The older you get, the probability of illness increases, and your health require more and more frequent medical attention. Thus, it becomes imperative to have health insurance for senior citizens handy to ensure that they can treat old-age related health issues; without compromising especially based on financial grounds. However, like all other insurance, we iterate that before buying any insurance; remember to understand the nuances and compare across plans to choose the one that aligns best with your needs.
About senior citizens’ health insurance
This is a type of health insurance plan that offers coverage for medical expenses that are incurred by an individual who has crossed the age of 60 years. These plans also offer frequent preventive health checkups for the elderly and cashless hospitalisation at the list of network hospitals that are approved by the insurance companies.
Thus, like all other health insurance plans, these plans too offer coverage for pre-existing diseases and critical illnesses after a certain waiting period. The coverage across most of the plans is available for both pre and post hospitalisation expenses. To align with recent times, covid treatment is also included in these plans.
Need for senior citizens’ health insurance plan
On the face of it, health insurance is a primary requirement for all individuals, especially so for senior citizens who are more vulnerable to severe health conditions. Here are some reasons why senior citizens should start thinking about health insurance plans if they have not already thought about it.
- Any health-related expenses in today’s times can set you back on your key milestones, for a pensioner it could be detrimental to their ability to support their household expenses.
- Critical illness covers are very important for all individuals including senior citizens as the medical expenses pertaining to these types of illnesses increase at a pace much higher than that of the inflation rate. Thus, it could create major financial and emotional stress for the senior citizen.
- Also, preventive health checkups are great ways to catch any untoward health issue at an early stage, it becomes easy to undergo treatment and cure the condition within a short span. It also reduces the overall costs as treating a condition that has deteriorated significantly could be taxing on the person, his finances and his emotions.
- Having a health insurance policy provides peace of mind as nothing else can. Just knowing that you can avail yourself of medical attention without having to worry about your finances can keep you healthy and stress-free.
Additional Read: Why should one buy a separate Senior Citizen Policy?
Senior citizens’ health insurance plans or regular plans?
Now that the importance of a health insurance plan is established; it is important to note why a senior citizens’ health insurance plan for the elderly is more beneficial than regular health plans. Since Senior Citizens Health Insurance Plans are specifically designed to cater to the needs of the elderly, it has additional benefits which a regular health plan might not offer; such as annual health check-ups, higher daycare facilities, and a lower waiting period for pre-existing ailments, etc.
However, senior citizen health plans come with certain restrictions in terms of the coverage amount, co-payment and room rent limits. Thus, ideally, you should avail of a high health insurance coverage earlier in life, with lifelong renewability. But, in case you have not, and you are more than 60 years old already, getting a regular health insurance plan underwritten could be tricky. This is when you should avail of a Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plan to get maximum benefits.
Features of Senior citizen insurance plans
The below table provides a quick snapshot of the key features of senior citizen plans. The features may vary from one plan to another, however, these features are quite basic and uniform across most senior citizen plans.
Minimum age of entry
>= 60 years
Maximum age at entry
No age limit specified
Cashless at network hospitals/reimbursements for other hospitals
Frequent preventive health checkups
Available, typically 1 per year
Up to Rs. 75,000 in a financial year (section 80D)
Advantages of health insurance plans for Senior Citizens
Many benefits are offered under these plans to the elderly, some of the key advantages of senior citizen health insurance policy in India are:
Medical coverage during old age:
It is critical to have enough funds to meet your medical requirements during old age. Thus, as we age, we are prone to diseases and illnesses which have a deeper and more drastic impact on our health. Also, many of the regular family floater plans provide coverage for up to 65 years but those are not specifically designed for the senior citizens only. It caters to the needs of every individual.
Pre-medical check requirement:
The insurers are aware that individuals availing of senior citizens’ health plans may not be of optimal fitness level. The risk of insuring an elderly person is more compared to that of a young individual. Hence, senior citizen insurance plans are generally more expensive compared to regular health plans.
Also, you can avail of a senior citizen health insurance plan without the prerequisite of medical checkups; unless there is a pre-existing condition or critical illness that the insurer needs to evaluate at their end.
Pre and post hospitalisation cover:
Most health policies offer hospitalisation cover, often the pre and post hospitalisation expenses could be quite significant. It is important to note that senior citizen plans offer pre and post hospitalisation which is also integral for recovery. Recovery after an illness or disease as we grow older could be quite significant and expensive.
No claim bonus:
To encourage senior citizens to stay healthy and also to curb incorrect claims, the no claim bonus is extended to senior citizens’ health plans. So, this will allow the policyholder to get a discount upon the renewal of the policy for every claim-free year. Also, the no-claim bonus can be up to 100% in some plans.
Long term renewability:
There is no maximum age until which the coverage is valid, these health plans for senior citizens come with a long term renewability option. Thus, it works perfectly well for the age group of the policyholder that these types of plans deal with.
Inclusion in senior citizen insurance plan
One of the most important features that you should evaluate in the insurance plans is the inclusions. So, here are some common inclusions that the senior citizen medical insurance plan caters to:
- These insurance plans offer coverage for hospitalisation expenses which include room charges, doctor/nursing fees, expenses towards medicines, ICU / ambulance charges, the cost associated with surgical procedures etc.
- The plan covers costs for orthopaedic implants, prosthetic limbs, diagnostic tests etc., which may be part of the hospitalisation expenses.
- It covers pre and post-hospitalisation expenses that are specific to the hospitalisation. However, the duration of the pre and post hospitalisation care would vary from plan to plan.
- This plan includes all types of daycare treatments that require lower than 24 hours of hospitalisation.
- Most of the Mediclaim policies offer coverage for donor expenses that are incurred during organ transplants.
- Coverage for pre-existing and critical illnesses is provided after a mandatory waiting period.
- AYUSH and other alternate treatments undertaken in a government-recognized hospital or institute are also covered.
Exclusions of senior citizens’ medical plans
Some of the exclusions under these plans are:
- Injuries or medical conditions which existed before availing of the policy
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Drug or alcohol abuse leads to medical conditions
- Medical conditions which are diagnosed within 30 days from the policy purchase (except accidental injuries)
- Surgeries with the intent to improve self-esteem (cosmetic surgery)
- Cost of spectacles or contact lenses
- Dental procedures with the intent to enhance the physical persona
- Medical costs for AIDS.
Hope this note provides you with a brief understanding of the senior citizen’s plans. However, you must avail any insurance plan only after comparing different plans available. SecureNow will help you with a comprehensive comparison and will also enable you to purchase the desired plan with no hassles at all.
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