Households in India face a higher risk of health emergencies during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. With sharply rising daily cases and deaths, a dedicated health insurance policy has become a necessity, but it is also necessary to have an emergency cash fund.
While a health insurance policy will cover the cost of treatment, it may take some time for insurers to approve cashless treatment. In the meantime, the hospital can ask a patient’s family to make an upfront cash payment to begin treatment.
There are many other situations in which a patient may need to pay cash for treatment. For example, if the amount covered by the insurance policy is less than the actual cost of the treatment or if the treatment is used in a hospital that is not part of the network.
It is important to keep emergency cash on hand for the aforementioned situations. Here are some easy ways to get cash in a health emergency:
USE YOUR CREDIT CARD
While it’s not ideal to swipe credit cards due to sky-high interest rates, it’s one of the fastest ways to make payments in hospitals during a health emergency. You can reduce interest charges later by converting the full amount to EMI or by taking out a low interest loan to clear credit card debt.
INSTANT PERSONAL LOAN
Most banks offer a pre-approved loan to existing customers. These loans can get instant approval unlike those that require extensive documentation. In case of urgent need of funds, you can go to your nearest bank branch and find out if you are eligible for an instant personal loan. The interest rate will depend on your credit score and the bank’s offer. If you have an outstanding personal loan, you can request an instant top-up on the existing amount.
Another way to get funds quickly in an emergency is to pledge gold. Gold loans have a quick disbursement time and you can get the funds in just a few hours after submitting the application. These loans are ideal for people who are in dire need of funds but have a bad credit rating. Since gold serves as collateral, lenders can lend to all individuals at a nominal interest rate. The interest rate depends on the quality of the gold and the repayment capacity of the customer. The rate is generally higher if the repayment capacity is low.
OTHER OPTIONS, FUNDS
In the event of a health emergency, you can also opt for loans against insurance, mutual funds, shares or term deposits. It can be noted that the interest rate of these loans is lower than that of personal loans. Although 100 percent of the value is not given, individuals can expect at least 60 percent of the cash value.
Another way to get emergency funds is to withdraw from the Employee Provident Fund (EPF). However, this money should only be withdrawn as a last resort if the above options do not apply to you. However, the disbursement time could be longer than all of the above options.