While ill health can strike at any age, it is almost certain to afflict seniors. Which is why it is absolutely essential that senior citizens have adequate health insurance coverage. Health insurance can truly help you afford the best in healthcare without putting a dent in your savings. And, as many seniors are long retired, their savings often do not grow – a single hospitalization can wipe the bank clean.
Now, your parents may not be aware of how to buy health insurance which is why the onus of doing so falls on you. If you are buying a senior citizen insurance policy for the first time, you may be confused wondering what features to seek and where to even begin. Don’t worry. Read on to understand how you can go about selecting and buying the right health insurance for your parents.
Choosing health insurance for seniors
A senior citizen health insurance plan might differ in certain features from your own health policy. For one, it should ideally have a much higher amount of coverage. While maximum coverage is recommended for any age group, seniors definitely need a policy that insures them for at least Rs 10 lakh. Apart from the coverage amount, look for a senior citizen health insurance policy that offers you the following features:
- Coverage for ambulance and pre- and post-hospitalization charges
- Free annual health screening
- Inclusion of alternative medicine like Homeopathy and Ayurveda
- Inclusion of pre-existing diseases
- Provisions for nursing and day care procedures
- Wide range of network hospitals with cashless treatment
When it comes to selecting a senior citizen health insurance plan, always look for the maximum inclusions you can get. Furthermore, make sure to review the list of network hospitals that the insurance company is linked with. You would want to pick a provider who has network hospitals that are located close to where your parents live. In a medical emergency, every second counts and you would not want to get stuck in traffic while rushing to the hospital.
Noting the exclusions
Do bear in mind that senior citizen health insurance policies often come with certain exclusions that are mentioned in the fine print. Therefore, you must be particular in reading the policy document carefully. Most of these exclusions are temporary; however, it is essential to note the details so you do not get surprised later on when you need to file a claim. Some common exclusions are:
- 1-year exclusion for certain pre-listed diseases
- 30-day waiting period for newly diagnosed conditions
- Claims arising from injuries in dangerous sports
- Claims for congenital conditions, obesity treatment, and HIV
These are some of the general exclusions. Do ask your provider for a detailed list of their policy exclusions.
Before selecting a health insurance plan for your parents, do run a comparison on aggregator websites to narrow down the options. Once you are satisfied with your selection, head over to the insurance company’s website to make the purchase. Do make sure to contact an insurance advisor if have any doubts – most insurance companies offer live chat and toll-free assistance. When buying the policy, keep your parents’ details handy for filling in the form. Leading insurance companies have intuitive websites that guide you through the process. Once you are done filling the form, you will be redirected to the payment portal. You should be able to pay via debit/credit card, netbanking, or UPI. Once your payment has cleared you will receive a copy of the policy in your email and also have one sent by regular mail. Do hand over the policy to your parents and keep a copy safe in your possession too.
We hope this article has helped you.