Why should India be the destination to buy health insurance for NRIs!

Business MInutes

Migration is not new to India - whether it's for higher education, jobs or business opportunities. As per the Ministry of External Affairs, around 25 lakh people migrate overseas each year, making it the highest annual number in the world. In fact, the Gulf countries, especially the UAE, are home to a large number of NRIs. 

UAE has the fourth largest Indian diaspora in the world. That being said, there's also no dearth of people returning to India or making frequent extended visits due to family ties. In such cases, NRIs often face a dilemma about buying a plan in their resident country or India. The answer to this? NRIs must invest in a health plan from India as a fall-back option. In the event of unforeseen medical emergencies, this plan brings financial security as well as peace of mind.

Siddharth Singhal, Business Head - Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com says “India is the go-to destination for NRIs to buy health insurance due to its affordability and quality of healthcare. The availability of diverse policies tailored to their needs further makes it beneficial. Furthermore, some insurers also offer health policies without needing medical check-ups, enhancing the purchase process. However, it's important to note that most health policies purchased in India provide coverage for treatments within the country. While some insurers offer worldwide coverage, it is critical to check and consider the available policies online, read the fine print, and then make an informed decision.”

With a diverse range of health insurance policies specifically tailored to NRI requirements, the plans provide comprehensive coverage for both short- and long-term stays. This ensures access to quality healthcare services and financial protection throughout their time in India. Medical treatments abroad are considerably more expensive than the affordable costs in India. To put this in perspective, a heart bypass surgery in the UAE would cost around $13,000, and in the United States would be around $1, 23,000 as against $5,500 in India. The cost contrast results in lower liability for insurance firms compared to other countries, which benefits policyholders in the form of affordable premiums. Thus, by buying a health plan in their home country, NRIs can secure quality treatment without straining their budget with high insurance premiums. 

NRIs can avail of tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. However, the limit varies as per age, i.e., it is Rs 25,000 for oneself, spouse, and children under 18 years, and also for parents under 60 years. But, if anyone is a senior citizen, i.e., above 60 years old, then the deduction amount rises to Rs 50,000. In addition, NRIs purchasing a health insurance plan from India can also benefit from an 18% GST refund as they are already paying taxes in the residing country.


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