The older we get, the higher the risks of falling sick and contracting diseases. There’s also the stress of having to worry about financial health as much as physical health. That’s when having health insurance for the senior citizens is a clever move. These offer various features like critical illness coverage, pre-existing disease coverage, cashless hospitalisation, higher sum assured and specific coverage for diseases like cancer, stroke etc.
So, if you’re a senior citizen or a child who wants to purchase a health policy for their parents, here are certain things that you need to consider while buying a health insurance policy:-
Pay special attention to all features
First off, medical insurance for a senior citizen must have all features which are required to suit the individual’s specific needs. For example, choose a plan that provides specific features like chemotherapy, dialysis, and even organ donation as the individual may require. So, while you’re buying health insurance for your parents, you should check for features that have higher cost implications; these include benefits under the room rent limit for several treatments. Before shortlisting a policy, check all that is covered. For instance, there are plans that cover expensive treatments such as organ donation which goes up to Rs. 3-4 lakh. If these features are absent or the sub-limit is low, you’ll end up paying a higher amount from your wallet.
The sum assured or coverage amount is the amount of protection that a buyer chooses while buying a policy. It is the total amount for which an individual is insured. So, while choosing a health insurance policy for a senior citizen, you must choose a ‘sum assured’ by considering the high probability of medical uncertainties (in the later stages) as well as medical inflation.
Check the waiting period
Naturally, in this particular case, the policyholders will be relatively older, so it is important that the policy you buy have a lower waiting period. This is in case they have any existing conditions that may not come under the plan until the waiting period is over.
Separate individual policy for parents
If you are buying a medical cover for your parents (60 or above), it is advisable not to include them into your family floater plan. Buy them an individual health cover. The reason being, the premium under the family floater plan is based on the eldest member covered in the policy. Even the maximum renewal age is totally dependent on the age of the eldest member covered. So, if and when this age is breached, all the family members will lose their cover.
This is very critical. While purchasing health covers for senior citizens of the family, few insurers have the option of copayment. This means you would have to bear some portion of the medical expenses as and when they occur.
Since senior citizens are more likely to go in for frequent treatments and medical services, insurers can mitigate their risk of underwriting a senior citizen with this option.
Why choose a co-payment insurance plan? Well, because it may have features that may suit the policyholders’ needs. The co-payment requirement is usually a minimum of 20%, but some plans offer a reduction in copayment with a renewal of the plan every year.
To conclude, these parameters are some of the very basic things that one needs to remember while buying a health insurance policy for senior citizens – your parents or perhaps the eldest member of your family. Know your requirements and then weigh your alternatives to choose the best plan/policy.