World Heart Day: Take charge of your heart health


By Priya Gilbile, Chief Operating Officer, ManipalCigna Health Insurance

India has witnessed an alarming rise in the occurrence of heart disease and stroke over the years. Therefore, it is extremely important to increase awareness about a heart-healthy lifestyle for everyone, and not just for people with existing health problems to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve quality of wellbeing.

Did you know cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally? Hypertension, diabetes, family history, advanced age, stress and people’s sedentary lifestyles are the key reasons for heart-related ailments across age groups. Heart disease is a major threat to health. It may be present without symptoms. Although the risk of heart disease increases with age, there are things you can do to lower or reverse your risk of heart disease. As part of treatment for heart disease, you may need to make changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits. That’s why regular check-ups, a healthy lifestyle, and healthy diet are so important.

On World Heart Day, let us explore a few things one should take into account to take care of our hearts and to help prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Regular exercise is a must

In order to keep the heart pumping smoothly, it is important that you exercise each day without fail. An exercise routine or even walking for 45-60 minutes daily is one of the easiest ways to get the exercise you need to stay heart healthy. Walking can also help you earn more reward points. For instance, there are health insurance plans in the market that not just provide hospitalisation benefits but also come with other robust wellness programmes. As part of this wellness program under the health insurance plan, you can earn up to 20 per cent discount on your base renewal premium simply by walking every day.

Getting annual health check-up is important

Annual health check-ups help detect or prevent serious diseases and medical problems before they can become major. Annual check-ups, immunisations, as well as certain tests and screenings, are a few examples of routine preventive care. So, make sure, your health insurance plan offers annual health check-ups, from 1st year onwards for all the adults insured to take the utmost care of heart and all areas of your health, not just in illness but in wellness too.

Use Teleconsultations to access care from just about anywhere

Research has found that for patients, talking to a doctor via teleconsultation is associated with improved outcomes, ease of use, better communication, and a reduction in the need to travel. There are several other benefits of teleconsultations for example, no waiting rooms, people can book an appointment and even consult a doctor online via video or audio call, and no matter where the person is located, he/she can easily seek medical care without having to travel for hours to reach a clinic. So, if you have a health insurance plan or are looking out for an ideal health plan, then you should opt for a plan that offers 24X7 unlimited tele consultations in major Indian languages with doctors, including specialists to help take better care of heart health and to ensure complete all-round protection.

Get relief from medical expenses With Cashless OPD cover

In India, approximately 65 per cent of the total health care expenditures are out of pocket expenses, including dental, vision, physical doctor consultation fees, prescribed medicines and so on. Therefore, it is vital to get a health insurance plan with Cashless Out-Patient Department (OPD) cover. Cashless cover is especially beneficial to people with higher out of pocket expenses or parents with infants or young children prone to ailments that require over-the-counter medicines or get tests done quite frequently. Also, people who require regular OPD consultations for heart ailments can benefit greatly from a health insurance plan which helps cover their OPD expenditures on a cashless basis, so their healthcare expenses are fully covered both inside and outside of the hospital.

Opt for higher sum insured Health Insurance plan

Given the degree of unpredictability and the high cost of healthcare, one needs a contingency plan in case they develop life-threatening conditions like cardiovascular diseases. However, unlike routine hospitalization, these acute illnesses often need numerous invasive procedures, exorbitant diagnostic tests, a longer course of treatment, etc. If this is the case, a person will not only have to deal with emotional stress but also need to shell out a significant amount of money for the treatment. So, how does one handle this situation? This is where a wisely chosen health insurance plan can come to their rescue. So, one should always opt for a higher sum insured health insurance plan to cover the rising medical costs and avail lifetime access to quality healthcare.

The bottom line

A comprehensive health insurance plan is like a beacon of light one can turn to when you need urgent help. Thus, it is crucial to have a health insurance plan covering primary care and recuperative treatment in addition to hospitalization. Also, it’s never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle, getting your heart disease risks in check and taking the appropriate actions to manage overall heart health.


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