Old age is a fact of life, and as we begin to see wrinkles and other signs, it makes us wonder how these physical changes are beyond our control. As we get older, the risk of diseases also increases. This is precisely why people who are elderly parents or grandparents at home need to be vigilant and take measures to use quality medical care. Medical inflation is yet another reality that one cannot ignore. As medical treatment has become expensive, getting Health Insurance for Senior Citizens Is a wise move. This customized health cover will provide financial assistance to your loved ones to manage the expenses incurred while dealing with age related diseases.
With so many insurers now offering senior citizen health insurance in India, it is not easy to get the right health cover until one has done a thorough research. Also, if you are choosing a senior citizen health plan for the first time, going through the following guide will help in choosing the best health policy.
- For higher sum assured
Older adults face higher health risks. If someone is struggling with an illness, it is necessary for him to be financially prepared to deal with medical bills. Medical treatment in private hospitals, including advanced surgery, can all increase health care expenses. Therefore, be sure to select one Health Cover with higher sum insured. When you receive a higher coverage amount, it does not necessarily mean higher premium costs. You can get affordable coverage by comparing various senior citizen health insurance plans in India and calculating premium costs using an online premium calculator.
- Consider the waiting period for pre-existing diseases
Your elderly loved ones are likely to have a pre-existing disease. Therefore, when you are reviewing various policies, be sure to check the waiting period on pre-existing diseases. Typically, it can be two or four years old depending on the insurer. Also, you should read the terms and conditions of the policy to know whether the disease is covered or not. This will help you to take a better decision and avoid any trouble while filing a claim.
- Check co-payment section
Policy buyers should check the co-payment clause before finalizing the health policy for senior citizens. Co-payment is a facility in which the policyholder has to bear a portion of the claim amount. Most senior citizen plans include a co-payment clause, and the percentage can be between 10 and 30. Often, the premium is reduced if one chooses a higher co-payment percentage. Therefore, it is necessary to consider these aspects when deciding on 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 increasing day by day. Compared to allopathic medicine, these treatments are safer and are known to benefit people dealing with chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. So, choose a plan that includes alternative treatment cover.
- Know about pre-policy medical check-up
Insurance companies ask seniors to undergo medical tests at the time of purchasing the policy. However, it is now possible for senior citizens to get health insurance without a pre-policy medical check-up. In addition, anyone can get online health cover, which is fast and convenient and reduces paperwork.
- Go to cashless hospitalization
Nowadays, many insurers offer cashless hospitalization, in which the insurer pays medical bills directly to the hospital on behalf of the insured. This facility is available only in a networked hospital with an insurer. When choosing a health policy for seniors, go for an insurer with a wide hospital network. For example, Care Health Insurance has 11,000+ cashless healthcare providers.
Apart from the points mentioned above, one should also check the wording of the policy 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 hospitalization
- Pre and Post Hospitalization
- Domestic hospitalization
- Day care treatment
- Ambulance cover
- Alternative treatment
- No claim bonus
- Annual medical check up
Further, as per the Income Tax Act, senior citizens are eligible for tax deduction up to Rs 50,000 on premium. Given these benefits, health insurance for seniors proves to be an important financial aid during the retirement years.