Health insurance: Tips for buying health cover for the elderly

November 20, 2020 1:00 AM

If you get your parents enrolled under an individual health cover before they turn 60, there will be no burden of co-payment for a lifetime

With healthcare inflation rising, your family health insurance cover of Rs 8-10 lakh may not necessarily solve the purpose.

By Amit Chhabra 

As your parents turn 60, they enter a phase of their lives when they need to spend a stress-free life with no worries. Ageing parents require frequent visits to the doctor and at times require repeated hospitalisation. While covering your parents under your family health insurance policy is a great way to ensure they get the best treatment whenever required, have you ever thought that considering the age of your parents, whether your family health insurance policy is really enough?

With healthcare inflation rising, your family health insurance cover of Rs 8-10 lakh may not necessarily solve the purpose. Moreover, there is a great possibility that if anybody makes a claim in a given year, the sum insured may fall short to pay for the entire hospital bill if another claim is made within the same policy year. This scenario makes it very important to cover your parents under an individual health insurance policy as chances of your elderly parents making a claim are much higher which may leave very less sum insured for the other insured members.

Also, if you choose to cover your elderly parents under your family floater health insurance policy, the premium would be significantly high. It is always better to cover your spouse and kids under one policy and your parents under a separate policy. This will not only help you to reduce the premium but will also help in enhancing the coverage as the sum insured will not be divided amongst many people.

Individual cover for parents

It is always suggested to cover your parents under a separate health insurance cover as early as possible because the earlier you buy a health cover for them, the greater will be the benefits. Most health insurance policies for senior citizens come with a set of limitations such as mandatory co-pay— wherein the insured has to pay a portion of the hospital bill—and extended waiting period. As senior citizens are more prone to particular ailments, the insurers implement a mandatory waiting period on many such common illnesses. If you get your parents enrolled under an individual health cover before they turn 60, there will be no burden of co-payment clause for a lifetime and also the waiting period will be served within a specified time period.

Checkbox for selecting a plan

While buying a health insurance cover for your parents, there are numerous things that you need to consider for a seamless experience. Most of the policies carry an entry age limitation and a policy seeker cannot buy a particular policy if the entry age is crossed. So before buying a policy, check the entry age. Also, go for a plan for your parents that offers maximum coverage against critical illnesses and pre-existing diseases. You may look for a health plan from insurers that have products specifically designed for elderly parents.

The writer is health business head, Policybazaar.com

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