Senior citizen health insurance policies are designed to cover financial expenses occurred during medical treatments of individuals above 60 years of age. These plans come with distinct features and benefits to help senior citizens in their hour of need.
Being a senior citizen can seem quite overwhelming if you don't plan your life expenses. With rising age, come difficulties like increased healthcare expenses, health risks, and much more. The best solution for these problems is health insurance for senior citizens. Health insurance is a thought-out plan which is a necessity, especially for senior citizens. The best way to make your ageing parents feel cared for is to buy a health insurance plan for them.
What is Senior Citizen Health Insurance and how important is it?
Health insurance for senior citizens is offered by several insurance companies in India to financially secure those who are aged 60 years and above. Senior citizens health insurance policies are designed to cover all types of healthcare expenses that are incurred by the policyholder. Buying health insurance for your aged parents or senior citizen members of the family is the best way take their medical needs into consideration.
It is crucial to buy health insurance for senior citizens due to the following reasons:
- Rising medical costs
- Financial dependency on children
- Unstable or limited income after retirement
- Year-on year decrease in savings
- Unexpected financial contingencies and unforeseen expenses
- Increased vulnerability to illnesses
- Discontinuation of employer’s health insurance policy after retirement
Features and benefits of health insurance for senior citizens
Senior citizens health insurance policies are exclusively for senior citizens who look to meet high medical costs during illness and hospitalisation. In various unforeseen circumstances, health insurance for senior citizens will help you cope up with financial difficulties. These plans come with several salient features. They are as follows:
- Senior citizens health insurance policies are designed for individuals aged between 60 years to 75 years.
- Policies offer a free-look period during which the policy can be returned, if you are unsatisfied with the policy terms.
- Cashless hospitalisation facility is available under health insurance for senior citizens when treatment is undertaken at network hospitals of the insurance company.
- If medical treatment is chosen at a hospital that is not a network hospital of the insurance company, the medical expenses will be reimbursed as per the sum insured.
- Most of the insurers offer co-payment option, which reduces premiums and even receive discounts from the insurance company. Under this option, a certain portion of medical expenses is borne by the policyholder.
- You can enrol for a new insurance policy or renew your existing health insurance entirely online with a few clicks. Payment can be made through different options such as net banking, debit card, credit card, etc.
- You can choose the sum insured as per your requirements from the options available.
In addition to the above features, there could be additional features under health insurance for senior citizens. These features may not be priced separately; however, it's better to weigh their importance in your schemes of things and then decide accordingly.
- Most insurance companies provide a family discount of 5% on the premium amount if the policy is taken for self and spouse.
- Some senior citizen health insurance plans offer domiciliary treatment when the expenses are attached to getting the treatment done at home, which otherwise would need hospitalisation.
- Some plans cover expenses for the organ donor at the time of organ transplant.
- Most plans for senior citizen health insurance covers ambulance expenses up to a certain limit say maximum of Rs. 2000.
- Some insurance plans allow e-opinion. This is usually a second opinion from a medical practitioner per policy year.
- If there is no claim made until the specified time period, some policies allow a free medical check-up for senior citizen policyholders up to a specific amount.
Value-added benefits of health insurance for senior citizens
- You don't require any pre-medical screening before buying a senior citizen health insurance policy.
- Senior citizens can avail the benefit of free health check-ups based on the features of the policy.
- The health insurance plan covers medical bills, room charges, doctor’s fees, etc.
- It covers pre and post-hospitalisation expenses.
- Health insurance for senior citizens covers pre-existing illness and specific ailments after the waiting period.
- A policyholder is eligible to receive income tax benefits against the premiums paid towards health insurance for senior citizens. As per Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the maximum deduction that can be claimed is Rs. 50,000 in a financial year.
- Many insurance companies offer lifetime renewals on senior citizens health insurance plans. Policyholders who do not take a break between policy terms can avail this benefit.
- You can purchase a senior citizen policy or renew your existing plan easily through an online portal of the insurer.
What is covered under health insurance for senior citizens?
- Hospitalisation cover includes medical treatment, room rent and hospitalisation, doctor’s fees, domiciliary treatment, etc.
- Cashless hospitalisation enables the policyholder of a senior citizen health insurance plan to make the most of cashless facility during hospitalisation for medical treatments.
- Day-care procedures and ambulance expenditures are covered.
- No medical check-up is required before purchasing health insurance for senior citizens. However, this feature depends on the discretion of the insurer.
- It covers quick and hassle-free claim settlement process.
- Pre-existing diseases are covered under health insurance for senior citizens.
Types of illness covered under Senior citizen health insurance policy
All types of diseases, including pre-existing diseases, are covered under health insurance for senior citizens.
Pre-existing illnesses: Pre-existing disease coverage is an essential element in health insurance for senior citizens. The policyholder needs to get clarity on coverage – by when will they be covered and up to what amount. Insurance companies allow coverage for pre-existing conditions after 30 days to 36 months. In some policies, the pre-existing conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and its complications are covered after 18 months of a consecutive insurance term. For pre-existing diseases, the waiting period is lower or nil in comparison to the standard health insurance.
In a nutshell, senior citizens health insurance plans let people live comfortably in their golden days of life and safeguards them from all the possible health risks. Make it easy, financially safe and secure for your loved ones by getting a senior citizens health insurance. Choose the best plan for keeping yourself as well as them protected against unexpected health risks. The sooner you get health insurance for your senior citizen parents, the better it is for you and your finances.