Health Insurance for Parents

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Growing up is a task so is growing old. Turning sixty is a major milestone. Do you realize how much your parents have toiled to bring you up?

Most people reading this article are financially independent adults, with parents who retired or about to retire from their jobs. With age catching up inevitably, it becomes more and more necessary for them to be medically insured. Practically speaking, the health care costs are rising by 15-18% each year and soon, a heart operation that costs Rs. 4.5 lakhs today will cost about Rs. 11 lakhs in the next five years.

Human psychology is such that medical emergencies always happen to other people, probably because it is too depressing a thing to think about. However, we all know the truth it is best to be prepared for such unforeseen things that can unfortunately happen to anyone, especially if our loved ones are at stake. There are special health insurance plans dedicated to parents, giving you an opportunity to make their lives more peaceful and safer.

Most of us don't do this but now it is probably our turn to take care of them and in turn you ensure you don't break the bank, if they fall ill. Works well, if you plan well.

So do for yourself and for them a favour. Don't delay - research well and buy them good health insurance. It is the only tool that paves way for a happy and financially stress free retirement.

So, what do you look for in your parent's health insurance plan? That's o.k., do not stress yourself. Here goes your check list:

What You Should Look For?

  • AGE LIMIT: If it provides cover for anyone over the age of 60 and permits entry right up to the age of 80 and guaranteed renewal thereafter. The points of senior citizen health insurance comparison can be max age at renewability.
  • Why You want to cover your parents for as long as it's possible: The older one gets, more the expenses mount. Hence, when picking a plan for your folks, check till what age the plan can be renewed. Options are few, going wrong once could mean not being able to get health insurance later.
  • PRE EXISTING ILLNESS: It should be covered subject to terms and conditions. No senior citizen health insurance in India will cover everything from the word go. It's tricky to cover health for older people. So a lot of clauses exist, which exclude certain pre-exisitng conditions or ailments. You need to check that after running the policy for a few years, do such illnesses start getting covered?
  • Why You need to ensure that the exclusion list is the smallest possible: Smallest possible when you buy and has potential to become smaller after a few continuous years of coverage. Older you get, multiple conditions or ailments spring up. A smaller exclusion list could be a life saver then.
  • CRITICAL ILLNESS COVERAGE: The Critical Illnesses or treatments like Coronary Artery Surgery, Cancer, Renal Failure and Stroke are not only emotionally hard to handle but financially too, they can take a huge toll. These big ones are dangerous as normal plans are never enough to handle them. Especially, if you are looking for quality health care. Look for a critical illness top-up with your basic [senior citizen health insurance]( These top-ups come at small price compared to the basic plan, but that small price is truly small in the scheme of things.

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Features of Health Insurance for Parents

Below are the key features of health insurance for parents:

  • Health insurance for parents offer health cover to even senior citizens, that is, individuals of more than 60 years of age are also eligible.
  • Claims for certain illnesses and pre-existing diseases is covered post completion of the due waiting period.
  • Several health insurance policies for parents include features like lifetime renewals. However, this is applicable only when the insured has not taken a break between policy years.
  • Medical facilities like ambulance services are generally covered by health insurance plans for parents.
  • Health insurance for parents usually allow policyholders the flexibility to choose the sum insured, as per their preference, which they feel would be a sufficient coverage for their medical requirements.
  • Modern features like cashless treatment and claim settlement through reimbursement are being offered by almost all health insurance companies for health plans for parents.
  • Health insurance for parents offer the policyholder the addition of his/her spouse to the same policy.
  • The co-pay facility is applicable on certain health insurance for parents. This makes policyholders eligible for lower premium payments and, in certain instances, also offers attractive discounts.

Now, Quick Look at All That is Generally Covered

There Are Things That Get Covered By All The Plans. Ready Reckoner:

  • Hospitalization Cover: Expenses incurred as a patient after admission of more than 24 hrs. The expenses include room charges, doctor fees, nursing fees, cost of medicine and drugs, etc.
  • Day care expenses: which arise from use of special equipments or procedures like chemotherapy, dialysis, etc.
  • Medical expenses: prior and post of hospitalization, the number of days will vary across insurers.
  • Ambulance charges: for transporting the insured subject to maximum limit.
  • Treatment at network hospitals only:
  • All pre-existing diseases: are covered from first year, except those for which treatment or advice was recommended by or received during the immediately preceding 12 months from the date of proposal.
  • Disease for which treatment or advice was recommended by or received during the immediately preceding 12 months from the date of proposal will be covered from second year onwards.

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How Does Buying Health Insurance For Parents Benefit You

Insuring your parents medically is probably one of the most perfect things to give your parents. In their old age, they may require medical attention and the expenses can topple your (or their) pretty little apple cart. The following are the benefits of buying health insurance plans for parents:

  • The Cover, Obviously: Parents health insurance will cover the expenses of your parents’ hospitalization, pre- and post-hospitalization expenses, day care expenses, ambulance charges, domiciliary hospitalization etc.
  • Financial Independence: If there is ever an unfortunate need to hospitalize your parents, they don’t have to depend on you or anyone for expenses. By insuring them medically, you will be helping them lead a dignified life, for a fairly small yearly expense.
  • Cover Against Pre-Existing Conditions: No one likes to think about their parents’ sickness. You can be one of those people. You can also be one of those people who recognize the need of the hour and insure your parents against gradual decline in their health from conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart problems etc.
  • Safeguard Against Rising Healthcare Costs: As mentioned earlier, the healthcare costs are increasing due to inflation and other reasons. The money your parents have at their disposal now is not going to be enough for them in the next 5 years. Health insurance for your parents will ensure that they never have to be without medical attention when they need it, just because of financial distress.
  • Tax Benefits: If your parents are senior citizens, you get a tax benefit of Rs. 30,000, apart from your tax benefit of Rs. 25,000. If you insure them, you can avail a tax benefit of total Rs. 55,000 in a year. So the policy practically pays for itself.

How to Buy Medical Insurance for Parents

Now that it is clear as to why one should buy health insurance for one's parents, it is time to discuss the next step. You can avail health insurance very easily. But do not, we repeat, do not buy health insurance without comparing. Never buy health insurance based on whether the plan is cheap. Remember that a cheap health insurance policy is worse than no policy.

So all in all, here’s a list of steps for buying the perfect plan:

  • Step 1: Find a homely, sincere web aggregator who can provide you unbiased quotes from various companies and honest expert advice when you need it.
  • Step 2: Fill in your parent’s and other particulars before you start your search. #Protip: Always declare any pre-existing conditions. If found out later, your insurer may not only reject your claim, you also stand the risk of your policy getting cancelled.
  • Step 3: Compare the top three quotes for the 7 points mentioned below:
  • Cover: Cover must be evaluated with respect to the points covered against the premium you pay. Is the policy economically optimized? Check which company gives the most cover against the premium they charge.
  • Co-Payment: Co-pay is an option (and sometimes mandatory) to pay a certain percentage or a certain fixed amount of the claim by the insured. This makes the premium way cheaper and affordable. However, choose a co-pay option which is a good balance between the amount you pay and the discount you get on your premium, as you don’t want to pay most of your claim amount and neither do you want a very high premium.

    For senior citizens and people above a certain age, this co-pay is a high amount or a higher percentage and it is mandatory. Check for a company that gives you the lowest possible co-pay. If you’re confused, you can always opt for an expert opinion.

  • Maximum age at renew-ability: As discussed earlier, many companies do not allow renewal after a certain age (most commonly 90 years). While choosing a policy you can go for one that offers a lifelong renewal.
  • Coverage of specific diseases: Post 60 years of age, the odds of suffering from conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart problems etc are higher, unfortunately. Health complications can arise out of those. When you buy a policy, make sure that most (ideally all) of the diseases on your priority list are covered.
  • Waiting period: Go for the health insurance policy that has the minimum waiting period. This way your conditions are covered sooner.
  • Medical check-ups: Many companies insist on medical checkups while many just don’t. Medical check-ups are carried out to figure out the pre-existing conditions. If there are more pre-existing conditions that the threshold, your insurer can deny you a policy. Go for a company that does not insist on medical check-ups.
  • NCB: Check for the no claim bonus discount, which is a “bonus” or discount for every claim-free year. Many companies do not offer NCB. You might want to go for one, as that may help you cut down your premium.
  • Step 4: Buy the best health insurance policy that suits you perfectly. Mind you, there will rarely be that one perfect policy. You may have to prioritize your needs and let go of things that hold the least importance. There will be a medical check-up in this timeline, if your company insists on one.
  • Step 5: Once you buy the policy, dedicate a good amount of time reading the policy wording. You have a look-up period, wherein you can cancel the policy without any loss. Make the most of this. Be alert, be aware.

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Why Should You Go For A Health Insurance for Parents?

Here are some reasons why should purchase a health insurance policy for parents:

  • Hospitalization cover: With rapidly rising medical charges, it is necessary for every individual to purchase a comprehensive health insurance to be able to meet planned and unforeseen hospitalization in the future. Besides, your medical needs will also increase with age, while your source of income will reduce drastically. Hence, it is best to be financially prepared well in advance. A health cover saves you from the physical and medical hassle of arranging for finances when the need arises.
  • Pre and post hospitalization cover: Health insurance for parents include pre and post hospitalization expenditures, depending on certain terms and conditions.
  • Cashless hospitalization: Most new age insurance companies offer the benefit of cashless hospitalization at network hospitals. This benefit makes the policyholder eligible for cashless hospitalization when he/she undergoes medical treatment at a network hospital. This feature often proves to be especially beneficial for planned hospitalization and medical treatments, enabling the policyholder to incur minimum charges on such medical needs.
  • Tax benefits (Save Taxes): Premium payments towards health insurance for parents are eligible for tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
  • Discounts and bonuses: Insurance companies usually offer attractive discounts for choosing a higher sum insured or when the insured have not made a claim in one year. Bonus may be offered by making the policyholder eligible for a higher sum insured in the next year as a bonus.
  • Coverage on pre-existing diseases: Health insurance plans for parents may or may not include coverage on pre-existing diseases as well, a benefit that group health insurance plans generally include.

What is Covered in Parents Health Insurance?

  • Avail hospitalization and medical facilities across a range of network hospitals
  • Eligibility for tax benefits on parents medical insurance premium payments
  • Cashless treatment and daily allowance on some health insurance policies for parents
  • Domiciliary Hospitalization cover health insurance for parents
  • Free-look period that enables the policyholder to take a final decision on whether he/she wants to purchase the policy
  • Eligibility for annual health check-ups
  • Seamless policy renewal option
  • Reload of sum insured

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What is Not Covered in Parents Health Insurance?

Here are the facilities that have not been included in health insurance plans for parents

  • Medical history of pre-existing illnesses/injuries until completion of waiting period
  • Illnesses diagnosed or contracted within 30 days of purchasing the health insurance for parents
  • Any non-allopathic treatment
  • Expenditures incurred for self-inflicted injuries
  • Expenditures incurred for treatment of drug abuse
  • Expenses for dental treatment and lenses or spectacles, except caused due to an accident
  • Injuries caused as a result of war, etc.
  • Medical expenditures for treatment of AIDS
  • Cosmetic surgery

Why do you need mediclaim policy for parents?

Your parents are the most important treasures of your life. They brought you into this world and gave you everything within their capacity. It would be a terrible state if you were not able to provide for them during a medical emergency. This is where a mediclaim plan for your parents will come in handy. In case your parents are retired and categorized as senior citizens, there are many insurers which provide mediclaim policy specifically designed for senior citizens. As you grow up, your parents begin to age and require additional medical assistance. Thus, it is important to buy a good mediclaim policy for your parents.

  • Lifestyle Diseases - As modern life becomes more stressful, lifestyle diseases become more common. When a lifestyle disease becomes a medical condition, a mediclaim plan is your ultimate saviour.
  • Inadequate Life Cover - If your existing mediclaim plan does not cover the parents, you should get a new policy specifically for your parents.
  • Beat Inflation - Due to inflation, medical costs and expenses will continue to rise. Buying a mediclaim for your parents will ensure that your parents are safe from all medical emergencies.
  • Savings - Buying a mediclaim for your parents at an early age will provide you with benefits like lower and cheaper premiums.
  • Tax Benefit - If your parents are senior citizens, you can avail a tax benefit of Rs. 50,000 as per Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Inclusions under a Mediclaim Policy for Family

The inclusions of a mediclaim policy for family are:

  • Hospital expenses - Expenses incurred due to hospitalization like medicines, oxygen, blood, OT charges, medical tests and diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, organ transplantation, etc.
  • Ambulance charges - Covers expenses for emergency ambulance transport.
  • Hospital accommodation expenses - Expenditures towards hospital room, ICUs are either addressed through cashless hospitalisation feature or are reimbursed by the company.
  • Day-care hospitalization - Expenditures towards tech-driven medical treatments that do not involve 24-hour hospitalization.
  • Pre and post-hospitalization expenses - Expenses incurred for up to 30-60 days before and till 60-120 days after hospitalization. It may also include medical assistance for emergency services like ambulance, etc.
  • Charges for medical experts - The fees for medical professionals involved during hospitalization like doctor, surgeon, nurse, etc. are also provided by mediclaim policies.

Note: These are common inclusions of a mediclaim policy for family. The inclusions also vary from one policy to another.

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Health insurance for parents is a smart health plan that is especially customized to suit the unique medical needs of senior citizens. It financially protects them against illnesses and medical treatments that often occur to individuals due to old age. It often offers better medical coverage than health insurance plans that are designed for all. What’s more, these plans are also available on a lower premium than other health insurance plans, emphasizing on why it is a smart option for every senior citizen.

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Health Insurance FAQs

FAQs on Parents Health Insurance

Why can't I simply include my parents in a family floater plan?

Technically, you can. However, if your parents suffer from any medical conditions, the premium of the entire plan can hike up. Besides after a certain age, the person requires more than what you would. The sum insured offered by family floater is not enough. If you notice, there isn't much difference in the yearly premium.

Why should I buy a separate health insurance plan for each of my parents?

One policy may not cover them both. Both your parents may have different sets of requirements and one sum insured may not be enough. Buying two different health insurance policies for each parent is the most efficient thing to do.

What is not covered in Parents Health Insurance?

Critical illnesses such as cancer, organ failure etc, cosmetic procedures, procedures that are not diagnostic or medical in nature, injuries caused by adventure sports and so on. Take a close look at the list of exclusions in your policy wordings.

Health Insurance For Parents Gives Tax Benefit?

Under the Section 80D of the Income Tax Act 1961, you can avail tax benefits on health insurance policies. Senior citizens can avail tax benefit of total INR 30,000 for one year. If you are buying this for your parents, you stand to claim this benefit of Rs. 30,000, plus the tax benefit of INR 25,000 for your own health policy. So a total of 55,000 tax benefit can be availed. Thus your policies pretty much pay for themselves.To know more about tax benefits on health insurance click here.

Can I get a single health insurance floater policy which can cover my parents or in laws too?

Yes. There is health insurance plan like Heartbeat family first which covers 14 relations including in-laws and parents.

Which is the best health insurance for parents?

A number of general insurance companies offer medical insurance for senior citizens in India. Below is the list of the most known plans available.

  • Gold from Max Bupa.
  • United India Health- Senior Citizen Policy.
  • SBI – Arogya Top Up Policy
  • Care and Care Freedom from Religare.
  • ICICI Lombard – Complete Health Insurance
  • Red Carpet Health Insurance from Star Health Insurance.
  • Optima Restore from Apollo Munich.
  • Star Health Insurance - Senior Citizens Red Carpet Health Insurance Policy

How to choose the best health insurance for parent?

We all know that health risks keep increasing as your age increases. Having a health insurance policy nowadays is a blessing in disguise. There are many insurance companies offering different senior citizen health insurance plans as per your requirements. The insurance market is filled with various plans where opting for a particular plan becomes challenging. To add to it, reading and understanding the fine lines in the policy documents can get more confusing since there are many insurance jargons like day limits, sub-limits, exclusions etc. that are hidden in the fine print of the insurance policy.

Because of this, we end up buying an inappropriate policy while considering only the cost of the insurance policy. Besides, this could even lead to rejection of claim settlements.

And the worst part is, it becomes even more risky for senior citizens since income stops after retirement in the midst of the consistently rising healthcare costs.

The following are the thoughts to be borne in mind when buying a senior citizen health insurance plan:

Waiting period: Every health insurance plan comes with a waiting period for pre-existing diseases and for specific illnesses. Usually, the initial waiting period is the first 30 days from the policy issuance date. This, however, does not apply in the case of accidental injuries or hospitalization.

Many insurers have a waiting period of 2 to 4 years, whereas for the waiting period for specific diseases is 2 years.

Age: Every health insurance policy has an age limit. Usually, senior citizen health insurance policies are continuous till they reach 90 years. However, off late, there are certain health insurance companies offering life-long renewal. These are beneficial for those policies having specific age limits. It is recommended to purchase a senior citizen health insurance policy at the earliest since premiums also tend to increase with increasing age.

Network Hospitals: There is a certain list of network hospitals where the policy holder can avail a cashless treatment or pay the medical bills and have it reimbursed by the insurance company post-discharge from the hospital. This benefit can only be enjoyed at the listed network hospitals tied up with the insurance company. You need to inform the insurance company in advance to avail this facility. It is recommended to check the list of network hospitals in your vicinity to ensure you don’t go through any hassles.

If you are above 60 years of age and you plan to buy a medical insurance for yourself, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • Understand what sum insured or coverage amount you will need considering the inflation and future expenses.
  • For some specific list of ailments, check for the sub-limits applicable. Also, check for the co-payment clause.
  • To avail cashless treatment, ensure you check for the list of network hospital list.
  • Lastly, do check the entire policy wordings before you finally think of buying medical insurance. If you are unsure about the policy terms and conditions, you can always contact the insurer for clarification.

Which health insurance is best for parents?

The best health insurance plans for parents are

Insurer Plan
Star Health Red carpet
Bajaj Allianz Silver plan
Apollo Munich Easy health
Max Bupa Heartbeat

Do health insurance plans for parents cover critical illnesses?

Yes, the basic health insurance plans for parents generally include a cover for critical illnesses but only up to the sum insured amount with limitations that vary from plan to plan and insurer to insurer.

What should I keep in mind while purchasing health insurance for parents above 50 years?

Here are the factors you should consider while purchasing health insurance for parents:

  • Entry Age – Health insurance plans for parents are usually applicable for individuals between the age of 55 years and 80 years. However, there are certain health insurance plans for parents that offer coverage for individuals only above the age of 60 years. It is recommended that you purchase a plan that allows entry at an older age, along with lifelong renewability.

  • Check for the Coverage – Go through the document of the health insurance for parents and check for its features and benefits. Since your parents are above the age of 50 years, there is an increased chance of them being diagnosed of certain illnesses that are typical to old age. Therefore, ensure that the health insurance for parents that you buy has wider cover for critical illnesses.

  • Waiting Period – Pre-existing illnesses are covered by health insurance plans for parents, though after a lengthy waiting period. Purchase a plan that not only offers a lower waiting period but also offers coverage to a wide range of illnesses like diabetes, heart ailments, etc.

  • Network Hospitals – The document for health insurance for parents will comprise of the list of network hospitals where the benefits of the policy can be availed by the insured. Network hospitals are those that the insurance company has collaborated with. Make sure that renowned hospitals in your locality and its vicinity is a part of the list, so that they are easily accessible to you when the need arises.

  • Insurance Premium - The premium that you will be eligible for is determined by parameters like the age of your parents, add-on covers being opted for, etc. The higher the age of your parents, the higher will be the premium quoted to you by the insurer.

Is it possible to get medical insurance for parents above 60 years?

Health insurance plans for parents are generally applicable for those between the age of 55 years and 80 years. There are also specific health insurance for parents that offer coverage to individuals over the age of 60 years.

Can I add my parents to my health insurance plan?

You can include your parents in a Family Floater health insurance plan, irrespective of their age and whether or not they are dependent on you. However, the premium for such plans is generally higher than senior citizen health insurance plans.

What is parental insurance? Which illnesses are covered under such health insurance for parents?

Parental insurance are specifically designed for individuals between the age of 55 years and 80 years. Some of these plans are also applicable for individuals above the age of 60 years. The premiums payable on such plans are lower than general health insurance plans that extend to the entire family, like a Family Floater plan.

What is the maximum age limit for health insurance for parents?

The maximum limit generally applicable on health insurance for parents is 80 years.

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