There is in each of us a bit of what my friend Dinesh was a few years back. Now if this sounds confusing, let me just add that my friend is a bindaas character who believed that his earnings were meant to be spent today… on everything but insurance. He often said that the biggest fiction existing in the world is health insurance. Two incidents changed his opinion forever.
That morning when Dinesh met me in the lobby of a mall, the usual fortyish swagger in his walk was missing. When I asked if something was amiss, he said, ‘Yes. I’m worried. My father will be here in a couple of days and everything from his prostrate to his heart needs some kind of invasive treatment.’
‘Any problem with that?’ I asked.
‘No. Except that he has never opted for any health insurance and…,’ he paused and then added, ‘you know what, the estimate that the hospital authorities have handed me is mind-boggling. My father has already given up all hope of getting better.’
‘Don’t worry,’ I said, ‘what are friends for. We will all pool in our resources and help.’ Later that day he called me up to say that he was somewhat convinced that whatever a good health insurance company says isn’t a fictional tale but as real as real can be. Despite this apparent change in opinion, he was still hesitant. I did tell him that a good health insurance policy was like our inner voice somewhere deep within the heart that constantly reminds us that giving up isn’t a viable option for life.
Well, the second incident didn’t take long to happen. Dinesh called me early one Sunday morning to tell me that his tax planning was unnerving him.
‘Tell me about it,’ I said.
‘Well, despite having spent so much on medical expenses,’ he replied, ‘my CA tells me that my tax liabilities aren’t going to get any lesser.’
‘That’s true,’ I said, ‘you don’t have the 80D protection.’
‘Any financial planner will tell you that health insurance isn’t only for medical expenses, but also has tax-saving built into it.’
That was the day we discovered Dinesh discover a new love and appreciation for health insurance. And I must add that Dinesh isn’t an impulsive guy and thinks before he invests. I guess he now knows that besides medical expenses and recurring medical emergencies, a good health insurance plan will also keep in mind the creation of a safe path through the tax maze and a no-worries retirement phase.
Dinesh changed and this is why I believe that the right change in attitude is our biggest insurance against the meandering uncertainties of fate.
01 November 2019