Kidney Stone Insurance

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Kidney Stones Cover in Health Insurance

Get the best treatment for kidney stones with Tata AIG’s health insurance plan!

Kidney Stone Insurance Overview

Kidney stones have a high prevalence in India, especially in the drier regions of the country. While kidney stones are not particularly problematic in most cases, and there are instances of people being healed by kidney stone medicines alone, it may not always be that way. If neglected, kidney stones can negatively impact renal function and even prove to be fatal. This is why most doctors will suggest kidney stone surgery to remove the foreign objects from the body.

Kidney Stones

But, like all surgeries, kidney stone removal is also not inexpensive. The type of kidney stones you have and the amount of damage done before the diagnosis also affect what your eventual kidney stone treatment bill will look like. And since a significant 12% of the Indian population suffers from kidney stones, it is always better to be prepared to deal with the problem before you may have to face it. If you are wondering how you should prepare for a kidney stone treatment financially, your answer is simple. You should be buying a health insurance plan.

Health insurance plans help you stay prepared in case of any medical emergencies. If you have medical insurance, you will not have to worry if you need sudden hospitalisation or any other treatment you may need. And the function of your medical insurance does not stop at health emergencies alone. You will also get health insurance tax benefits when you buy a policy!

Tata AIG has varied health insurance plans according to your needs and budget. You get the liberty to browse through the many plans available with us and choose the combinations that you feel is the best for you and your family. We offer our medical insurance plans online so you can buy them from the comfort of your home and at your convenience. So when thinking about medical insurance, always think Tata AIG!

With all this in mind, let us learn more about kidney stones.

What are Kidney Stones?

A kidney stone is a solid object created from urine-based compounds. They are usually formed because of the various wastes dissolved in our urine and the formation of crystals because of excessive waste in limited liquid. Kidney stones can be made of calcium oxalate, struvite, uric acid, or cystine. The crystals draw in additional substances and combine them to produce a mass that will only grow unless it is eliminated from the body through urination.

The kidney, the body's chief chemist, often eliminates these compounds in the urine. Most people's kidney stones are either washed out by adequate liquid or prevented from developing by other substances in the urine. Calcium, urate, oxalate, xanthine, cystine, and phosphate are the substances that cause stones to develop.

The stone may remain in the kidney once it forms or go through the ureter and into the bladder. Sometimes, the smaller stones leave the body through the urine, not inflicting too much discomfort. However, stationary stones result in a urine backup in the ureter, bladder, or urethra. This is what causes the pain.

Types of Kidney Stones

Knowing the type of kidney stone you have can help determine the course of treatment your doctor will opt for and if you require a kidney stone operation. There are four basic types of kidney stones based on their composition and how they are found. They are;

Uric Acid - Foods rich in purines, a naturally occurring chemical component, are present in organ meats and shellfish. Increased monosodium urate production results from excessive purine intake, and if consumed in large quantities, this substance may produce kidney stones. These kinds of stones are usually hereditary.

Calcium Oxalate - This is the most common type of stone formed in the kidney. This type of stone is formed when calcium and oxalate combine in the urine. A lack of calcium and insufficient fluid intake leads to the creation of these stones.

Struvite - Being diagnosed with these kinds of stones is not very common. They are usually a result of chronic upper urinary tract infections.

Cystine - These are amongst the rarest kinds of kidney stones and are caused due to hereditary gene mutations.

Kidney Stone Causes

Knowing what causes kidney stones can, in many instances, help you prevent the condition from developing or escalating. It may even help your doctor conclude how to help you. Some major causes of kidney stones include;

Not Drinking Enough Water - Those who do not consume enough water or sweat a lot and do not replenish the fluid that has been exhausted in the body are likely to get kidney stones. Those who live in very hot and dry climates and still do not have enough water are also at risk of kidney stones.

Obesity - Those who have been overweight for a long time, especially around their hips and waist and those who have suddenly put on a lot of weight are likely to develop kidney stones.

Hereditary - People who have a family history of kidney stones are also likely to get kidney stones at some point in their lives.

Increased Consumption of Salt - Those who consume a diet consisting of high salt content risk increasing the calcium levels in their blood. This further leads to the development of kidney stones.

Medical Conditions - People with gastric and renal diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease or urinary tract infections, are at risk of kidney stones at some point in their lives. Having a prior kidney stone surgery also increases the risk of developing kidney stones again in the future.

Medication - Consumption of certain medicines over an extended period can lead to the development of kidney stones. These medicines include but are not limited to laxatives, vitamin C, dietary supplements, etc. Now that we have seen some of the most common causes of kidney stones let us look at some kidney stone symptoms.

Kidney Stone Symptoms

Until and unless you recognise what your kidney stone symptoms are, you will not be able to get the help that you need. The first step in kidney stone removal is self-awareness, as knowing what to look out for will help you approach the next steps greatly. Your symptoms will also dictate if you need kidney stones medicine or surgery.

Some of the more common kidney stone symptoms include:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain/burning sensation while passing urine
  • Unexplainable pain in your stomach
  • Back cramps
  • Constant need to pass urine
  • Sharp odour in the urine
  • Dark colour in the urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills if the kidney stones have gotten infected
  • Bloating in the stomach
  • Men might feel something hard at the tip of their penis if the stone has travelled downward

Keep in mind that not all people have the same kind of symptoms. Kidney stone symptoms get more severe if the stones are stuck in your kidney or urinary tract. This is when you will need to opt for more aggressive action like physical kidney stone removal.

Kidney Stone Diagnosis

Medical records, medical exams, and diagnostic testing are the first steps in a kidney stone diagnosis. Your physicians will require the precise size and morphology of the kidney stones. This can be accomplished with a high-definition CT scan of the kidneys or a KUB x-ray (kidney, ureter, and bladder x-ray), which will display the size and location of the stone.

The surgeons frequently get a KUB x-ray to establish whether the stone may be treated with shock waves. Although the CT scan is frequently favoured for diagnosis, the KUB screening could be used to assess your stone both before and after treatments.

Secondly, the course of treatment for your stone will be decided by your doctors. Blood and urine samples will be used to assess the condition of your kidneys. Doctors will take into account your overall health as well as the size and positioning of the stone.

Your doctor will then seek to determine what caused the stone. They will then check your samples for calcium, phosphate, and uric acid and analyse the stone once it has been removed from your body. The doctor can additionally ask you to keep track of your urine output for 24 hours to check for uric acid and excess calcium in your body.

Kidney Stones Treatment

As we have already mentioned before, the treatment for kidney stones depends largely on the size, composition and positioning. The most important factor here will be the size and if it is mobile. Your doctor will judge all of these factors and then decide if you need a kidney stone operation or if kidney stone medicines will be enough to help you.

  • Kidney Stone Medicines - If your doctor determines that your kidney stone can be removed via your urine, they will always opt to go that route. They will give you some kidney stone medicines and ask you to consume lots of fluids. The more frequently you urinate, the more chances of the stone passing quickly. However, this method of treatment can be quite painful for the patient. You can be in intense pain from when the stone comes down your urinary tract until it passes. Thus, your doctor may also give you pain medication depending on your pain threshold or as a precautionary measure.

  • Kidney Stone Surgery - While most doctors and patients prefer to go the route mentioned above, it may not be possible for many patients. If your stone is too large or infected, or if it is stuck in your body, or even if you have developed multiple stones, you will require a kidney stone operation.

There are four ways in which your doctor can opt to do your kidney stone surgery.

1. Ureteroscopy - A small device known as a ureteroscope is introduced into your urethra, bladder, and then into a ureter to complete this treatment. This device displays the kidney stones and either removes them in a surgical "basket" or uses a laser to split them apart. The smaller fragments from the kidney stones can then readily pass through your urine and leave your body.

2. Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy - A percutaneous nephrolithotomy is an option when existing treatments for kidney stones are ineffective due to the presence of too many stones, the size or weight of the stones, or the placement of the stones. A line is directly placed into your kidney through a little puncture in your back. An ultrasound device is then used to break up the stones, which are suctioned out so that no pieces need to be passed. Afterwards, urethral stents are inserted for residues.

3. Shockwave Lithotripsy - You are positioned on a unique surgical board or tub for this treatment. The stone is subjected to powerful shock waves that travel via water. The shockwaves split the stones, making it easier for them to leave your body.

4. Open Surgery - Open kidney stone surgery is very rare and used for only extreme cases. In such a surgery, the doctor makes a large incision and physically removes the stone from your body. It is the last resort in kidney stone operations.

Prevention of Kidney Stones

The lives we are leading today have made us vulnerable to a bevvy of diseases, and kidney stones are one such ailment. There is no absolute way to say what may or may not lead to a person developing kidney stones, but some preventive measures can be taken to decrease the possibility.

These preventive measures include:

  1. Staying hydrated at all times.
  2. Notice when you are sweating excessively and consume more fluids accordingly.
  3. Do not over or under-exercise.
  4. Do not consume excessive amounts of animal protein.
  5. Do not consume too much salt.
  6. Calcium is a part of a normal diet, do not think that consuming calcium leads to kidney stones and stop consuming calcium. Just regulate consumption.
  7. If you are overweight, especially in your mid-section, try to lose weight.
  8. Regulate your use of diet supplements.
  9. Ask your doctor if any of your medications can lead to the development of kidney stones.
  10. If you notice any symptoms of kidney stones, go to the doctor and get tested at once.

Why Use a Health Insurance Plan?

Medical insurance is a great weapon in your arsenal as we all know that our health can take a turn for the worse at any given time. It helps us be prepared for the worst-case scenario and be secure in knowing that we have help should we need it.

Some of the most popular reasons people opt to buy a health insurance plan include:

Lifestyle - We all live a very fast-paced life today. We do not get much time to care for ourselves, to sleep, prepare healthy meals or exercise. There are many health consequences that arise from living like this. Having medical insurance means we have a cushion for when we take a hit and are forced to slow down. It acts as a security net.

Expenses - Healthcare has always been fairly expensive, and healthcare expenses have only increased in the last few years. Many average Indians may find it very difficult to pay for healthcare services, especially in the case of hospitalisation and surgeries. In such cases having a health insurance plan helps.

You know that you can get the best care, and your policy will take care of the financial aspect of your care. It helps you feel more relaxed while getting treatment and thus even helps you heal faster. This is also true if you use a family health insurance plan. You can get your family the best care possible without breaking the bank.

Health Insurance Tax Benefits - When you buy medical insurance, you are securing your health and that of your loved ones and getting significant tax benefits.

Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act of 1961, you can get a tax deduction of up to ₹25,000 on your policy premiums. This deduction goes up to ₹50,000 if the premium is paid for a senior citizen. Thus, having a health insurance plan also helps you save money on taxes.

Cashless Hospitalisation - Health emergencies may crop up at any given time without warning. We or any of our loved ones may need hospitalisation urgently, and we may not have the funds put aside for it. This does not have to be a problem if you have health insurance with cashless benefits, as your health insurance plan will take care of payments. Your provider will settle the amount with the hospital without your intervention. This also prevents you from using your savings to make hospital payments.

How to Buy Tata AIG’s Medical Insurance

There are two simple ways in which you can buy Tata AIG’s health insurance plan. You can either buy the policy online or offline. Both methods are equally simple and will not take much time. We will briefly discuss both ways you can buy a policy to help you choose which method you wish to opt for.

Online - Most people who buy a policy from us prefer to do it online as it enables them to buy their policy at their convenience and comfort. This is an even more popular choice, especially among younger people, because the online purchase process is very straightforward and is not time-consuming. Here is how you can accomplish it;

  • You first need to visit our website to buy a policy online.
  • Once there, you will be able to see many policy options. You should go through every plan carefully to determine the right fit for yourself and your family.
  • Once you have settled on the most appropriate plan, you need to click on ‘apply’.
  • You will then be redirected to a page with the application page you need to fill out. The application form will ask you for your basic details. Fill in these details very carefully.
  • Check the details you have provided several times before submitting your application.
  • Next, you will be asked to provide some basic documents. Attach these documents and click on ‘submit’.

If your application and documents are in place, you should immediately receive your policy in your registered email and your Whatsapp number.

Offline - To buy our policy offline, you need to

  • Find a Tata AIG office close to you.
  • Once you have found our office, you can visit the office and ask for a policy application form at the counter. You will be given a form after someone briefly speaks to you about the various policy options available with us.
  • After understanding the options, you should take the application form and fill it out very carefully.
  • Check and recheck the details that you have filled in and attach the necessary documents being asked for.
  • Return to the counter, submit your application form and pay the fees.

Now all you need to do is go home and wait for the policy to be mailed to you.

Documents Required to Buy Tata AIG’s Health Insurance Plan

The documents you need to be able to buy a health insurance plan from Tata AIG are as follows:

  • ID proof
  • Age proof
  • Address proof
  • Coloured passport size photographs
  • Documents detailing your medical history

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Frequently Asked Question

1. Do kidney stones always need surgery?

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No, kidney stones can sometimes be healed with medicines and fluids. It depends on the location, size, composition and movability.

2. Are kidney stones fatal?

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No, kidney stones are a treatable condition. However, they can become life-threatening if not dealt with in a proper way and at the proper time.

3. Does the consumption of beer help get rid of kidney stones?

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Beer is a diuretic, making you pass urine more frequently. Thus, if you have a small enough stone in the right position, having beer might help it pass more easily. However, do not mix alcohol with any medications that have been prescribed to you by your doctor and drink it in moderation, if opting to go down that route.

4. Does health insurance pay ambulance charges if I need hospitalisation for my kidney stones?

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If you have a health insurance plan from Tata AIG, it will cover ambulance charges should you require hospitalisation for any reason.

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