Every year, on August 21, World Senior Citizen Day is celebrated across the world. This day was first introduced in the year 1990 by the United Nations General Assembly. Since then, August 21 is celebrated as the World Senior Citizen Day. The purpose of this day is to create awareness about the issues which affect senior citizens and how such issues can be tackled.
In India, the percentage of senior citizens in the total population has been growing steadily over the years. Moreover, as per the data furnished by the United Nations, the percentage of individuals over 60 years is expected to increase from the current average of eight per cent to 20 per cent by the year 2050. The report states that there would be more individuals aged over 60 years than those below 15 years by 2050.
Given the rising increase in the senior citizen population, it is imperative to devise solutions which cater to the physical and mental well-being of senior citizens.
As one’s age advances, various physiological ailments become a part and parcel of everyday life. Senior citizens, therefore, face various common ailments like diabetes, heart related conditions, hypertension, etc. Added to this, there is limited access to money as individuals retire. Post retirement, they lose their source of income and become dependent. Even if senior citizens earn a pension, the amount is not sufficient to take care of the rising lifestyle and medical costs.
In India, thanks to the Indian culture, senior citizens are often supported by their children. The children look after their parents and support their financial needs. Moreover, there are specialised old age homes which tend to the needs and requirements of senior citizens. Technology has also made life simpler as smartphones and wearables help individuals to track their health and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Though there are specialised facilities available for senior citizens, one cannot ignore the ailments associated with old age and their financial impact. Medical inflation is a reality which makes affording quality healthcare a difficult task. With the limited income that senior citizens have, it becomes quite difficult to afford the exorbitant medical bills. Even if children support their parents, their finances would also be threatened by the frequent medical attention that senior citizens need. In such cases, a senior citizen health insurance policy comes in handy.
A senior citizen health insurance plan is a health plan especially created for senior citizens. The plan covers individuals in their golden years and promises them coverage for their medical bills. Some of the benefits of senior citizen health insurance plans include the following –
· These plans provide coverage for common ailments which affect senior citizens in their old age. As such, the plans cover the expensive medical bills and give senior citizens financial relief.
· Affording quality healthcare becomes easy when senior citizens have a health insurance plan covering their medical contingencies.
· The waiting period for pre-existing illnesses is low under senior citizen health insurance plans. This ensures that existing ailments get covered at the earliest.
· The plans are renewable lifelong ensuring coverage throughout the individual’s life.
· There is a tax benefit too on senior citizen health insurance premiums. Premiums paid up to Rs. 50,000 can be claimed as a deduction from the taxable income under Section 80D.
While the world celebrates Senior Citizens Day to create awareness, it’s time that you take a solid step to secure yourself or your senior citizen parents. Invest in a senior citizen health insurance plan and secure financial assistance in a medical emergency which is quite common in old ages.
The author is Co-Founder, Turtlemint