women are busy taking care of everyone but when it comes to self-care, have they forgotten themselves?’

Indian women and health insurance

When it comes to buying health insurance, women, most of the times, face obstacles subject to their gender.  A 2013 February report for The Kaiser Family Foundation maintained "Women utilize more medical services than men due in part to longer life expectancies, the need for reproductive care and a greater likelihood of chronic disease and disability," the report also brought to notice a very sharp contrast to how we fail to clearly define the parameters of women’s health and her role in a society. In a way, the report established, "… women take major responsibility for coordinating care for family members, shoulder higher annual health care expenses, face more affordability challenges and are more likely to experience inconsistent insurance coverage compared to men."

In the Indian context, as a general rule, a woman gets coverage as one of the dependents in a health plan and if she is a working professional, she may be covered under the group health insurance plan offered by her employer. If we consider the former scenario, a woman is at a risk of losing insurance in case her spouse loses a job or some unfortunate event occurs. Likewise, the loss of insurance is inevitable in case, her spouse’s employer drops family coverage or increases premium and out-of-pocket costs reach high levels of unaffordability.

A survey  estimates that only 39% of women have a health cover. Of the total women, 22% bought insurance for self while the rest depended upon policies bought by the male relatives or employers.

Sedentary lifestyle and critical diseases

As women age, their health needs and coverage utilization pattern change and evolve and sedentary lifestyle is the real culprit here. Owning to which, women health issues haven’t just escalated but also seem to have become complex in nature. Right from cardio-vascular diseases, heart-ailments, breast cancer to osteoporosis, the potential health risks in a woman are high. A recent study brings to light that women have higher incidence of chronic illnesses that require ongoing medical treatment (38% of women versus 30% of men). It is thus, important to have the right health insurance plan so that no matter which critical illness affects an individual, one’s financial independence remains unaffected.
Nearly six in 10 old women are dealing with hypertension (58%) and arthritis (61%), and almost half with high cholesterol (45%).

One of the major reasons every woman must have an individual health insurance is the rising cost of medical treatment of the most commonly occurring women-diseases in India. A small analysis of our data shows that the claim size for the most common diseases show a rising trend with the increase in age.

Severity/claims-size in rupees for a disease under different age bracket(s)
Disease 46-50 51-55 56-60 61-65 66-70
Seropositive rheumatoid arthritis   >50,000 >2,00,000 >130,000 >2,00,000
Pulmonary heart diseases   >30,000 >60,000 >1,00,000 >1,40,000
Cardiac arrest >90,000 >1,10,000 >1,60,000 >2,10,000 >80,000
Osteoporosis with pathological fracture     >1,40,000 >80,000 >1,00,000
Unsurprisingly, these diseases affected women of all ages but their severity increases with the increase in the age of a woman. In a way, the above data depicts the rising cost of treatment of a same disease for different age categories. The low severity cost in some age categories may indicate that the incidences of claims in that particular bracket were lower in the given policy year. The above findings reiterates why it is important for women to be financially secure in their old age.

Maternity benefit and health insurance

In a woman’s lifetime, motherhood holds a special significance. Incidentally, the growing medical expenses in the present times has made the event of childbirth an expensive affair for most of the couples. The fact that the more and more women are going for caesarian section as opposed to the normal delivery; the ratio of which stands at 65:35; emphasize the direct impact building-up on the treatment costs, which invariably are escalating.

So do health insurance providers offer maternity insurance? In India, maternity insurance is not an exclusive insurance product. It is offered as an additional benefit like an add-on or extra benefit. And it may come with its own terms and conditions, briefly explained below-

Waiting Period –Maternity insurance, in a real sense of word, is dedicated to ‘loyal customers’. And, one can claim maternity expenses only after 3-6 years (depending on the cover) of buying and renewing the policy in a timely manner.

Limits on Maternity Spend – While your overall insurance cover could be 5/10 lakhs and/or more, the truth of the matter is ‘maternity cap’.

So, if you are planning to have a baby in the immediate future, this benefit will work as a discount coupon.


Buying health insurance is equivalent to investing in quality life. This very fact ascertains that it is necessary for every human- man and woman. The financial security the mediclaim cover offers to efficiently meet the health-related contingencies cannot be overlooked especially when with every passing day it’s getting more-and-more expensive to treat some of the most commonly-occurring diseases in India. Buy Apollo Munich's health insurance plans.

Our data suggests that close to 20% of all health policies sold are bought by women. Interestingly, out of these 20%, nearly 43.7% buy it for their family as well. Women are buying health insurance and are buying it for their family as well. Are you one of those women?
Get more info about HDFC Ergo Health Insurance Ltd. (formerly Apollo Munich Health Insurance) products and offerings here:

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