Family Floater or Individual Health Policy for Elderly Parents

As our parents grow old, one thing we constantly worry about is their health and age-related issues. Naturally, as one advances in years, one's physical being becomes frail and more vulnerable to various disorders and illnesses. While these might not manifest immediately, the tendency for maladies to affect increases with aging, and with it, the cost of treatment of the condition. It is no surprise these days to hear of specialised medical treatment  in India running into six-figure amounts, but it sure comes as a rude shock when one is faced with those heavy bills while trying to organize medical attention for our ailing parents.

Our family's well-being is our utmost priority, and protecting their health becomes crucial as they become elderly, no matter the cost. One definite means of ensuring this protection financially is a holistic health insurance plan for our elderly parents, that covers them amply for various age-related medical treatments. Almighty forbid, if and when they take ill, we would want to focus all our attention on getting them the required attention, and nursing them back to health. The last thing we would want to do at such a sensitive time is to worry about how to fund their treatment, and in turn have our parents worry about being a financial burden. Our efforts, instead, would be to put their minds at ease and restore their health with all our love and caring.

While purchasing a health insurance plan best suited to our family, specifically concerning our aging folks; our parents and in-laws, the question to be noted and answered is, "Which is the better option for them? Adding them to our Family Floater Health Insurance Plan, or purchasing Individual Health Insurance for Parents (i.e. for each of them)?"

Of course, a more defined answer to this question will depend upon the specific choice of plan given by the selected insurance company. However, some basic points to be aware of while making the choice are:

  • Critical Illnesses Covered: Keeping our aging parents' delicate condition in mind, it would be beneficial to check what are the list of crucial illnesses covered or not, to assess suitability of the health plan to your parents' health needs. This is a crucial factor to consider for parents above 60 years of age who may be more prone to grave ailments with passing years.
  • Pre-existing Conditions Included: Here, too, age-related issues which our parents might face at the time of choosing a family plan needs to be considered and assessed, to see whether the company's health plan covers it or not right at the start. Else, for how long would you as a family have to wait before the family floater plan starts to cover your elderly folk.
  • Amount of Coverage Sought, and Premium as per Budget: Whether you decide to opt for a floater plan to cover all members, or to take individual policies specifically for your parents, a common factor to consider and calculate is the coverage you want the insurer to contribute to, in terms of total amount of hospitalization and medical expenses for each member. Here, particularly, keep in mind that the expenses will be higher for older family members for their age-related conditions and treatment.
  • Age of Eldest Family Member Impacts Premium of Family Floater Plan: A floater plan's premium calculation is impacted by and based on the age of the eldest member of the family of insured persons. Higher the age of the eldest member, higher the premium. So, to keep the premium manageable within your budget, it might be a good idea to buy individual health insurance for parents, and a family floater plan for the rest. Moreover, certain insurers restrict the maximum age at entry in some floater plans, which might be a tough situation especially when your parents are of age above 60. So, a better option would be to buy a plan that caters to senior citizens.
  • Sum Insured is Not Fixed Per Person in Family Floater Plans: A family "floater" plan basically means that the sum assured "floats" among all family members. It is a total amount meant for the entire family. Say, for e.g., if it is a floater plan with 5 Lacs coverage, this 5 Lacs amount will apply to all the insured members, including you, your spouse, your child/children, and your parents. Now, if during the term of the plan, say your parent had to undergo hospitalization and surgery, the bill of which comes to Rs. 2 Lacs. Your floater plan might cover this amount (depending on features and conditions, etc.), but you must realize that now, during the course of the policy, your family will get covered only for the balance Rs. 3 Lacs. Whereas, in individual policies, each member is covered to the tune of the sum assured. The claim for expenses and reduced sum assured will apply only to the admitted person, while the rest of the family members' coverage remains secured and intact in their respective family floater and/or individual plans.
  • Convenience of Family Floater Plans V/S Practical Advantages of Individual Health Plans: Since a family floater plan covers all members, it is a lot more convenient to manage, simply because it is one comprehensive plan. In the case of individual health policies, it might be a bit cumbersome to keep track of the various policies, features, processes, premiums and other important factors. But we must also look at it practically, in that individual policies offer better coverage for our parents, as mentioned above. Here, it is a matter of deciding between convenience and practicality.

Sana.Insure can help you decide the best health insurance plan for your family in India, including your elderly parents, keeping in mind each person's health conditions and future needs. Besides, even if you have existing health policies covering your family; be they family floater plans or individual health insurance for parents, SANACheck can give you unbiased, objective and sound suggestions on the aspects covered, policy terms etc., to secure your interests in times of need. Log onto for easy, quick and detailed information on various health insurance products in India according to your family needs, and to have a Sana Expert contact you for personal discussions and advise you on which would be the best health insurance for you and your loved ones.

Wish you a healthy and happy life!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it cheaper to buy a family floater plan or an individual plan?
The premium payable for a family floater plan or an individual health insurance plan would depend upon a few crucial factors such as age of the eldest family member, past and present medical conditions of all family members, location of residence, amount of sum insured required, to name a few. If you are interested in knowing more about which category of health insurance would be best suited to you and your family members, please reach out to us over WhatsApp chat on 8278271818 or call us on 1800 202 8118 to connect with a Health Insurance Expert at SANA.Insure.

Should I buy separate health insurance for my parents?
In order to get the right answer to this question, you would need to assess certain important points related to your parents, such as their ages, their past and ongoing health condition (whether they have any pre-existing diseases or were treated for some ailment in the past), specific treatments or illnesses of concern to them (for example, an elderly parent with high diabetes may want to secure themselves against kidney failure) etc. If your parents are at the higher age spectrum and/or have some ongoing chronic ailment, it would be wise to buy a separate health insurance plan for them.

Who cannot be covered under a family floater policy?
The relationships of family members who can and cannot be covered under a family floater policy varies from plan to plan and from insurer to insurer. The exact specifics would be mentioned in the policy wordings or customer information sheet. Typically, extended family members such as nephew, niece, aunt, uncle, brother-in-law, sister-in-law etc. may not be covered under a family floater policy.

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