From Denial to Coverage: The role of health insurance in securing your financial health and managing pre-existing health conditions

Non-communicable diseases — also known as chronic diseases — are on the rise across the globe accounting for 73% of all deaths 1. The burden of non-communicable diseases on the Indian public healthcare is also significant: Chronic diseases account for 53% of all deaths and 44 % of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost 2, according to the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

India is home to more than a sixth of the world’s population and has been witnessing rapid epidemiological transition i.e., a shift towards chronic non-communicable diseases along with socio-economic development. Indeed, this can be attributed to a complex interplay of factors such as rapid urbanisation, a rise in disposable income, lifestyle changes arising from poor work-life balance and sedentary lifestyles leading to shifts in dietary patterns including a higher consumption of processed foods high in salt, sugar and saturated fats.

As per the International Diabetes Federation, India currently has close to 80 million people with diabetes 3, a reason why India is often referred to as the ‘diabetes capital of the world’. The number is projected to increase to 98 million by 2030 and 135 million by 2045 4, respectively, according to the Global Burden of Disease Project. India suffers loss of life at an early age due to cardiovascular diseases, which account for one fourth of all deaths. Alongside, India is recording a steep increase in hypertension both in rural and urban populations with mental health-related conditions on the rise.

The National Health Policy of India, in accordance with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aims to reduce the premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCD) by one-third by 2030 5.

Into the heart of the matter: Understanding the common thread running through chronic diseases, pre-existing conditions, & health insurance

Against the backdrop of rising epidemiological transition i.e., a shift towards chronic non-communicable diseases along with socio-economic development, further augmented by conditions of stress, anxiety, depression, and sometimes lifestyle-induced factors including obesity, hypertension, among others, there is an urgent need to understand that chronic diseases pose grave health risks.Indeed, there is a strong link between a chronic disease — commonly known as hereditary disease — and your family medical history. If you have a family health history of a chronic disease like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, or osteoporosis, you are more likely to get that disease yourself. Hence, it is common knowledge that a doctor always asks for your family medical history, in order to respond to your risk with a call to action. This also falls under the spectrum of preventive healthcare.Apart from timely medical interventions, routine medical checkups, and leading a healthy lifestyle or modifying your lifestyle to incorporate daily exercise, sound sleep and a healthy diet, it’s also necessary to have health insurance in place to deal with the potential financial and psychological toll that a chronic disease might take.

Moreover, managing a chronic ailment may be challenging given the timely medical checkups, routine tests and medical interventions that are required, and with rising healthcare costs, out-of-pocket expenditure might be too expensive and might affect your and your family’s financial health. Hence, a comprehensive health insurance plan will prove to be effective in alleviating the financial strain of managing a chronic condition.

One such comprehensive health insurance plan is the Reliance Health Infinity Insurance from Reliance General Insurance, one of India’s leading private general insurance companies.

The first-of-its-kind premium health insurance product—Reliance Health Infinity Insurance offers limitless benefits: High sum insured up to ₹5 crores; planned global treatments; OPD consultation expenses; medical equipment expenses; maternity cover – up to ₹1 Lakh / ₹2 lakhs with 1 year / 2 years waiting period and separate new-born coverage up to ₹1 lakh; change in pre-existing diseases (PED) waiting period from 3 years to 4 years or 2 years or 1 year, among others.

Benefits of a health insurance in managing pre-existing conditions
The need for health insurance for pre-existing conditions or chronic diseases in today’s healthcare landscape couldn’t be stressed more. Chronic diseases often demand long-term management and ongoing medical attention, resulting in substantial medical expenses over time.

Here are some of the benefits of opting for a health insurance plan in managing chronic illnesses or non-communicable diseases, commonly known as hereditary diseases or even lifestyle diseases:

  • Financial Protection: Health insurance provides a critical safety net that can act as a cushion to protect individuals and families to navigate the burden associated with these conditions
  • Access to Quality Care: It ensures access to quality and timely medical services, medications, and treatments without causing financial distress.
  • Preventive Care: Health insurance can significantly alleviate the stress and anxiety that individuals with chronic illnesses and their families might experience by allowing them to continue to receive preventive care without worrying about cost.
  • Advantages of a Floater Policy: A floater policy for health insurance provides shared coverage for multiple family members, maximising flexibility, and cost efficiency.
  • Comprehensive medical coverage: A modern-day health insurance plan addresses the evolving and specialised medical requirements, incorporating preferences of today’s aspiring, affluent or elite customers. Accordingly, the Reliance Health Infinity Insurance caters to such a consumer base, who are risk-averse, cognisant, and want unlimited benefits in their health policy.

The Reliance Health Infinity Policy is available in individual and family floater (up to 8 members) category and offers a broad range of sum-insured options starting from ₹5 lakhs and going up to ₹5 crores. Children above 90 days of age and adults between the age of 18 to 65 years are covered in this policy.

The basic plan of Reliance Health Infinity Insurance is well-rounded and provides coverage against critical expenses such as organ donor; pre-and-post hospitalisation; day-care procedures; emergency ambulance; and special treatments.

What’s more, the policy has also introduced smart discounts such as: Credit score-based (first in the country); BMI- (Body Mass Index)-based and Stay Healthy discount to reward customers for staying fit both financially and physically.

Here’s a look at some of the standout benefits of Reliance Health Infinity Insurance Policy:

  • More Global, More Cover, More Time: MoreGlobal Cover, which is apt for globetrotters, offers emergency as well as planned medical treatment abroad along with air ambulance and OPD facilities; MoreCover benefit gives customers up to 30% additional coverage* to the sum insured amount thereby enhancing the overall coverage; MoreTime benefit provides longer policy duration with 13 months policy period instead of just 12 months*.
  • Add-on benefits: The myriad add-on benefits* of the Reliance Health Infinity Insurance include: Maternity cover of up to ₹2 Lakhs with an incredibly low waiting period of only 12 months; unlimited restoration of the base sum-insured amount during a policy year on both related and unrelated illnesses; OPD cover that takes care of not only doctors’ consultation and diagnostic tests but also dental and surgical treatments along with prescribed drugs, among others.
  • Mother and Child Care: Covers maternity expenses (normal and C-section) for ₹1 lakh or ₹2 lakhs depending on the coverage opted; maternity waiting period of only 1 or 2 years as per selection; covers your newborn baby and their vaccination expenses for ₹1 lakh.
  • Home Care Treatment: Medical expenses related to listed home treatments are covered within sum-insured limits.
  • Change In Pre-Existing Waiting Period: This benefit allows to change the Pre-Existing Waiting Period from 36 months to 48 months, 24 months, 12 months.

Read their list of Medical Exclusions to understand the range of coverage and do not miss out on availing a host of discounts and benefits including Policy Tenure (long-term policy) and Family discounts, among others.

If you are battling a chronic disease and you are still wondering whether or not to apply for a health insurance plan, maybe it’s time to become more insurance-aware and ease your long-term out-of -pocket healthcare expenditure.


  1. Accounting for 73% of all deaths
  2. 53% of all deaths and 44 % of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost
  3. India currently has close to 80 million people with diabetes
  4. Projected to increase to 98 million by 2030 and 135 million by 2045
  5. Reduce the premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCD) by one-third by 2030

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