COVID-19 has infected almost 11 million people in India, as of February 12, 2021. In the face of the pandemic, it has become evident that a medical emergency can strike at any time. Apart from the physical and emotional trauma, it can be huge pressure on your finances. So, here are some steps to take to prepare yourself for a medical emergency in 2021.
Start an Emergency Fund
- Open a savings account only for the purpose of saving for a medical emergency. Opening a savings account online is very easy. Moreover, savings account generates interest, which can help grow your funds.
- Choose a bank that offers the best interest rates on savings accounts.
- Regularly deposit money in this account. You can plan your expenses and set aside a small amount monthly, as soon as you receive your salary or any other form of income you may have.
- Refrain from withdrawing money or conducting transactions from this account for non-medical purposes.
- Keep track of how your funds fluctuate. This will help you to prioritise replenishing funds if you need to make a withdrawal for any reason.
- Savings accounts have much higher liquidity than other investments like fixed deposits or mutual funds. This means you can access the funds at any time and don’t need to borrow money or make an overdraft on your investment.
Weigh the Costs
- Study your family’s medical history and consult a doctor. For example, if you have a family history of heart disease, consult your doctor regarding the steps to prevent it.
- Make a list of the most common medical emergencies and reach out to a hospital to understand the estimated cost for each. This should give you a rough idea of how much you need to save in your emergency fund. Start eliminating unnecessary expenses so that you can achieve this target quickly before an emergency occurs.
- Improve your health by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. Encourage your loved ones to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
Get Health Insurance
- Health insurance is an excellent option to help you cover most of the costs in case of an emergency. This can be supplemented by your savings.
- For a low premium each month, health insurance will pay most of your medical expenses.
- Different health insurance plans cater to different types of emergencies, like accidents, heart disease, general health, etc. Therefore, it is important to consider your family history and your lifestyle before choosing an insurance plan.
- You can also include your immediate family in your health insurance policy.
Consider Personal Loan as a Backup Option
- Sometimes, even the best preparation is unable to meet the demands of the situation. In such a scenario, consider taking a personal loan.
- Check the interest rate and loan tenure and read the loan document carefully before going ahead.
During a medical emergency, you would like to focus on getting better, rather than having to worry about arranging funds. So, take the necessary steps like opening a savings account that offers high interest, and be prepared for any contingencies.