Beat Tuberculosis with Tata AIG’s medical insurance plan
Tuberculosis (TB) is among the leading diseases that afflict the people in India, with about 40% of the population suffering from some form of the disease. It is a highly infectious disease which attacks the lungs of a person. According to the World Health Organisation, tuberculosis is among the top ten diseases causing death across the globe. However, with the advancement of medicine, the number of deaths caused due to TB have reduced drastically.
Since TB is an infectious disease, it can affect a large number of people at the same time. In such cases, hospitalisations for an aggressive course of antibiotics become necessary. However, the sad reality is that TB is far more prevalent in lower-income households, among people who may find it difficult to pay for treatment at a go. They find themselves in trouble when they have to arrange funds for proper TB disease treatment.
However, a person should not have to go to such extremes to get treatment. Not with the prevalence of medical insurance plans. If you buy health insurance, you will have to pay small sums of money over time, and when you need financial assistance for healthcare, your health insurance will take care of the same. All you need to do is find the right medical insurance plan for yourself.
Tata AIG’s health insurance plans are comprehensive yet affordable. You can get the best care any medical insurance plan can provide without worrying about a large bill. We offer a range of plans you can choose from based on your needs and budget. A plan with us will help you enjoy the benefits of health insurance in the fullest possible way, without you having trouble with premium payments down the line.
Now that we know how to deal with the financial aspect of beating tuberculosis let us learn more about the disease itself.
What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis, popularly known as TB, is an airborne disease caused by the bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The Latin root of the word "tuberculosis" means "nodule" or a thing that stands out. It is a highly contagious disease. Different kinds of tuberculosis are characterised based on their resistance to regular TB drugs.
The organs most frequently affected by it are the lungs, but the bacteria can also harm your spine, brain, or kidneys. Not everybody who contracts TB becomes ill, but there is a course of treatment a person must go through if they are diagnosed with the disease. You may have latent or dormant tuberculosis if you have the bacterium inside you but don't exhibit any symptoms. Although it may appear that TB has been healed if you no longer have any active symptoms, it is actually dormant within your body. If you do, however, have symptoms or are infectious to other people, you have active TB. If the early symptoms of tuberculosis are caught and treated, it is possible to beat the illness in due time.
Bacteria That Causes Tuberculosis
The bacteria that causes tuberculosis is called Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). Many individuals who contract this bacteria never experience active TB. They continue to have latent (inactive) TB.
However, TB germs can get past the body's defences, multiply, and lead to active disease in persons with weakened immune systems, particularly those who have HIV or are using immunity-suppressing medications.
Whenever an infected individual talks, sneezes, coughs or laughs, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis is released into the air and spread to others, as it is an air-borne disease. Having diseases like HIV, diabetes, and kidney diseases, and getting organ transplants can also make a person vulnerable to the development of tuberculosis in a person. Living in close quarters in unsanitary conditions with a person who has TB can also lead to a person developing the disease. Clothes, bedding, drinking glasses, cutlery, handshakes, toilets, and other things that a TB patient has touched are unlikely to be tuberculosis causes. The most crucial measure to stop the spread of TB is proper ventilation.
Despite being contagious, TB is difficult to contract. In comparison to a stranger, somebody you reside and work with is considerably more likely to infect you with tuberculosis. After receiving effective TB disease treatment for a minimum of two weeks, most persons with active TB are not contagious anymore. After looking into the tuberculosis causes, let us now look into the tuberculosis symptoms.
Catching the early symptoms of tuberculosis is the best way to fight the disease. If you want to do this, you will first need to know what the tuberculosis symptoms are.
The most common tuberculosis symptoms are as follows.
- Incessant coughing for over three weeks
- Losing weight all of a sudden
- Night chills
- Chest pain
- Blood in your cough
- Stunted growth in children.
Keep in mind that only people with active TB show these symptoms, those who have dormant TB will not show any symptoms, but the TB will show up in diagnostic tests if they undergo them.
Diagnosis of Tuberculosis
If you have any of the tuberculosis symptoms mentioned above, especially if you have been continuously coughing for a few weeks, you will need to see a doctor. If the doctor suspects TB, they will ask you to undergo any of the following tests;
- Blood test for TB Infection
- Chest X-Ray
- Tuberculin Skin Testing
- Tuberculosis Screening
- AFB (Acid-Fast Bacillus) Smear and Culture.
However, if these tests remain inconclusive, your doctor may ask for a chest CT or lung biopsy. Even if these tests are expensive, you should always get them done as not getting diagnosed and treated can prove to be life-threatening at later stages.
TB Disease Treatment
The treatment for disease depends on the stage of the disease and the type you are afflicted with. If you have dormant TB, you will be treated with a course of isoniazid and rifapentine. You may be given these medicines separately or as a combination. The course of the medicine will last for nine months.
If you have active TB, you will be given ethambutol, pyrazinamide, isoniazid and rifapentine. The course will be anywhere from 6-12 months, depending on the severity of your case. If you have drug-resistant TB, you will be administered a different set of drugs as per what your body accepts.
The medicines can be administered orally or through IV for a short period depending on your symptoms. You may also be admitted to deal with your symptoms if they get too bad before you are given medication for TB.
Prevention of Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Usually, it takes a prolonged interaction with someone who has active TB before you become infected. The prevention of pulmonary tuberculosis can be undertaken by following the guidelines below;
- cleaning your hands frequently and thoroughly.
- concealing your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough into your elbow.
- avoiding direct interaction with others.
- ensuring that you correctly consume all of your medications/
- not going back to normal life activities until your doctor has given the all-clear.
The use of the necessary protective gear and adequate ventilation are the two most crucial hospital safety precautions to prevent the spread of TB. Wear a mask and avoid staying in a small, poorly ventilated area if you will be with someone or more who has active tuberculosis.
Regular TB testing should be done on those who engage in occupations with a significant risk of coming into contact with TB patients, such as healthcare professionals.
Why Use a Medical Insurance Plan
While a significant portion of the Indian population suffers from TB, many never come to know that they too have strains of the disease and that it lies dormant within them. We can never predict when that strain may become active, and you may have aggressive symptoms. In that case, you may need sudden hospitalisation and may need to stay in the hospital for a considerable duration. Having a medical insurance plan can help you greatly during this time. Here is how;
- Cashless Hospitalisation - Cashless hospitalisation can be a huge blessing when you need to be admitted in an emergency. You may not have the funds set aside to pay for the fees of admission and other preliminary fees, but these are not things that you need to worry about if you have health insurance with cashless hospitalisation benefits.
Your insurance will pay for everything, within policy limits, without you having to step in. It also makes the billing procedure hassle-free as the payment is completely handled between the hospital and your insurance provider.
- Pre and Post-hospitalisation Charges - Your medical insurance plan not only takes care of the financial side of your care when you are hospitalised but also looks after things before and after. You may undergo some diagnostic tests to confirm the doctor's prognosis. It can cost you a lot of money if you need tests like CT scans or biopsies.
Tata AIG’s health insurance plans take care of this expense. The cost of your medicines and doctor's visit after discharge from the hospital, upto a certain period, are also covered by your policy. All of this together saves you a lot of money.
Ambulance Charges - If you get very ill suddenly and need to be hospitalised, most people would call for an ambulance. Calling for a private ambulance can be a very pricey affair. If you have health insurance with Tata AIG, you need not worry, as we cover the cost of the ambulance ride to the hospital and back home.
Lifestyle Changes - Living a fast-paced life and always being on the move without adequate nutrition or rest has made all of us vulnerable to a wide gamut of diseases. While you are getting treated for one illness, like TB, you may develop another. Then you will not only have to worry about getting treated for TB but also the other disease. All of it makes your healthcare costs add up greatly. But with a reliable medical insurance plan, you can get the best care without worrying about the costs.
How to Buy Tata AIG’s Health Insurance
There are two simple ways to buy Tata AIG’s medical insurance plans. These are online and offline. We will briefly discuss how you can make the purchase using both methods to help you decide which one works best for you. Buying the plan offline- If you wish to buy your health insurance plan offline, you need to;
- Locate a Tata AIG office closest to you. Tata AIG has over 200 branches all over India, so finding one close to you should not be a problem.
- Once you have located an office, you need to visit it after seeing the important documents you must carry. You can check this requirement online.
- At the office, you can ask for a health insurance application form.
- Fill out the form and attach the necessary documents.
- Take the form and your documents to the relevant counter and submit them with the application fees.
Your part is then done. Now all you need to do is wait to receive your policy in the mail, which you should receive in a few days if your application and documents are in place.
Buying the plan online- A popular choice amongst most people is buying it online as it can be done from anywhere and saves you a lot of time. All you need to do is;
Go to our website and browse through all the available plans. The plans differ based on the level of coverage and the cost.
When you find the plan you think is the best fit for you, click on apply.
You will be taken to the page with the application form.
Fill out the application form very carefully and attach the requested documents.
Recheck the application form with your details filled in.
If everything is correct, pay the application fees and submit your form and documents.
Since you have applied online, you should receive your health insurance plan in a few moments in your registered email and your Whatsapp number.
Documents Required to Buy Tata AIG’s Medical Insurance Policy
Tata AIG does not require you to submit an extensive list of documents when applying for health insurance. The documents you will be required to submit are as follows;
- Address Proof
- Age Proof
- ID Proof
- Coloured photographs
- Medical reports in case you have a prior history of illnesses.
- Any other documents as may be required
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Frequently Asked Question
1. Is it possible to get TB again after recovery?
Yes, there is a chance that those who have recovered from TB might get it again. So if you start noticing symptoms after you have recovered, you should reach out to your doctor once again.
2. What bacteria causes TB?
TB is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). It is an airborne bacteria.
3. Can good immunity fight TB?
If you have a good immune system, it is possible that your body will attack and destroy any tuberculosis germs that may have entered your body, and you may never need treatment.
4. What is the best type of health insurance for TB?
If you want your health insurance to help you with TB treatments, you must buy critical illness health insurance.