SBI General Insurance, one of the fastest growing general insurance companies in India, has studied its health claims data made by women between FY 2015-16 and FY 2017-18. The study was conducted to spread awareness on the importance of health insurance on the occasion of ‘International Day of Action for Women’s Health’. The study revealed that the number of claims for breast cancer made by the age group of 35 to 45 years has increased by double in the commensurate period.
The dramatic increase in claims made by this age group for breast cancer indicates that women need to start taking care of their health from a younger age with the help of necessary precautions. Furthermore, the study reveals that the age group of 45 to 55 years sees the highest number of claims, with a significant increase in claims between FY 2015-16 and FY 2017-18. Another claims study by SBI General revealed that females are more prone to cardiovascular diseases at a later stage of life as female hormones serve as protectors until women hit menopause. This increasing incidence of critical illnesses among women highlights the importance and need for healthcare awareness and regular check-ups.
Appended are a few interesting trends that emerged:
Neoplastic/cancer-related ailments are the 4th-largest contributor towards expenses paid to female insured
Majority of all health claims by women are made by the age group of 18 to 35 years. This is, in most cases, the age group that women go through pregnancy. Hence, the high number of claims could be attributed to pregnancy & related ailments.
Majority of Hysterectomies, Gall Bladder, and cardiac diseases are found in the age group of 45 to 55 years, i.e., the age band when women go through menopause. Thus an increase in the numbers of claims is visible for this age group, which is typically the most susceptible group for such ailments.
Approximately 85% of claims for Neoplasm/breast cancer were made from metro cities over the past three years. This may be due to higher awareness of health insurance in metros and also the fact that hospital setups are well-established to cater to insured patients in these areas.
Among all breast ailments, breast cancer accounts for the highest percentage of claims between FY 2015-16 and FY 2017-18, making up 83% of all breast ailments.
Sukhesh Bhave, Deputy Vice President – Accident & Health Claims, SBI General Insurance said, “SBI General Insurance aims to spread awareness on healthcare and health insurance with the help of these claims studies. The study reveals that critical illnesses are no longer a disease of the aged. Considering that the younger age group of 35 to 45 years is falling prey to lifestyle diseases, it is important to shed light on the need for critical illness insurance that caters to the specific aspects that come with a critical illness. Moreover, the data indicates that women should start planning their health insurance at an early age so as to avoid facing financial difficulties at a later stage in life.”
He added, “While health insurance serves as a good shield at a time of need, it is equally important for women to be well-informed of their own health and conduct regular health check-ups. Our data reflects an increase in claims made by women for breast ailments and diseases of the genitourinary system. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help keep such ailments at bay.”
International Day of Action for Women’s Health has been observed globally over the past 30 years as a day to spread awareness regarding women’s health and their health rights.