Tax breaks are part of the equation when expat Indians take out health insurance in India. But this is not the only benefit. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The UAE has the fourth largest Indian diaspora in the world. That 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 health insurance 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.

With a range of health insurance policies tailored to NRI requirements, the plans provide comprehensive coverage for short- and long-term stays. This ensures access to quality healthcare services and financial protection throughout their time in India.

Here's detailing why India should be the destination to buy health insurance for NRIs:

More affordable

Medical treatment abroad is 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 US would be around $123,000 as against $5,500 in India. Thus, by buying a health plan in their home country, NRIs can secure quality treatment without straining their budget with high insurance premiums.

Coverage for pre-existing diseases

With the rise in lifestyle diseases, the risk of conditions like diabetes or hypertension has also shot up across all age groups. By buying a policy at a younger age from India, NRIs who plan to settle back in India can benefit by surpassing the mandatory waiting period, generally of around 1-2 years.

Not just this, now there are several plans in India that cover pre-existing diseases from Day 1.

Affordable and flexible coverage for parents

As parents age, having a sound health insurance plan to address their growing medical needs becomes increasingly crucial. Thus, by obtaining a plan from India, NRIs can safeguard their parents with health insurance plans specifically made to cater to senior citizens. These plans are up to 35 per cent more cost-effective as compared to insurance purchased from host countries.

Tax benefits

NRIs can avail of tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. However, the limit varies as per age - it is Rs25,000 for oneself, spouse, and children under 18 years, and also for parents under 60 years. If anyone is above 60 years old, then the deduction amount rises to Rs50,000. In addition, NRIs purchasing a health insurance plan from India can also benefit from an 18 per cent GST refund as they are already paying taxes in the residing country.

Continued coverage

For NRIs who frequently travel to India, purchasing health insurance, specifically from the country, is a good investment. Doing so guarantees continuous medical coverage during each visit throughout the policy's tenure.

Additionally, if they decide to settle back in the country, they get assured medical and financial protection, saving them from out-of-pocket expenses.

Claim settlement

NRIs can enjoy the convenience of a streamlined claim settlement process by choosing health insurance from an India-based provider. This means that if they fall ill during their visit, they can avail themselves of the convenience of cashless facilities without unnecessary administrative delays.

Additionally, the familiarity and established networks of Indian insurers with local hospitals and healthcare providers further enhance the efficiency of the claim settlement process.

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.

Some insurers also offer health policies without needing medical check-ups, enhancing the purchase process.