Your medical emergency fund amount should be…

Budgeting & Saving


Nov 24, 2022

The truth: women face higher healthcare costs than men. Some studies suggest that adult women (aged 18-44) have almost double the healthcare costs compared to adult men. This is due to a number of factors including biological differences and the prevalence of chronic health conditions. This can put a significant financial strain on women, especially those of us who are single or have low incomes.

At Basis, we always say a medical emergency can but need not break the bank. Any guesses on how much medical inflation is in India? We’ll reveal it at the end of this piece. Hint: it’s probably much higher than you think it is 🙁 Here’s how you can ensure your savings remain intact even with a costly medical situation:

⛑️Health insurance. This. Is. A. Must.

We’ll say that again. Health insurance should be treated as a MANDATORY addition to your personal finance portfolio. While paying premiums may feel like an unnecessary expense, your insurance plan can save you a TON of money in case of unplanned medical situations. Ask anyone who’s had to deal with accidents, an emergency surgery, or an unforeseen unfortunate medical diagnosis. Your employer might be covering you already, but always look at keeping your own individual cover as well. Why? Because: (a) the employer sponsored plan most likely has a very limited cover, and (b) you don’t want to be left uninsured in case you are in-between jobs.

🏥Insurance may cover just a portion of the costs, though.

Here, your emergency fund comes into play. Look at keeping 3-4 months’ worth of your income away for medical emergencies. The more earning members there are in your family, the more this stash should be. If you don't have enough money saved up for a hospital stay or other medical expenses, you could find yourself in debt (ugh, debt traps are real) or even bankrupted by a single event.

As we know, just a simple hospital stay can cost lakhs of rupees, so it's important to have savings set aside specifically for healthcare costs. Even if you have health insurance, having savings will help cover co-pays, and other out-of-pocket costs. If your health insurance doesn't cover all of your expenses, you may end up owing money on top of the original bill. Which is unfortunately the reality of medical emergencies.

↗️Medical costs are on the rise, but you can plan for it to ensure that financial stress doesn’t end up becoming part of the package. And as for the medical inflation rate in India?

💉 It was a whopping 14% in 2021, the highest in Asia (as reported on May 2022). Add the premium to our healthcare cost as women (sigh, we know, we know), and we’re talking some pretty high numbers here.

With the Power Card, we are excited to offer discounts with some of our favourite women’s health platforms. You can uncover and unlock these offers as you transact with the card. Check it out, we promise it’s worth it.

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