5 Things You Must Consider When Buying Health Insurance For Senior Citizens

By | October 25, 2017

Senior citizens require greater coverage, flexibilities, and support, therefore, they need Health Insurance with a bundle of features.

5 Things You Must Consider When Buying Health Insurance For Senior Citizens

The relevance of Health Insurance gets bigger with increasing age since the symptoms and ailments related to growing old demand greater attention. When you cross 45, health checkup is considered mandatory by insurers and crossing the 60-year barrier means insurance options begin to shrink.

So, if Health Insurance is opted at an early age and is renewed regularly, one can enjoy its real benefits while growing old. Getting a full-claim, no co-payment commitments or avoiding exorbitant premiums for new applicants are a few.

If your parents have been without an insurance plan, then you must look for an appropriate Health Insurance cover immediately. Though there are limited options available in the market, you can still get a decent policy for them by taking care of some important points that we are going to discuss here.

Check The Policy Features

Senior citizens require greater coverage, flexibilities and support, therefore, they need a Health Insurance cover with a bundle of features. There should be no co-payment requirement for Critical Ailments like cardiac problems, cancer, kidney transplants, etc. The room facility allowed under the policy should be of higher class too. The policy should be renewable without any upper age restriction. Some policy puts a limit below 70 years, try to avoid such policies. Features like air ambulance support, daycare cover, OPD cover, etc. can add value to a senior citizen’s health policy.

Pre-Existing Diseases Or Pre-Existing Illness 

Most of the Health Insurance companies are not keen to provide coverage to an individual with pre-existing medical conditions. Pre-existing medical conditions or diseases means that an individual is suffering from any medical condition or disease before taking a health insurance policy. This includes health issues like cancer or diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma. Pre-existing conditions make buying a Health Insurance policy for senior citizens very difficult. However, a lot of Health Insurance policies still offer cover if the disease is not critical or terminal. When buying a Health Insurance policy for a senior citizen, it is advisable to be thoroughly aware of their medical conditions to avoid any kind of decline.

Sum Assured Under The Policy

Senior citizens are more prone to health risk than younger people. So, it is vital that they get sufficient size of Health Insurance cover. Some Health Insurance companies put a limit on the maximum health cover allowed for the senior citizens. While buying health policy for senior citizens, first assess the existing ailments and future risks to determine the exact health cover requirement. Always prefer the insurance plan which offers the facility to upgrade the health cover to a higher level. It also makes sense to understand the health insurance top-ups as it provides additional cover, over and above the presently available limit.

An interesting point to know here is that you can carry over the benefits of your insurance cover of your present employer to the next one when changing your job. The insurance company just needs to be informed prior to shifting to the new job so that you continue with the same insurer to avoid the waiting period. When you join a new company there is a waiting period before you qualify for Health Insurance. The Health Insurance cover for you and your family is still an important requirement during this period.

Floater Policy Vs Individual Policy

You must be very careful when it comes to making a selection between floater policy and individual policy. Under floater policy, the premium is charged on the basis of the eldest member’s age. Once insurance is claimed under the floater policy by any of the insured members, then its cover amount reduces to that extent and the remaining members are left exposed to health risk to the level of the exhausted amount. Senior citizens have a greater chance of falling ill, therefore they may require Health Insurance support multiple times in a year. So, individual Health Insurance should be preferred over the floater policy when buying insurance for senior citizen members.

Beware Of The Waiting Period

Waiting period restricts the insured person to get risk cover for a certain period, especially for pre-existing diseases. Once waiting period gets over, the insured person becomes eligible to get the required insurance cover. The waiting period for pre-existing ailment for the senior citizen normally varies from 1 year to 4 year period. When you are buying health policy for the senior citizens, look for a policy which has a lesser waiting period for pre-existing diseases. Senior citizens may require treatments for problems such as knee replacement, prostate ailment, etc., but insurance companies normally allow treatments for such problems after a certain waiting period only. You should select a health policy that offers risk cover with the least waiting period.

If you buy a health policy for senior citizens directly from the insurance company, then you may find the premium to be much high, a co-payment condition, waiting periods for pre-existing ailments, and you would also be required to undergo pre-medical check-ups. Many banks have tie-ups with specific Health Insurance company to provide exclusive policies to its customers. Such policies comes under the group insurance scheme, therefore the premium is substantially low. You also get Health Insurance for pre-existing diseases without long waiting periods.

On the other hand, the disadvantage of buying a policy through a bank could put you in a situation where you may not be able to renew your policy at a low rate due to an ending of the partnership between bank and insurance company.

Senior citizens require a health policy more than younger people. Health Insurance for senior citizens does not cover pre-existing diseases, dental or spectacles/lenses charges, diseases contracted within 30 days of availing the policy, non-allopathic treatment, AIDS expenses, cosmetic surgery, self-inflicted injury or expenses as a result of drug abuse.

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About Adhil Shetty

Adhil Shetty is the Founder and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of BankBazaar.com. Adhil has a Master’s degree in International Relations with a specialization in International Finance and Business from Columbia University in the City of New York, and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the College of Engineering Guindy, Anna University. Adhil is an expert in Personal Finance (Car loan/Home loan and personal loan) and he majorly consults on investment and spends rationalization for the Indian loan borrowers. His guidance is number based with real time interest rate calculations and hence useful for consumer’s real time query.

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