Rising medical treatment costs can shatter finances of families.
The recent case of a well-known hospital chain billing Rs 16 lakhs to the family of a child suffering from dengue came a shocker to many. While charges of inflated billing has been countered by the hospital, the fact remains that rising medical treatment costs can shatter the finance of families.
What if you face such a situation on medical expenses? How does one finance such unseen emergency expenses which might strike any family and which can be for various kinds of medical ailments?
Of course, if you are among the wise and financially savvy person, you might have taken a health insurance cover for your family. Or maybe your company too backs up with a group health insurance cover.
However, in some cases, all of your health insurance cover together might not suffice for the cost of medical treatment. So, how does one pay up in case such a massive bill is raised by the hospital that overshoots the insurance cover?
A medical loan may come in handy in such situations. “Medical loans are essentially a variant of personal loans and are provided by several lenders. These can be availed in case of contingency situations related to health or any urgent medical needs such as an operation, surgery procedure, therapy, or for any health concerns,” Adhil Shetty, CEO, Bankbazaar.com told Moneycontrol.
Medical loans taken out for the express purpose of meeting hospitalization expenses could be beneficial for those who do not have adequate insurance cover. “According to the latest National Sample Survey (NSS), 80% of Indians do not have health insurance. Health insurance coverage is often not adequate and with conditions that must be met. For example, pre-existing conditions, diagnostic tests, special procedures and post-hospitalisation expenses may not be covered,” says Aditya Kumar, Founder and CEO, Qbera.com.
He said medical loans could come in handy since they are easily accessible. “Medical loans cover all your hospital expenses, are disbursed quickly and are cheaper than paying with credit cards. The application process is also easy with minimal paperwork and the repayment procedure is flexible. These loans can be availed treatment-related expenses including travel cost to the hospital, cost of diagnostic tests, hospital stay, medication, post-hospitalisation care and much more can be covered by taking out one lump sum as a medical loan,” says Kumar.
The interest rate charged on medical loans are on par with the current market rates, says Kumar. Qbera’s charges range between 14-24% along with a processing fee of 2-3% (depending on the amount borrowed). The borrower has the flexibility to decide between 1 and 3 years to make the complete repayment.Kumar points out that the eligibility criteria for such loans vary from lender to lender. “At Qbera, we accept applications for medical loans from those who are between the ages of 23 and 55, are employed with a minimum salary of Rs 20,000 and have a minimum credit score of 625,” he said.