India has the largest population of disabled people - 26.6 million according to the 2011 census. This means 2 of every 100 people in India are disabled. Many Indian families either depend on a disabled person or are responsible for the care of a disabled person.
The government has many schemes for social welfare and rehabilitation of those with special needs, but there is a lot to be done in terms of financial independence of the person and his family.
Specific schemes for disabled people are very few. LIC has some investment products which cover the life of any person who has handicapped dependents. The beneficiary disabled in this policy, gets a lump sum on the death of the policy holder and an annuity. There is also an endowment plan for the disabled person. Both the policy's are expensive and provide only a basic cover. A person will need to invest in mutual funds and other schemes for better financial security.
Some points the differently abled will keep in mind when they look for insurance cover.
First they have to establish the fact that they provide financially for their family including the number of dependents. They will need to submit documents of their employment.
Secondly, they may have to undergo a medical test - to ascertain and evaluate the risks which will decide the amount of premium to be paid.
Thirdly - when a person has mental disorders, is blind or is completely immobile he may not be eligible for insurance covers.
Physically disabled people can get health insurance after undergoing a medical test; this is difficult for people with a chronic ailment.
Severely disabled people find it very difficult to get insurance cover, as with permanent disability or those totally disabled. Insurers generally avoid people who are bed ridden, or blind, or with severe mental disorders.
When disorders do not affect mobility and there is no mental disorder, with no speech disability, a person with an amputated limb is generally accepted after doing a medical test to assess the risk.
The Niramaya Health Insurance Scheme by Govt. of India is a scheme that covers people with mental disabilities for a Rs. 1 Lakh cover at a very nominal premium. The cover includes various OPD treatments as well treatment for pre-existing diseases from Day One.
India is progressing in the insurance sector but there is a lot that can be done for the disabled and their families. Insurance companies claim to have a major challenge in pricing disability specific products. Here's hoping that the government and IRDA can come up with schemes that can resolve this current gap in the market.
Source: Mahavir Chopra