Safeguarding Against Respiratory Diseases Due to Rising Air Pollution: A Guide to Utilising Health Insurance

The statistics shared by the Health Adaptation Plan for Disease Due to Air Pollution are pretty alarming. Around 12.5% of the population lost their lives due to significant issues with air quality, which continues to worsen.

Therefore, it becomes imperative that people start leveraging their medical insurance plans. This will help them access necessary medical support while acting as a preventive measure to safeguard themselves and their loved ones.

This article will act as a complete guide for using your medical policy to safeguard against such respiratory diseases. Remember to add a maternity insurance plan for comprehensive protection to protect you and your baby against this heightened risk.

India’s Most Air Polluted Cities

City AQI
Pimpri, Maharashtra 164
Pune, Maharashtra 157
Kolkata, West Bengal 154
Ahmedabad, Gujarat 135
New Delhi, Delhi 129
Delhi, Delhi 114

Short-Term and Long-Term Consequences of Exposure to Air Pollution

 Health effects attributed to short-term exposure to air pollution include 

  • Emergency department visits for respiratory and cardiovascular issues
  • Acute symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and respiratory infections
  • Physiological changes, such as alterations in lung function
  • Days of restricted activity

Health effects attributed to long-term exposure to air pollution include

  • Incidence and prevalence of chronic respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD
  • Chronic cardiovascular diseases
  • Daily mortality and deaths
  • Intrauterine growth restrictions, such as low birth weight and growth retardation
  • Hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular issues
  • Mortality due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases
  • Lung cancers
  • Chronic alterations in physiologic functions

Basic Prevention Against Air Pollution

Following are the essential precautions you can take to save yourself against the severe effects of air pollution

  • Always wear and carry an anti-pollution mask when you are moving out.
  • Make use of air purifiers wherever possible, like home or office.
  • If you suffer from chronic respiratory issues, limit your exposure to polluted air
  • Buy a health insurance plan that provides comprehensive protection to you and your family 

What Kind of Health Insurance Plan Do You Need To Safeguard  Against Respiratory Diseases Due to Rising Air Pollution?

  • OPD Cover 

The OPD cover can benefit specifically those who have constant medical conditions due to air pollution. Most insurance providers have almost a 2-year waiting period, so you need to plan for it accordingly.

The out-patient rider provides coverage to all minor pulmonary function tests, chest X-rays, and other screenings to detect respiratory issues along with consultation. 

This cover can come in handy when the policyholder requires frequent doctor consultations without hospitalisation. This cover can help you secure enhanced coverage beyond standard online medical policy. Therefore, individuals can mitigate the monetary burden associated with routine medical care with OPD cover.

  • Critical Illness Coverage

Air pollution can cause various critical issues related to respiratory & cardiovascular problems; therefore, to tackle such issues, critical illness coverage becomes necessary.

It provides an insured with a lump sum amount when the person is diagnosed with any listed critical illness.

You can manage your medication, hospitalisation, and home health care, such as oxygen therapy and respiratory equipment, with this amount. Critical illness coverage can also act as income replacement. Hece, consider buying health insurance online with a critical illness cover.

  • Maternity Coverage

Maternity coverage can come in handy to protect both the mother and the unborn child, especially considering the potential risks posed by air pollution exposure during pregnancy.

However, the waiting period is almost 24 months, which can even increase to 72 months in the case of a specific health insurance policy, depending on the provider.

  • Other Coverage
  • Hospitalisation or ICU Coverage

This coverage covers your hospital stays, which may include intensive care if necessary, due to severe respiratory conditions or complications arising from air pollution exposure.

  • Preventive Care

Most medical insurance policies offer coverage for preventive measures such as vaccinations, i.e., flu shots, pneumonia vaccines, etc. This helps in reducing the risk of respiratory illnesses.

  • Cashless Coverage

Cashless coverage in health insurance provides you the convenience of accessing medical services without upfront payments, easing financial burdens on the policyholder. Hence, always look out for your insurance provider’s network of hospitals before buying health insurance online.


With air pollution on the rise, it is important to purchase a health insurance plan that comes in handy during medical emergencies. Many insurance companies offer different comprehensive plans with excellent benefits. 

So explore and customise your comprehensive plan and stay protected against respiratory issues happening from air pollution.