What happens if you choose to buy a health insurance policy after the age of 45? Read to understand how it can impact your finances and what measures you need to take.
At the age of 45, you are quite likely to have everything in order as far as securing your family’s future is concerned. Until now, you have provided and planned well for your spouse and children’s needs. You may have even planned for your retirement planning. Have you considered health insurance, though? If you haven’t, then today is the best time to do so. This is not something you can look into later. Here is why.
As you age, you become more prone to health issues. Chronic conditions might require frequent medical intervention, which would burn a hole in your pocket. If you think this will not come in the way of buying a health insurance plan, think again.
Let’s take an example! Mr. Sharma waited till the age of 55 to buy a health plan. Unfortunately, he later discovered that his cardiac trouble and progressing age would not let him get the kind of cover he would have liked.
You can be smart by looking at health insurance while you still have age on your side.
The later you consider buying a health plan, the more complicated it gets. Most insurers might charge hefty premiums at the time of buying the policy or hike premiums during renewal. This is ‘premium loading’. It is based on your age, health condition and pre-existing diseases or simply based on the number of claims you make.
Take the example of 56-year-old Raj, who was shocked to see that he was paying double the amount of premium as compared to his brother, Mihir (40) who was paying for the same cover.
Pay higher or lower for your cover
Health insurance is necessary when you face a health issue. This means you cannot put it off for later. For example, Rajesh was 52 and close to retirement when he bought a health insurance cover. He was relieved that his insurer was covering his frequent hospitalization costs, but was unhappy when his premiums increased by almost 50% at renewal. Since this went way beyond his budget, he had to either remain without a cover for some time or reduce his sum insured.
When buying a health plan, you might assume that it will cover you against any medical emergency. At 45, do not look at health insurance as a temporary protection against health issues. Try to plan for long term instead.
Let’s assume a situation: Two friends, Hafeez and Sohail bought a health policy in their mid-40s from the same insurer. Five years later, Hafeez was happy and continued with it. On the other hand, Sohail had to upgrade his policy at a much higher premium to cover his needs. You should consider your present as well as future needs when buying a policy at a later stage in life.
Limitations and restrictions
When you choose to buy a plan quite late in life, the guarantee of cover or quality of insurance may go down. Advanced age means higher risk for the insurer. Though you may be willing to pay more to get appropriate cover, there might be exclusions.
For example, Mr. Hirani wanted to buy a health insurance policy at the age 54 to cover his frequent dialysis expenses. Surprisingly, most insurers either had a two-year to four-year waiting period or were unwilling to cover his medical condition.
From all that is mentioned above, you would understand that sometimes, it can be too late to buy a policy. So buy health insurance when you are still young. Research well and pick a policy that not only covers your needs but also happens to be pocket-friendly.