Medical emergencies do not come with a prior warning. And hence, it is better to be safe than sorry. A sudden medical emergency can disrupt your financial planning, and lead you into unwanted debts to meet the high cost of treatment. And in case, multiple members of your family fall ill at the same time, it can become an extremely stressful situation. However, you can stay cushioned against such healthcare threats with a family health insurance plan.
Many people depend on their savings to cover medical emergencies. But medical insurance is vital for your financial portfolio as it not only helps you safeguard the medical needs of yourself and your family but under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you can get tax deductions on your health insurance while filing your income tax return.
What is Section 80D?
Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, every person can claim a deduction in their total income against the premium amount paid towards procuring personal or family health insurance. This deduction is also applicable for critical illness insurance and top-up health insurance plans. These deductions are beyond the deductions you claim under Section 80C. This means that you can file for a lot of savings while filing your income tax returns for the financial year.
Eligibility criteria for claiming deductions under Section 80D
The deduction under Section 80D can be claimed by taxpayers when they buy health insurance for:
- Dependent children
- Dependant parents
Note that these deductions can be claimed by an individual only and not for companies and corporate firms.
Eligible payments for deduction under Section 80D
Listed below are the health insurance-related expenses that are eligible for deductions under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act –
- The premium should be paid for health insurance purchased for self, spouse, parents or children.
- The payment for self or family health insurance must be paid in modes other than cash.
- Any medical expenses for individuals over the age of 60 years can also be covered under deductions if the same are not covered by the health insurance policy.
- Any contribution made towards government health schemes like Central Government Health Scheme should also be liable for a tax deduction.
- While filing the income tax return one can also get a tax relief amounting to Rs 5000 under the umbrella deductions of Section 80D, for preventive check-ups.
- For premiums paid in for a multiple-year policy, the deduction can be claimed for every valid year. These deductions would be claimed for the fraction of the amount of premium paid out in the concerned year.
How to purchase a family health insurance policy to save tax?
Here are some general rules that you should keep in mind while buying a family health insurance policy:
- To avail tax benefits, any payment made towards a family health insurance should be made towards schemes specified and approved by IRDA.
- The payments made towards the premium must be made in digital modes or through a DD/Cheque. Cash payments are not eligible for tax deductions.
- It is also vital that when you choose a family health insurance plan, you consider factors like pre and post-hospitalisation, cashless claims, wide network coverage, provision for preventive check-ups etc.
- Try to go for such a family health insurance plan that offers coverage for alternate therapies like Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Yoga etc.
- Yearly health checkups are also a part of many insurance policies. One should make use of these too as they are important in diagnosing an ailment early.
- Note that an insurance premium paid for siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends or any other relative is not eligible for deduction in health insurance.
- As an individual (less than 60 years), you can claim a deduction of Rs 25000/- for a premium paid for yourself, your spouse and your children.
- For parents, you can get a tax relief of up to Rs 25000 if they are less than 60 and Rs 50,000 if they are above 60.
- If you and your family are below 60 years of age, and so are your
- The amount of deduction will vary with age and premium amount but must not exceed the maximum limit decided for claiming the income tax returns.
It is important to understand the clauses related to tax provisions surrounding family health insurance so that you can make the most of your investment. Your health insurance plan will not only safeguard you and your family against critical illnesses and emergency medical treatments but also help you save taxes. While filing your income tax return, make sure you are taking into consideration the medical insurance expenses you have incurred in the financial year.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to the policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.
Umar Nisar was born and raised in the busy city of Abbottabad. As a journalist, Umar Nisar has contributed to many online publications including PAK Today and the Huffing Post. In regards to academics, Umar Nisar earned a degree in business from the Abbottabad UST, Havelian. Umar Nisar follows the money and covers all aspects of emerging tech here at The Hear Up.
How To Improve Your Dental Health In Your 50s
As you get older, your mouth ages and gets drier, increasing the chances of developing some of the most common dental health diseases. This is why many dentists recommend you take great care of your oral health in your younger years to keep them in optimal condition.
If you’re in your 50s, you’ll need to pay more attention to your mouth. This is because you’re at a higher risk of developing several dental health issues at this age. Most people in their 50s face tooth decay, loss, and darkening. Gum disease, bad breath, and dental-related illnesses like oral cancer are common for people aged 50 and over.
That said, there are several ways to improve your dental health in your 50s. Here are some tips:
- Consider Implants Or Dentures
It’s common to have one or more missing teeth at 50. If you don’t get implants or dentures, you may find the surrounding teeth naturally shifting to fill the left gap. Your jawbone might become weaker or degrade, making healthy teeth loose, and you may look older than you are.
If you have missing teeth, consult your dentist to prevent the above issues. They’ll explain the differences in dentures and implants and identify what suits you.
- Brush Daily
Daily brushing can improve your dental health. If you’ve done this for most of your life, don’t stop doing it as you age. It’ll help you prevent plaque and bacteria buildup, leading to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
However, in your 50s, your gums and teeth have undergone significant wear and tear. It’ll be best to be gentler. Consider switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush, and don’t apply too much pressure when cleaning your teeth. This will prevent further wear and tear.
If you experience joint pain or have arthritis, normal brushing may be challenging. Thus, buy an electric toothbrush. It’ll make things much easier and even help you clean the difficult-to-reach areas, protecting your oral health better.
Since you’re at a higher risk of oral health issues, brushing your teeth after every meal is best. This is contrary to brushing twice a day as you were used to, but it enhances your oral health better at age 50 and above.
- Keep Flossing
Brushing may not eliminate all food particles or plaque from your teeth and gumline. This is because your toothbrush can’t sufficiently reach deep between your teeth to remove all unwanted substances. Flossing can help you eliminate food debris and plaque more sufficiently, lowering the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
When flossing, you need to make some adjustments. You should apply minimum pressure to prevent excessive wear and tear of your gums. Since bacteria and plaque are likely to accumulate much quicker at this age, you’ll need to floss more frequently. So rather than doing it twice a day like you were used to, consider flossing after every meal. It may help first to floss and then brush. This way, you’ll loosen all food particles and plaque, then get rid of them with brushing rather than leaving them in the mouth.
If you have arthritis, experience joint pain, or find it challenging to perform simple tasks, a hand-held flosser is better. It’ll make things easier and allow you to apply minimum pressure on your gums. Your dentist can also recommend other suitable options.
- Go For Regular Check-ups
Regular dental check-ups are also essential in enhancing oral health at age 50 and beyond. This way, your dentist will identify and treat any potential problems early. They’ll thoroughly clean your teeth and gums, promoting good health. They may also recommend cosmetic procedures that could benefit you, like teeth whitening and dental bonding.
- Drink More Water
Your teeth normally go through demineralization—losing minerals—every day because of what you eat and drink. Saliva contains phosphate and calcium, which helps with remineralization—natural teeth repair process that replaces lost minerals to keep teeth strong and prevent tooth decay. Saliva also covers your teeth, protecting them against bacteria that may lead to cavities and gum disease.
At 50, you may struggle with dry mouth. This can result from hormonal changes or some medications you may be taking. Therefore, take lots of water to stimulate saliva production and eliminate food particles from your teeth and gums. Chewing sugar-free gum can also offer the same benefits.
At age 50 and beyond, you’ll be at a higher risk of developing dental issues like bad breath, gum disease, cavities, tooth loss, and discoloration. Dental health-related illnesses like oral cancer are also common at this stage. In this article, you’ve learned that taking care of your teeth and gums can significantly improve your dental health at age 50 and beyond. So, get dentures or implants in case of missing teeth, and ensure daily brushing and flossing. Drinking lots of water and going for regular oral check-ups can also help. These steps will help you maintain optimal oral health at age 50 and as you get older.
Khalil ur Rehman is a proud born and raised in Abbottabad. Khalil has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and The Verge. As a journalist for The Hear Up, Khalil covers climate and science news. [email protected]