The cost of healthcare is rising significantly, thanks to the ever-increasing technological advancements and inflation in medical services. With tax benefits and several healthcare facilities, the Government of India managed insurers has introduced health insurance for senior citizens.
India is rooted in strong family culture and structures. Even during old age, Indian children take pride in being able to take care of their parents. However, with rising medical related expenses, many of us feel that it is challenging to manage medical expenses. Since the country is protective of its elderly, the Indian government managed insurers offer health insurance for senior citizens. The health insurance plans provided by the government insurers are people-oriented and aim to provide financial help to the elderly during the time of sickness.
Having health insurance for parents or senior citizen members in your family is essential because of the ever-increasing cost of healthcare. Government managed insurers health insurance plans are designed in such a way that help you financially during the time of hospitalisation. Availing medical services without health insurance may sometimes result in a financial drain. Hence, it is wise to have health insurance for senior citizens to meet high medical costs during illness and hospitalisation.
Here are a few reasons why health insurance is important for senior citizens:
Old age comes with several medical problems: It is challenging to escape medical conditions that come with the old age, even if you try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Today, most illnesses are neither too easy to treat nor are pocket-friendly. Due to this reason, the government of India managed insurance companies have introduced health insurance for senior citizens that provide coverage for medical treatments and financially support the policyholder.
You don't have to spend on regular health check-ups: Having a regular health check-up is important, especially for senior citizens to be aware of health conditions. This helps in detecting any medical problem at the earliest, so as to take the necessary steps. The government run insurance companies are providing health insurance plans that have a network hospital under which you can avail free health check-ups from time to time.
A health insurance plan makes senior citizens financially independent: Due to ever-increasing medical cost, your medical expenses may become a burden, especially when you are not an earning member of the family. The government managed insurers have introduced health insurance plans for senior citizens to take care of these medical expenses. Health insurance helps you not to depend on your family for medical expenditure and be financially independent in your golden days.
Health insurance is the perfect way to invest for old age: Your savings might be wasted if not properly invested. What can be better than investing some of your savings in your health? A health insurance plan which helps you save your hard-earned money from getting drained. The total cost of a health insurance plan offered by the government run insurers is affordable without making a dent on your savings.
Senior citizens health insurance schemes provided by the government managed insurers
Varishtha Mediclaim Policy
Varishtha Mediclaim policy introduced by National Insurance is designed especially for senior citizens in India between the age of 60 and 80 years. The policy is designed to meet the health care requirements for senior citizens. The policy term is of one year, and the policy can be renewed up to the age of 90 years. Sum insured of Rs. 1 lakh in case of hospitalisation and Rs. 2 Lakh for critical illness coverage is provided to the policyholder. Other features of the policy are mentioned below:
- Cost of drugs, medicine, blood, diagnosis, oxygen charged, etc. is covered by half of the sum insured.
- Ambulances charges are covered up to Rs. 1000.
- Treatment of critical medical conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, organ transplant, etc. is covered up to a pre-specified amount in the policy.
- 25% of the total sum insured is provided as fees of surgeons, specialists, doctors, consultants, medical practitioners etc.
- Coverage for illness such as cancer, stroke, multiple sclerosis, etc. is offered even without hospitalisation.
- The policy has a waiting period of 1 year for pre-existing conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
- Post-hospitalisation expenses are covered for policyholders up to 60 years of age.
- Premiums paid towards this policy are allowed as tax-deductible under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
National Mediclaim Policy
National Mediclaim policy designed for people within the age of 18 to 65 years. The policy comes with a term of one year and a grace period of 1 month. What makes this policy relevant for senior citizens is that it offers the benefit of lifelong renewal. The sum insured varies between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 5 lakhs. The benefits offered under the policy are mentioned below:
- Daycare procedure is covered up to 140 days.
- Ambulance charges are covered up to Rs. 2000.
- Physician, anaesthetist, surgeon fees along with room charges, injection and transfusion charges are covered.
- Medication and test charges are covered, along with blood and oxygen charges.
- The waiting period is four years for pre-existing conditions.
- Waiting periods of 1/ 2 yrs. for certain specific diseases/ illness/ treatment.
- Sum insured can be increased up to Rs. 5 lakhs. In case of a claim-free year, the sum insured will automatically be increased by 5%.
- Cashless hospitalisation is available at a network of more than 6000+ hospitals spread across the country.
- Tax benefit is available under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act for the premiums paid towards this policy.
Even with a healthy lifestyle, it is challenging to escape some medical issues that come with growing age. Also, your ability to afford proper healthcare reduces as you grow old. Health insurance for senior citizens is designed to provide financial support during medical treatments of individuals above 60 years of age. There is a little more choice that is available to Indian senior citizens besides what is already provided by the private health insurance companies – Insurance plans offered by the government run insurers. These plans come with affordable premiums and exclusive features to meet the healthcare requirements of senior citizens. Therefore, save yourself from burning a hole in your pocket and get a health insurance policy, especially designed for senior citizen members of your family.
Recommended: Objectives of the Government Health Insurance Scheme