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Guide to buy health insurance for parents

Jagrity Sharma Jagrity Sharma 13 August 2019

Buying health insurance for parents will ensure that they get the best medical treatment when required. Read this comprehensive guide that will help you to make a better decision while buying health insurance for parents.

Health Insurance for Parents

Parents go through several difficulties to nurture us into the person we are today. They invest their time, money and efforts to ensure the best lifestyle and living means for us. It is our responsibility to look after them as they grow old, especially when they are unwell. With ever-rising medical cost, even a minor ailment can cause a significant drain on finances. To ensure that your parents don't have to worry about hospital bills and get the best medical treatment, consider buying health insurance for parents. If you want to purchase a health insurance policy for parents, here is a list of things that you should consider.

Pay special attention to policy features: First and foremost, it is vital that medical insurance has all features which are required to meet the individual's specific needs. For instance, choose a policy that provides specific coverage such as dialysis, chemotherapy, and even organ donation as an individual may require these with the growing age. Hence, while buying health insurance for parents, it is advisable to check for features that have high-cost implications. Before shortlisting a health plan, check all features, coverage and limitations. If any critical features are absent or have a low sub-limit, you may end up paying a higher amount from your wallet.

Sum Insured: The coverage amount or sum insured is the amount of protection that you choose while buying a health plan. It is the total amount for which a person is insured. Hence, while choosing a health insurance policy for your parents, you should choose the sum insured, considering the high probability of medical uncertainties and medical inflation.

Check the waiting period: Most health insurance policies have a compulsory waiting period for pre-existing medical conditions. When it comes to health insurance for parents, considering the waiting period becomes crucial. It might be around 2 to 4 years, during which any treatment linked to the pre-existing medical conditions will not be covered under the plan. Hence, while buying health insurance for parents, this must be kept in mind to avoid unpleasant surprises of huge medical bills in spite of being insured and going for a plan with the lowest waiting period.

Separate health plan for parents: If you are buying a health insurance policy for parents above 60 years of age, it is advisable not to include them into your family floater plan. Buy them a separate health cover. The reason is that the premium amount under family floater plan is usually based on the eldest member covered under the plan. Even the maximum renewal age is dependent on the age of the eldest member covered in the policy. Hence, if and when this age is breached, the entire family will lose insurance cover.

Renewal limit: When you buy a health insurance plan, there is generally a maximum age limit in the plan. Health policies typically cover policyholders up to the age of 75-80 years, after which buying a policy is not permitted. To make sure that your parents continue to receive insurance coverage even in their old age, always look at the age limit of the plan. For example, your parents are around 65 years of age at the time of purchasing the health insurance plan, and the maximum renewal age for the policy is 70 years. In such a scenario, it is wise to consider other options since the policy will not be renewable once your parents cross the age limit. Many insurers provide lifetime renewability, which might be an excellent aspect to consider.

No claim bonus: Most health insurance policies have NCB (No Claim Bonus) clause, which reduces the next premium payable if there is no claim during the policy term. Many health insurance companies also provide increased sum insured instead of a reduction of the premium amount when there is no claim during a specified period. In the case of parents, their medical needs will only rise as they get older, which will result in increased medical costs. In such a case, choosing the increased sum assured as a perk of no claim bonus is a better idea than paying a lower premium amount.

What is covered under the health insurance policy in India?

  • A hospitalisation cover includes room rent, doctor’s fees, medical treatment, etc.
  • Cashless hospitalisation is offered at network hospitals, which helps individuals to make most of the cashless facility during medical treatments at hospitals.
  • Ambulance and day-care expenditures are covered.
  • Covers pre and post-hospitalisation expenses.
  • Quick and hassle-free claim settlement process.
  • Pre-medical conditions are covered as per the discretion of the insurer.

Why buying health insurance for parents is a must?

  • Cost of medical treatments is increasing rapidly, thus making it difficult, especially for senior citizens to pay their medical bills.
  • Parents generally do not have a stable source of income after retirement. This means they may not be financially capable of paying high medical bills. Hence, health insurance for parents is a must.
  • Even if your parents have health insurance during employment, it is going to lapse after retirement.
  • Life expectancy has increased over the years. People live longer, and it is wise to be financially prepared against medical emergencies that are more frequent at an old age. Imagine having to arrange for medical and hospitalisation expenses in a matter of a few hours. Now, consider how it would have been when your parents are insured under a comprehensive health insurance policy. Sounds better, right?

Buying a health insurance policy for your parents is a wise and effective way to ensure that their medical bills are taken care of without financial strain. To ensure that health insurance policy for your parents is not a financial burden, consider buying one for them as soon as possible to avoid paying higher premiums at a later date. Remember, the earlier you buy health insurance for your parents, the better will be the benefits.

Recommended: Hurdles While Buying Health Insurance for Your Parents

Jagrity Sharma
Written by Jagrity Sharma
A bibliophile who hates alliterations, but loves cream, comics and content immensely! On another note, a content marketer who leverages the power of words to explain...almost anything!