scorecardresearchHow to pick suitable health insurance for senior citizens; 8 key points

How to pick suitable health insurance for senior citizens; 8 key points

Updated: 11 Sep 2022, 10:00 AM IST
TL;DR.
You must not make the mistake of assuming that your regular health plan will also fit your needs in old age. Here are some tips to help you choose the best health plan for the golden years
The Senior Citizen Savings Scheme is a retirement benefits programme backed by the Government of India.

The Senior Citizen Savings Scheme is a retirement benefits programme backed by the Government of India.

In the post-COVID world, health insurance is an investment that one must have. The pandemic has made the importance of having appropriate health cover for one’s family unquestionable. This protective layer for your family is all the more critical when you are nearing old age or have elderly parents. It is common knowledge that the risks of unexpected health issues tend to increase with age.

Moreover, the rising medical inflation is no friend of your family budget. Nobody wants to lose their wealth paying hospital bills. This is why one needs to be extra cautious and well-informed when choosing or upgrading a plan for senior citizens.

You must not make the mistake of assuming that your regular health plan will also fit your needs in old age. Here are some tips to help you choose the best health plan for the golden years:

Factor in the PED waiting period

The waiting period for PEDs or Pre-Existing Diseases makes for a crucial aspect when buying insurance for senior citizens. Diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and hypertension are now covered in some health plans right from Day-1. It is always advisable to choose a PED-friendly plan at this stage of one’s life.

Opt for a large number of network hospitals

Since the elderly are more vulnerable to diseases, they may also require frequent hospitalisation. You should always purchase a senior citizen health insurance policy that includes a cashless hospitalisation benefit across your preferred hospitals. The larger the number of network hospitals in your policy, the better.

Select zero co-payment

Many senior citizen health insurance plans include a co-payment clause that requires you to pay a predetermined percentage of the claim amount. Ideally, you should select a plan that does not include a co-payment clause. This way you get a truly cashless and hassle-free insurance experience.

Choose plans that include a no-claims bonus

Choose a senior citizen health insurance policy that includes a no-claim bonus benefit. If no claims are filed in the previous year, this benefit increases your policy sum insured by a fixed percentage without increasing your premium.

Go for domiciliary treatment cover

Sometimes, a sick elderly person may have to avail of medical treatment at home in case of a delicate health situation or shortage of hospital beds. Thus, you must prefer buying a health plan for senior citizens that covers the cost of domiciliary hospitalisation.

Choose plans with OPD benefit

Historically, health insurance protects the policyholder from financial hardship in the event of hospitalisation. This did not include the cost of visiting the hospital for outpatient treatment. Senior Citizens often need to visit the hospital for a regular consultation or a diagnosis. This is why you must choose a plan that also covers OPD expenses. Today, the market has some very promising plans that fit the bill.

Choose lifetime renewal

Health insurance becomes more expensive as one gets older. As a result, you should choose a health insurance policy with lifetime renewability so that you do not have to look for another policy for your parents in their old age.

Choose plans that include a free medical check-up

A timely diagnosis of a disease can help save a patient's life, and regular medical check-ups are the only way to detect a disease early. You should opt for a health insurance policy that provides free medical check-ups to senior citizens.

Amit Chhabra, Head-Health Insurance at PolicyBazaar.Com

Article
These are the benefits of health insurance 
First Published: 11 Sep 2022, 10:00 AM IST