Why is there no health cover for the diabetic?

Have you ever wondered why people with diabetes are able to get term life insurance but not health Insurance?

"I am 40 years old and diabetic but have no other health issues. I was recently able to get a 20 year term insurance policy for Rs 1 crore though at a higher-than-normal premium. But all my efforts at getting a health insurance policy have been unsuccessful." An anguished post on Apnapaisa website.

This post (and similar other posts are, unfortunately, becoming very common) is both heartening and depressing at the same time. It is heartening because it clearly demonstrates a high level of insurance consciousness which is what all personal finance professionals have been struggling to promote in the past few years. It is depressing because it lays bare a very serious problem to which no thought seems to have been given so far.

More than 5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from diabetes in some form or the other. In fact, India can definitely bag the dubious honour of being the "Diabetes Capital of the world". Despite the problem being so widespread, there does not seem to be any "systemic" solution in sight as far as availability of health insurance for this vast number of Indian citizens are concerned.

That brings us to the point of this article. Why are diabetic people able to get term insurance (even if at a higher cost) but not health insurance? That is not too difficult to understand.

Term insurance covers the risk of dying and pays a lump sum to the family of the insured person if he dies during the policy tenure which typically will be till the age of 65 or maximum of 70 years. Now medical science has progressed sufficiently that patients suffering from diabetes and its many complications (such as heart disease, stroke, eye problems, etc) are not likely to die before the policy tenure though the risk is higher than people with normal health.

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