Importance of Health Insurance in Old Age
Everyone wishes to spend their golden years peacefully, without any stress or worries. But as is the case quite often, retirement years are riddled with stress and anxiety due to ill health and money woes. As immunity tends to decrease with age, elderly people become susceptible to age-related health issues. Coupled with the loss of income due to retirement and increasing elder healthcare costs, they are likely to face a huge financial burden. Investing in a health insurance plan for senior citizens would help them take care of the inflated medical expenses and lead a peaceful and stress-free retirement life.
Health Insurance, even in old age, gives access to:
- Medical Coverage - Senior Citizen Health Insurance offers a range of coverage benefits. It covers medical expenses such as hospitalization, even for critical illnesses, as well as surgery and treatment for accidental injuries.
- Lifelong Cover - Most Health Insurance policies for senior citizens have lifetime renewal benefits if renewed timely. It provides a lifetime cover without any restrictions on age limit.
- Right Treatment at Network Hospitals - Senior citizen Health Insurance facilitates the elderly to avail cashless medical treatments. One can access healthcare at any of the network hospitals offered by the insurer without stressing over medical bills, room rent or doctors’ fees.
- No-Claim-Bonus - Insurance providers reward elderly plan holders with extra perks like discounts ranging from 5% to 100% for the claim-free years. This means that if no claim is made in the preceding year, they get an additional sum insured.
- AYUSH Benefits – Many Senior Citizen Health Insurance policies cover hospitalization expenses while undergoing alternative therapies like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.
- Tax Benefits - Investing in Health insurance policies for senior citizens allows one to save tax on the premium paid towards the policy. There is tax exemption of up to INR 50,000 per financial year under Section 80D of existing IT laws. Also, an additional rebate of INR 5000 is provided for preventive health check-up per year.
It goes without saying – always read the policy terms and conditions document to understand which conditions and treatments are covered, and to what extent.
How to decide the right Health Insurance Plan for the elderly?
A good Senior Citizen Health Policy should have the following features:
- Pre-existing Disease (PED) Inclusion – Many elderly people have age-related or lifestyle-related diseases and medical conditions, which should not be the reason for the insurer declining the insurance proposal. Therefore, one should select Senior Citizen Health Insurance that allows pre-existing conditions, such as cardiac issues, diabetes, etc.
- Minimum Waiting Period - Policyholders have to usually wait for a pre-defined number of days before they can avail of coverage for some pre-existing conditions or a specific illness. To make the most of the insurance cover, one should select a policy with the lowest waiting period.
- No Maximum Entry Age Limit - It is advisable to buy a senior citizen health policy that does not have a maximum age of entry.
Features to keep track of in Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plans:
- Pre-acceptance Medical Screening - It is a time-consuming process that might not be preferred by the elderly. Policy seekers should compare plans and select a plan which provides health insurance to senior citizens without a pre-medical check-up.
- Higher Premium - Health Insurance premiums show a steady increase with age due to the increased risk of illness and health complications. As senior citizens do not have a regular income, one should look for a Health Insurance policy with premium rates that could be easily managed by them.
- Co-pay - A senior citizen plan may have a co-payment clause on every claim made under this plan. It states the percentage of the claim amount that policyholders need to pay from their pocket. Policies with a low co-pay % or without a co-pay clause should be preferred.
- List of Exclusions - Common exclusions under a Senior Citizen health insurance policy include injuries due to self-infliction or alcohol consumption, pregnancy or infertility treatment and cosmetic surgery. These conditions are not covered by the policy.
- Good Network Hospitals - Policy seekers should check the list of network hospitals covered under their policy. It helps them choose the nearest hospital wherein they can be admitted to make cashless claims during a specific condition or medical emergency.
- Claim settlement ratio (CSR) of Insurer - One should look for insurers providing a higher CSR and less claim settlement time. It shows that they are effective in meeting their policyholder's claim requests.
SANA.Insure provides comprehensive information on a variety of Senior Citizen Plans. It makes buying health insurance for senior citizens an easy task, as we offer customized suggestions as per your medical needs and budget.
SANA.Insure facilitates easy comparison between numerous policies, selection of the right plan for your requirements, and online purchase of the most suitable policy. Our Relationship Managers assist you with claims handholding, so you do not have to spend your precious time with troublesome paperwork. Instead, you can relax while SANA.Insure takes care of it for you.
Please get in touch with us over WhatsApp chat on 8278271818 or call us on 1800 202 8118 to connect with a Health Insurance Expert at SANA.Insure.
Wish you a healthy and happy life!