Being an independent adult is a big achievement of your life. You start earning, start living your life on your own terms and conditions, but you must be knowing how much effort your parents have made to help you achieve this stage of life. They work hard to make you successful and your happiness becomes their only aim of life. But in all these efforts to shape your future, they have started growing older and more vulnerable to health issues. It is your responsibility to make them medically secure, and the best way to do it is by buying a health insurance policy for your parents.
Rather than just wishing for the good health of your parents it is better to be prepared for any medical emergency. With the rising cost of health care, hospital bills and medicine bills, getting a good treatment is becoming out of budget for most of the people. Imagine your parents in need of medical emergency and you lack funds. No one will wish for such type of situation. So buying a health insurance policy will take care of the health care requirements of your parents.
There are many senior citizen health insurance policies in the market, but before buying a health insurance policy for your parents, you should consider the following important points:
Entry Age :
Checking out the entry age for health insurance policy is very much important. Even if a policy is providing lots of benefits for your parents, it will be of no use if you will not be able to buy it because of entry age limits. There are some policies which will be having no limit on entry age, but generally the limit for entry age varies between 60-80 years. Always try to find policies which provide a maximum limit of entry age. It will give you the option to buy a health insurance policy at an advanced age of your parents.
The sum insured in a health insurance plan for a senior citizen is generally low because the risk involved in such cases is always higher than usual. While deciding upon the coverage amount, keep health condition and requirements of your parents in consideration. Don’t forget to analyse the rising cost of health care while deciding upon coverage amount. Always look for a policy with the adequate cover amount so that it will fulfill the need of health care for your parents when required.
There is always a limit of age till which a person can renew his policy. After that limit, the policy will expire and you will not have any option to renew it. Always look for a policy which has a maximum renewable age or offers lifetime renewability option, so that your parents can enjoy the benefit of health insurance even at an advanced age.
Cover for Pre-existing Disease:
Diseases are very much common at an old age, and that’s why companies are providing health insurance for a senior citizen, which have a list of per-existing conditions which are not covered. A pre-existing disease is a disease, which a person is having before buying the policy. Always look for a policy which includes more numbers of pre-existing diseases. Smaller the list of exclusions better will be your chances of benefit.
Cover for Critical Illness:
Critical illness is very much common at an advanced stage. The treatment for critical illness is enormous and time taking. It is important to look for a policy which offers cover for critical illnesses as well along with the basic health insurance benefits.You may also take a stand alone critical illness health plan if the sum insured for a critical illness under the health policy seems insufficient.
You can make a claim in a health insurance policy only after a particular period, which is called as waiting period of the policy. Generally, there is an initial waiting period of 30 to 90 days basis the plan, but for pre-existing diseases, the waiting period can range from 2 to 4 years. There is also a specific waiting period ranging from 1 to 2 years, to get a specific type of surgery or treatment done like cataract, joint replacement surgery,etc. Always look for policies with minimum waiting period, so that you will not have to wait for making a claim if the person insured needs medical emergency suddenly after buying the policy.
Co-Payment & Sub-Limits:
Under the clause of co-payment, an insured person has to share the cost of medical expenses. The percentage of shares varies from company to company and is mentioned in the policy. A policy with less co-payment from the elderly insured person’s side is always better so that there will be less burden of medical expense for you.
There are some limitations or capping imposed on the benefits under the health plan known as sub-limits like capping on room rent, capping the amount for specific surgeries, etc. Do scrutinise the sub-limits before finalising a plan.
Network of Hospitals:
Every health insurance company has a network of hospitals. Always look for a policy which has a broad network of hospitals. Check that the network of hospitals is available in the locality of your parents. So that in case of emergency, they can be treated as soon as possible. The insurance company provides cashless treatment in their impanelled network of hospitals.
Cover for Domiciliary Treatment:
You might face a situation where your parents will not be in condition to go the hospital for treatment or there will be no space in the hospital for treatment. In those cases, treatment at home is referred by doctors and these types of treatment at home are called as domiciliary treatment. Look for companies which provide domiciliary treatment also as a part of health insurance benefits.
Don’t forget to Compare:
There are a plethora of health insurance plans available in the market. It is imperative to compare the plan features, price and all other factors listed above to get the best deal for your parents. Don’t blindly follow what your agent is saying or what others have bought. Research, scrutinise and then make a prudent call to buy the best senior citizen plan for your parents.
Since the risk involved in insuring senior citizen has always been high for the company, so there are many clauses and limitations mentioned in the policy. Check the fine print of the policy and cover your parent with a policy which has maximum cover and minimum limitations.