Ageing is a fact of life, and as we begin to see the wrinkles and other signs, it makes us wonder how these physiological changes are beyond our control. The risk of illnesses also increases as we grow older. It is, exactly, why those having elderly parents or grandparents at home need to be cautious and take measures to access quality medical care. Medical inflation is yet another reality that one cannot overlook. As medical treatments have become expensive, getting health insurance for senior citizens is a wise move. This customised health cover would give your loved ones the financial assistance to manage the expenses arising when dealing with age-related illnesses.
With so many insurers now offering senior citizen health insurance in India, it is not easy to get the right health cover unless one has done thorough research. Also, if you are opting for a senior citizen health plan for the first time, going through the following guide will help choose the best health policy.
- Look for High Sum Insured
Older adults face higher health risks. If one is dealing with an illness, it is essential to be financially ready to deal with hefty medical bills. Medical treatment at private hospitals, including advanced surgeries, can all increase the health care expenses. So, make sure to choose a health cover with a higher sum insured. While you get a high coverage amount, it does not necessarily imply high premium costs. You can get affordable coverage by comparing various senior citizen health insurance plans in India and calculating the premium costs using an online premium calculator.
- Consider Waiting Period for Pre-existing Diseases
There is a likelihood of your elderly loved ones having a pre-existing disease. Hence, when you are reviewing different policies, make sure to check the waiting period on pre-existing diseases. Usually, it may be two or four years, depending on the insurer. Also, you must read the policy terms and conditions to know if the disease is covered or not. It will help you make a better decision and avoid any hassle when filing a claim.
- Check the Co-payment Clause
Policy buyers should check the co-payment clause before finalizing a health policy for senior citizens. Co-payment is a feature wherein the policyholder has to bear a part of the claim amount. Most senior citizen plans include a co-payment clause, and the percentage may range between 10 and 30. Often, the premium reduces if one chooses a higher co-payment percentage. So, it is essential to consider these aspects when deciding on a health cover.
- Find Alternative Treatment Cover
Insurers, nowadays, offer health insurance for senior citizens with alternative treatment cover. The popularity of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy) is growing by the day. As compared to allopathic medicine, these treatments are safe and are known to benefit people dealing with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. So, select a plan that includes alternative treatment cover.
- Know about Pre-policy Medical Check-up
Insurance companies ask senior citizens to undergo medical tests at the time of buying the policy. However, getting health insurance for senior citizens without a pre-policy medical check-up is now possible. Moreover, one can get a health cover online, which is faster and convenient and reduces paperwork.
- Go for Cashless Hospitalisation
Nowadays, many insurers offer the cashless hospitalisation facility wherein the insurer pays the medical bills directly to the hospital on behalf of the insured. This facility is available only at a network hospital empanelled with the insurer. When picking a health policy for senior citizens, go for an insurer with a wide hospital network. For instance, Care Health Insurance has 11,000+ cashless healthcare providers.
In addition to the points mentioned above, one should also check the policy wordings and understand the sub-limits, exclusions, etc. Overall, the best senior citizen health policy should provide affordable and comprehensive coverage with the following benefits:
- In-patient Hospitalisation
- Pre and Post Hospitalisation
- Domiciliary Hospitalisation
- Day care Treatment
- Ambulance Cover
- Alternative Treatment
- No Claim Bonus
- Annual Medical Check-up
Further, senior citizens are eligible for tax deductions on the premium, up to Rs 50,000, according to the Income Tax Act. Considering these benefits, health insurance for senior citizens proves to be crucial financial support during one’s retirement years.