It’s never too late to invest in your health!
Health Insurance plans in India currently cater to a wide variety of age groups and medical needs, ranging from individual plans to those meant for the extended family’s health requirements. With more than 300 health insurance plans available in the market today, buyers have a host of options to choose from, to customize plans that meet their specific and comprehensive health requirements.
Ideally, one ought to consider investing in a good health insurance policy early on in life. You get to avail the benefits of youth and good health transpiring into lower premiums and no pre-medical requirements. It also gives you the leeway of comfortably passing through extended waiting periods for certain pre-existing or specified illnesses (some can be as high as 4 years) before those conditions affect you as you age, or before you become eligible to claim for expenses related to these conditions.
However, those who are more senior in age needn’t despair. Most normal health insurance plans specify an age at entry, the maximum of which is usually around 65 years of age. Some plans even offer an extended age at entry.
Besides, there are many health insurance plans specifically designed to consider the age-related health conditions of senior citizens. Take, for instance, Care Senior* plan, which offers health insurance for people above 61 years of age, with benefits such as pre-and post-hospitalization expenses coverage up to the sum insured, annual health check-ups, and day-care treatments for up to 500+ procedures. Some specified treatments and diseases are covered with sub-limits, such as treatment for cataract, knee replacement surgery etc.
Benefits of Senior Citizen plans:
- Senior citizens plans provide health insurance cover during your golden years, post the age of 60, while most other regular plans allow entry only till the age of 65/70 years.
- Such plans might not ask you to undergo pre-medical tests, depending of course on the selected plan and insurer.
- A good senior citizen plan offered by an insurance company will have many hospitals within its network, where senior citizens can get admitted for treatment with cashless facility.
- Many plans also offer additional benefits, such as reinstatement of Sum Insured post a claim, no-claim bonus, and free health check-ups or expert advice.
- Many senior citizen plans cater to specific medical needs of the elderly, related to organ transplant, dialysis etc., which may be out-of-scope of normal traditional health plans.
Some points to be aware of, when buying health insurance as you grow older:
- Suitable coverage and optimal sum insured: Medical expenses are on the rise. The cost of hospitalization as well as of certain specialized medical treatment is increasing with every passing year. Always ensure that you calculate and opt for sufficient sum insured, to stay protected from higher financial burden, should you require urgent medical assistance.
- Sometimes the insurers may introduce a co-pay clause in the policy for senior citizens. This means that for every claim a certain percentage will have to be borne by you.
- Waiting period: All health insurance plans, be they the regular ones, or ones catering specifically to the older people, come with a waiting period. One is the standard waiting period for the health insurance policy to be eligible for claiming benefits right at the start of purchasing it (usually 30 days, except for expenses related to accidents). There are other longer waiting periods defined for some pre-existing diseases, as well as specified conditions. These vary from plan-to-plan. Do thoroughly research on this prior to choosing the plan that’s best for the elderly
- Exclusions: Most plans clearly state the conditions that they do not cover, i.e., those conditions that are excluded. Make sure you check the list of exclusions in each plan that you have shortlisted, prior to finalizing one that best suits your present and past medical condition.
- Higher age might mean higher premium: The chances of our health deteriorating with increasing age are higher. Hence, this poses a risk for insurance companies, to offer fresh health insurance to senior citizens, as it would have higher financial implications on them. Therefore, there is a higher probability of a higher health insurance premium payable for a senior citizen plan. This increased premium amount, versus the health and financial benefits the plan offers, should be carefully considered as well.
- Pre-medical screening: Given the seniority and higher age of the insured person/s, you might have to undergo certain medical tests before your application is accepted and your policy issued.
- Always compare plans: Given the numerous choices we have today, it would be ideal to compare different senior citizen plans offered by multiple insurance companies, to see the benefits offered by each plan, and the affordability of premium payable.
SANA.Insure is a health insurance specialist that gives you expert advice on appropriate coverage based on your particulars such as age, medical condition and expected assistance. Our team of experts can easily guide you with all the important information for specific health insurance plans meant for critical illness coverage and for senior citizens, by analyzing your details and assessing your requirements. Log on to sana.insure for more information on available critical illness and senior citizen plans.
Wish you a healthy and happy life!
*NOTE: the examples of products mentioned above are only indicative of the criteria mentioned. We recommend reading the policy terms and conditions for more information. SANA Insure thoroughly analyses your particulars prior to suggesting a plan best suited to your needs.