Not sure what to look for in a health insurance policy for your parents? That’s ok. Don’t stress. Here goes your checklist.
Considering the ever-rising medical costs, an illness in your family can quickly drain your hard earned income. In order to avoid depleting your savings in case of a medical emergency, you should get health insurance for yourself and your parents. The sooner you buy a health insurance policy, the better it is for your finances. This is because with the increase in age, the policy becomes costly and offers restricted coverage for diseases.
The increasing occurrence of diseases such as malaria, dengue and pneumonia, requires extensive medical tests and subsequent treatment. Most of the Health Insurance Companies, being aware of how severe such ailments can be, provide coverage against such ailments. Health insurance plans are available, which are specifically designed for patients suffering from malaria, dengue and pneumonia.
Why do you need mediclaim for your parents?
Buying health insurance for your parents is probably one of the best gifts to give your parents. In their old age, your parents may require medical attention and the expenses can drain your (or their) savings. The following are some of the reasons for and benefits of buying a health insurance plan for your parents.
To protect them against medical emergency: Health insurance for parents protects them against a medical emergency. It covers the expenses for hospitalisation, pre and post-hospitalisation expenses, day-care expenses, domiciliary hospitalisation, ambulance charges, and so on.
Financial independence: In case of hospitalisation, your parents don't have to depend on you anymore for taking care of their medical expenses. By protecting them with health insurance, you will be helping them to lead a financially independent life for a relatively small yearly cost.
Cover against pre-existing ailments: A comprehensive health insurance policy helps you to cover your parents against a gradual decline in their health. Many health insurance plans offer coverage against pre-existing conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, etc.
Safety net against rising medical costs: As mentioned earlier, the medical costs are increasing due to inflation and other reasons. The amount of money your parents have at their disposal now is not going to be enough for them in the next 3 or 5 years. Medical insurance for your parents will ensure that they get the best medical attention when they need it.
Income tax benefits: In case your parents are senior citizens, you can avail a tax benefit of Rs. 50,000, apart from your tax benefit of Rs. 25,000. If you insure your parents, you can avail income tax benefit of total Rs. 75,000 in a year. Hence, the policy partially pays for itself by saving you from additional taxation.
How to pick the right health insurance policy for your parents?
There are more than 35 health insurance policies and 20 insurers in the market. The question is, how do you choose? It is important to select a policy with maximum coverage and minimum exclusions. You also need to consider surgeries and illnesses your parents may have to undergo. It is advisable to buy a policy that offers a higher sum insured. As a thumb rule, you should consider a cover of Rs. 10-20 lakhs, each depending on the city your parents live in.
Check the age limit: Take a health insurance policy for your parents where the entry age is 60 years or more. At the same time, check for renewability. Some medical insurance plans allow entry at 60 years, and runs right up to 75 or even 80 years. The insurance company may not allow the renewal of the policy after a certain age. You should always opt for lifetime renewability when choosing a health insurance plan for your parents. You should always opt for lifetime renewability when choosing a health insurance plan for your parents. As per the new guidelines from IRDAI, insurance companies must allow people to purchase a new health insurance policy up to 65 years of age. There are plenty of health insurance companies who provide health insurance cover for parents and senior citizens. You must choose the right one.
Check for the pre-existing illness clause: It is important to make sure that the health insurance policy covers pre-existing conditions and critical illnesses. Select a health insurance policy which has the lowest waiting period for pre-existing conditions. Senior citizen health insurance policies cover pre-existing illnesses, subject to certain terms and conditions. Very few medical insurance policies cover all pre-existing diseases and illnesses such as dengue, malaria and pneumonia. In most policies, there are clauses which exclude certain illnesses either completely or cover them after a waiting period.
Take a look at co-payment: Co-payment, in the insurance sector, is the percentage of the claimable hospital bill that you as an insured will have to pay. It is advisable to avoid plans with higher co-payment amount.
Make sure all diseases are covered: As you age, chances of suffering from diseases are pretty high. When you avail a health insurance policy for your parents, make sure all major diseases and illnesses on your priority list are covered under the plan.
Points to keep in mind while choosing a health insurance plan for parents:
- Check the incurred claim ratio of the insurance company. If the company has a good claim payment ratio, the chances of settling your claim are high.
- Check the network hospitals under the health insurance plan. Make sure a hospital of your preference is included under the network hospital.
- Make sure the policy includes the costs of day-care treatments such as chemotherapy, dialysis, and so on. Your parents are the most valuable treasure of your life. It would be terrible if you were not able to provide for them in case of a medical emergency. This is where a health insurance policy for your parents will come in handy. If your parents are categorised as senior citizens, there are plenty of insurers which provide health insurance plans specially designed for senior citizens. As your parents begin to age, they require additional medical assistance. Hence, it is important to avail a comprehensive health insurance policy for your parents.