It is always important to compare premiums and buy a policy that offers broad coverage at a low premium
Our parents become more vulnerable to health risks as they age, and the rising medical expenses and treatments are only going to get costlier with time. In such a scenario, a health insurance policy is a must to tackle any unforeseen medical and financial emergencies.
Due to the high cost of medical treatment for serious illnesses, it is highly advised to take a separate senior citizen health insurance policy for our parents even if they are covered under a family floater health insurance plan.
A senior citizen health insurance policy is for people above 60, where the insurer will pay for medical expenses as listed in the policy.
We take a look at the important things to consider while buying a senior citizen policy.
Age criteria for buying a policy or renewing differs from insurer to insurer. Some insurers do not allow the purchase of a policy if the proposed policyholder has crossed the age of 80 while some policies do not have any maximum entry age. Similarly, some policies only allow renewal up to the age of 80 while some do not have that ceiling. It is important to be aware of these age criteria while buying a policy to avoid any future surprises.
While opting for a health insurance policy for senior citizens, always pick a policy that provides the broadest coverage in terms of covering illnesses including critical diseases. It is also important to check for exclusions of any pre-existing diseases.
Health insurance policies have waiting periods for certain pre-existing medical conditions. In such a case, a policyholder has to wait for the stipulated time before an individual becomes eligible to make a claim for pre-existing disease. It is important to make comparisons to search for a policy with the shortest waiting period as chances of hospitalisation increase among senior citizens.
In-patient hospitalisation coverage
Insurers cover expenses incurred by the policyholder when policyholders are admitted to a hospital for more than 24 hours. However, some senior citizen policies have sub-limits where insurers will only pay to an extent and not beyond. It is advisable to check for such sub-limits and pick a policy that offers maximum in-patient hospitalisation coverage.
Health insurance policies cover expenses incurred after being discharged from the hospital. The expenses, however, should be a result of the medical ailment that led to the hospitalisation in the first place. Generally, post-hospitalisation expenses are covered for a period of 60-90 days but this reduces significantly in senior citizen policies. Some plans also put a cap on maximum post-hospitalisation expenses covered. One must check for this aspect while buying a policy.
In an emergency, you will preferably go to a hospital that is closest and offers excellent services. You could be required to make multiple visits to hospitals for different ailments. It's important that your insurer possess a wide range of partner hospitals that are close to your residence and offer treatments for various ailments.
The premium for senior citizen health insurance policies is always higher than policies for younger people as senior citizens are perceived to be more vulnerable to health ailments. While picking a policy, it's important to compare premiums and buy a policy that offers broad coverage at a low premium.