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What is The Maximum Age for Buying a Health Insurance Policy?

With age, the graph for health ailments only increases. Even if you eat the right food and exercise as you should, our body still starts developing health issues over time. Securing yourself financially in these cases is vital for senior citizens, as many of them survive on pension money.

A health insurance policy allows senior citizens or individuals above 60 to maintain their financial stability while still taking care of their health. However, there is an age limit of getting a health insurance policy. Multiple providers don’t allow senior citizens to enrol for a health insurance policy after a certain age.

Let’s see why health insurance policy holds great significance and what is the maximum age limit of acquiring this policy.

What Is the Maximum Age of Health Insurance Policy?

More than 80% of health insurance policy providers have set an age limit of 60-65. You can’t purchase health insurance from these providers after 65. In fact, multiple health insurance policy providers have additional terms for offering a policy to people above 50.

So, it’s true. It is hard to get a good health cover and an optimum policy if you are already past 50. However, the options are not entirely closed. Multiple health insurance policy providers still don’t have an upper limit for health insurance. They offer a policy based on the health and medical history of the patient. Some of these health insurance policy providers are discussed in the subsequent sections.

Drawbacks of Delaying a Health Insurance Policy

The reason why it is suggested to purchase a health insurance policy early is to save yourself from the trouble of fewer policy options and limited benefits. Below we have discussed five drawbacks of buying a policy after 50.

Fewer Benefits

Your policy benefits reduce as you age. After your fiftieth birthday, getting add-on covers and high coverage is a challenging act. This is because older policyholders become more susceptible to health ailments such as arthritis due to wear and tear or diabetes. Due to the high susceptibility, health insurance policy providers avoid offering extra benefits and high coverage to senior citizens, something which a youngster might get without any hassle.

High Premium

  • The premium amount is higher when you take a health insurance policy late in life. Since individuals above 50 are under the high-risk category, it is likely for them to pay high premiums.
  • The premium amount proportionally increases as you age. So, it is lowest for children, optimum for individuals in 20s-30s, and high for people above 50 years of age. You can decrease this premium amount by reducing the sum assured or removing some add-ons from the policy.
  • Another way to fight a high premium is a co-pay-out option. Most of the health insurance policies for individuals above the age of 50 have a co-pay-out option. This means that the policyholder shares a certain ratio of the bill.

Let’s understand this with an example:

John is currently 52 years old. He had taken a policy 2 years back. Now, he wants to claim the health insurance policy as he has incurred some medical bills amounting to INR 20,000. At the time of taking the health insurance policy, John took a co-pay-out option, wherein he was responsible for the 20% of the bill. So, when he finally wanted to claim the health insurance policy, the provider paid a total of INR 16,000. John paid the rest of the INR 4,000 from his own pocket.

This is how co-pay-out works. While you may have to pay a certain amount of money during hospitalisation, your premiums will be reduced to a great extent. You only need to pay some percent, usually 10-30%.

Waiting Period

  • You will have to endure a waiting period before you can claim the health insurance policy for a particular health ailment. The duration of the waiting period depends on the insurance company.
  • This is the most debilitating drawback of opting for a policy after 50. If you take the plan in your senior years, the waiting period is likely active when you actually need the money. So, despite having a policy, you may have to pay the medical expenses on your own.
  • However, when you purchase this policy before 50, there are high chances that your waiting period will be over by the time you may need to make use of health insurance.

Pre-Existing Illnesses

There are three ways in which health insurance policy providers restrict you in case of pre-existing illnesses:

  • If you have any pre-existing health issues at the time of purchasing the health insurance policy, you may be denied the policy. This is especially true if the individual is older than 60 years because the morbidity rate is high after this age.

  • The health insurance policy provider can even exempt these health illnesses from policy coverage. So, you will have a medical insurance or health insurance policy, but it will not cover your existing illnesses.

  • The health insurance policy provider can even place an additional waiting period on the claims of pre-existing illnesses. This waiting period can be from 2-4 years, depending upon the severity of the condition and health insurance provider’s terms and conditions.

Limited Sum Insured

The medical health check-up is mandatory before acquiring a health insurance policy. After checking your reports, the health insurance policy provider may place a cap on the amount you can claim for your medical bills. This sum is limited, and generally within the range of INR 1-3 lakhs. Some policies offer more cap on this limit, but still, there are very few options in this area.

Some Plans for Senior Citizens

There are various senior citizen’s health insurance policy providers. However, we picked the top four providers that offer a good deal at a considerably low premium. Check out your options below:

Star Health

Star Health provides a Senior Citizen’s Red Carpet Policy, which you can purchase between the ages of 60-75 years. Once purchased, you can continuously upgrade and renew the plan for your lifetime. This plan covers your pre-hospitalisation, post-hospitalisation, surgeon’s fee, ICU charges, and many other expenses.

New India Assurance

New India Assurance offers a Senior Citizen Mediclaim Policy, which can be availed or purchased in the age limit of 60-80 years. The individuals insured through this health insurance policy can renew and continue the policy until the age of 90. This policy covers pre-hospitalisation, post-hospitalisation, ambulance charges, injuries, and others.

Tata AIG

Tata AIG provides a Medi Senior Plan for senior citizens above the age of 61 and above. As there is no upper age limit, any individual above the age of 61 can purchase this health insurance policy. This plan covers all the medical treatment charges, such as pre-hospitalisation, post-hospitalisation, surgeon’s fee, ICU charges, etc.

Apollo Munich

Apollo Munich has made its Optima Senior Plan available to individuals aged 61 and above. This health insurance policy offers basic coverage, including pre-hospitalisation, post-hospitalisation, emergency ambulance charges, daily care procedures, domiciliary treatment, etc.

Myths About Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policy

  • A lot of senior citizens and adults don’t have a health insurance policy because they think their group insurance will cover them. This is not necessarily true. The company health insurance policy offered to children doesn’t fully cover parents and has some limits, so it is crucial to have a separate insurance plan.
  • Many individuals don’t apply for a health insurance policy if they have pre-existing conditions. This is false; it is, in fact, possible to obtain an insurance policy despite a pre-existing condition. However, your insurance company will cover these illnesses after a waiting period.
  • It is common practice for fit and healthy people to weasel out of getting a health insurance policy. In this case, you would think that investing in health insurance is unnecessary. But we can in no way understand what lies in the future, so it is better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. This is why a health insurance policy is necessary to cover your expenses.

Things to Consider When Buying a Health Insurance Policy

  • When you are choosing a health insurance policy, remember to find the optimum plan. This means you should check the coverage, costs, and inclusions. Compare various plans and then make a wise decision. Your options may be limited, but that also makes comparison easier.
  • When you are filling out the form for the health insurance policy, enter all the correct details. Also, read the terms and conditions to understand any hidden charges that may be present in the clauses of the health insurance.
  • Always take note of the waiting period for the whole plan. You should go for the shortest waiting period for enhanced benefits.
  • Lastly, take a look at the network of hospitals of the provider to get hassle-free medical service on time without having to pay anything from your pockets.

Final Take

The upper limit of getting a health insurance policy is around 65 years. However, it is suggested that individuals purchase a health insurance policy before 50 to improve their coverage, assured sum, add-ons, and other benefits. Avoid taking any risks with your health and choose the optimum cover at the right age to stay protected.

Recommended Link: Best Health Insurance Plans for Senior Citizen

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