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Breathe Easy with Health Insurance

Ruchika Dhamija Industry Talk November 21st, 2023
Health Insurance is necessary due to air pollution

As winter unfolds, Delhi battles smog and poor air quality again! On 14th November 2023, Delhi was ranked as the world’s most polluted city. Two other Indian cities mentioned in the list are Mumbai and Kolkata. The latest findings are attributed to Swiss air purifier IQAir’s report, which measures AQI spanning 109 countries and the readings are taken on an hourly basis. Following a US methodology for compiling this report, it varies slightly from the Indian one, as reported in The Hindu. SAFAR India, in its data-driven report, indicated that the national capital region’s air quality index is ranked at 323 on Nov 21, 2023, indicating there is no respite for residents. PTI, in its report, indicates that Delhi’s Nehru Park area has experienced a heavy and thick smog layer that has been prevailing for more than a week.

According to Delhi’s Pollution Board Committee, the poor quality of air pollution in the capital city was 30 times beyond World Health Organisation's prescribed limits. Early last week, an unexpected spell of rain had improved the city’s air quality by more than 100 percentage points. In case you had missed our recent blog on Delhi smog last week, you can read it here.

What Happens When Air Pollution Levels Turn Severe?

As most doctors would say, safeguarding public health remains a matter of concern as the condition of people with existing respiratory illnesses tend to worsen at this time of the year. An increasing number of younger patients are visiting doctors with respiratory problems due to air pollution. 

Further, in an interview to a leading daily on November 14, 2023, a doctor at AIIMS, Delhi highlighted the following health concerns:

  1. A growing link between stroke and air pollution

  2. Correlation between air pollution and cognitive impairment

  3. Increased air pollution can also lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer

  4. Worsening of existing illnesses such as asthma and interstitial lung diseases 

The doctor further emphasised that for babies and children, exposure to this type of severe air pollution is equivalent to smoking at least 10 cigarettes every day, which is both scary and disturbing! 

Simply put, it is essential for Delhiites to step up on revisiting their insurance plans and make sure their loved ones have comprehensive health coverage.

Why Poor Air Quality is a Threat to Your Health

When air quality turns severe, the biggest threat is to public health, which means your health and that of your family members and loved ones may be at higher risk. Being doubly careful of your health and ensuring there is comprehensive cover for your family is of utmost importance.

Most doctors and health experts have raised grave concern on the long-term health implications of toxic air and chemicals causing damage to the lungs and the heart. In fact, tiny toxic particles are considered to be dangerous for heart health, as it may risk blocking blood vessels that can lead to heart attacks or put vital organs at risk.

Understand Why Insurance is a Lifesaver

To get started with defining your financial priorities, it is essential to allocate your expenses thoughtfully and keep aside a sum for health insurance. You can first list out monthly expenses, then you can begin to categorise them into specific segments such as groceries, shopping, etc. Once this is done, allocate your funds to prioritise insurance for your family. You can assign specific amounts to each insurance category, keeping in mind that the final tally should not surpass your current income.  It’s crucial to track all your expenses and continue making better-informed financial choices.

Don’t be stressed. Use masks and air purifiers to address poor air quality. 

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