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HEALTH INSURANCE

Hurdles While Buying Health Insurance for Your Parents

Janhavi Shinde Janhavi Shinde 09 February 2017
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What are the challenges faced when it comes to purchasing health insurance for older parents? Learn the factors that you need to consider with the help of a story.

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Our parents face so many trials and tribulations in life just to make sure their children get the best. But, what are we children doing in return to give them a happy and secured old age? Health insurance is one of the best gifts you could give them! But, buying health insurance for your parents is not easy. Finding the best health insurance policy for them is just as great a challenge as any others. There are so many factors to consider. Finding a policy that balances all these factors is almost impossible.

Let’s understand this with a story:

25-year-old bank sales representative Sunil experienced this while buying an insurance policy for his elderly parents. As an only child, he knew their health was entirely his responsibility. Confused by the number of options available in the market, Sunil went ahead and bought the two most expensive policies for his parents.

A year later, Sunil’s father suffered a stroke. He learned a great deal through that experience. You can learn from this too. Here is what happened.

Coverage

Sunil’s father had to stay in the hospital for several days. His treatment was to cost lakhs. Fortunately, his expensive policy provided a huge cover that would easily bear the expenses. His father had suffered a stroke once before due to his high cholesterol level.

Sunil had ensured that the policy would cover him if it happened again. Sadly, he was unaware that health plans normally have a waiting period of two to four years for pre-existing diseases. During this period, the cover is not active.

Family cover

At the hospital, Sunil met his former boss Vikas, who was in his early-30s and married, with two kids. Vikas’ mother had suffered a heart attack and was being treated in the same hospital. Sunil and Vikas got chatting and the former told the latter about the exorbitant premium on his parents’ health insurance. He said that he was planning to shift to a family health insurance policy after getting married the following year.

In this way, a common policy would cover his entire family and save his premium. Vikas already had a family policy. The policy covered him, his mother, wife, and kids. He advised Sunil to continue with separate policies for his parents if he wanted to minimize his premium. The premium for a family floater is based on the age of the oldest family member. Parents above 60 years are most likely to fall ill and claim the cover. Adding them to the policy only increases the premium.

Sunil was glad to have met Vikas, who offered great advice based on his experience. He gave his parents’ insurance papers to Vikas and requested him to go through them.

Renewal limit

Vikas saw that Sunil had bought a senior citizen’s policy for his father, with an exit age of 75. This meant that Sunil would not be able to renew the policy when it expired. Finding a new policy for somebody at 75 is nearly impossible. Even when it is possible, it can be very expensive. Vikas suggested buying health insurance for parents when they are below 60. In that case, you can get a policy that offers lifetime renewal. Since Sunil’s mother was 59, Vikas suggested that he switch to a policy with lifetime renewal for her.

No-claim bonus

Vikas also noticed that Sunil’s policies had a no-claim option. Sunil could either increase the assured sum or reduce the policy premium, in case he did not make a claim during a year. Vikas advised Sunil to increase the cover because his parents were close to or above 60. Their medical needs would only increase and healthcare was not getting any cheaper. Had his parents been younger, Sunil could have gone for the latter option and saved on premium.

Bottom-line

Like Sunil, you can make some critical mistakes too despite your best intentions. Among them, the primary one is not getting your parents insured at a younger age.

Doing so can cover them against more diseases and for a longer period. It can also save you some money, which can be used to help your retired parents in some other way.

Recommended Read: Health Insurance For Parents With Pre-Existing diseases: Impossible Is Nothing!

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Janhavi Shinde
Written by Janhavi Shinde
Right from being a Flight Attendant to a Banker and now to a Content Writer, she has tasted success in all the fields. The kinda girl who loves pets and knows how to manage difficult people and events.