The average life span of people may have increased in the recent times, but so have the cost of medical treatments. Our body’s resilience declines as we age and it makes us more susceptible to various illnesses. Such ailments can cause a serious dent in the retirement fund of senior citizens. This is where investing in a good health insurance plan for senior citizens pays off.
While most of us tend to hop on to the Insurance Wagon the minute we start earning, there are a few who don’t get around till its a bit too late. A lot of people with secure jobs rely on the health insurance provided by their companies for the longest time. What's worst? They forget to get themselves personally insured after changing jobs. And let’s face it! No matter the amount of money you might have managed to accumulate in pension funds, any serious illness can wipe it off. This makes it all the more important to identify the best health insurance policy for senior citizens.
Choosing a health insurance policy can tricky, but when it comes to senior citizens, it becomes all the more important to thoroughly analyse the clauses for possible loopholes. It is essential to determine exactly what all the insurance policy is protecting you from and at what cost. Every insurer in the market claims to be offering the best health insurance policy for senior citizens, but few actually live up to their claims.
It's better late than never, you can still buy a senior citizen health insurance plan. Below we have discussed some important factors that you should consider while choosing a health insurance policy.
Pre-Policy Health Check Up:
A health checkup even before the policy is issued might seem cumbersome. But it is always advisable to get one's health condition evaluated by the insurance company. This avoids unwanted surprises while settling claims in future. Some insurance companies, like Star Health Insurance, offer tailor-made plans for senior citizens who might not need a health checkup beforehand. Yet, it is mandatory to disclose all the pre-existing medical conditions at the time of buying the cover. Remember that insurance companies can reject a claim in future if it is proven that the claim was made for an ailment that existed before the policy was issued.
Do not judge the policy based on insurance premium alone. While it is important to find a policy that fits your budget, make sure you know how much of it you are actually able to claim during an illness. A health insurance policy with a lower premium may have various limits and exclusions. It is important to compare policies for the benefits offered and choose accordingly.
This is critically important while choosing a health insurance policy, especially for senior citizens. Sub-limits are ceilings that the insurance providers place on two aspects: the room rent and specific diseases or treatments. For instance, health insurance policies have a limit for certain treatments such as cataract operations, angiography, hernia, gall bladder stone removal, ENT etc. By doing this the insurance provider limits its pay to a specific percentage of the policy amount leaving the insured person to incur any additional expenses. These additions can amount to high values at the time of payment, thus it is recommended to avoid a policy that includes sub-limits.
Co-pay options are increasingly being used by insurance companies as a way to reduce insurance premium. This option basically
allows the insured to share the payment, typically from 10%-30% and reduce the premium by the same amount. However, while opting for a health insurance policy for senior citizens, it is best to avoid the co-payment option. While the premiums may be a little higher, the funds required for co-payment at the time of claim can be quite substantial.
Most senior citizens are affected by one or the other conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac problems etc. However, the waiting period in health insurance policies may not be a good idea for such conditions. Health emergencies can arrive without warning, but if an insured person is hospitalized during the waiting period for the treatment of a pre-exiting ailment, the expenses will not be reimbursed by the insurance company. Thus, it makes sense to invest in a health insurance policy for senior citizens which does not have a waiting period or a lower waiting period for the pre-existing disease.
Also health insurance providers have waiting period for conditions, such as knee replacements, piles, cataract etc, which are listed in the policy wording. Always check the waiting period clause and have complete information about the same to avoid later disappointments.
Be sure to check the list of empanelled hospitals in your policy and make sure they are accessible to you and at par in terms of quality. Getting treatment in the empanelled hospital is beneficial as the insured individual can use the cashless service where the health insurance company or the TPA directly settles the bill with the hospital after fulfilling the basic formalities.
So if you are looking for the best health insurance for senior citizens in the market, take time to talk to people and do the research for yourself. Make sure to compare several health insurance policies before deciding on the right one. While the task may seem daunting initially, finding the right policy can have some major benefits moving forward.
Must Read: Senior citizen health insurance plans are a must