Health insurance for senior citizens

senior citizen health insurance
Hand arranging wood block with healthcare medical icon. Health insurance – concept.

Senior citizens have a wealth of knowledge and experience but with age catching up, they are more prone to illnesses and health problems than the younger generation. If you have an elderly family member to care for, especially if they are unwell, managing the costs will be a worry. Having a health insurance helps, and it functions as a cushion to help seniors or the family person managing the care, to bear the cost of treatment, because medical costs for seniors are, in fact, very high.

Let us analyse the terms and conditions of senior citizens’ health insurance and Mediclaim plans before enrolling in one.

Understanding senior citizen health insurance

People who have reached 60 years of age are referred to as senior citizens in the insurance industry. There are many health insurance policies specifically modelled and designed for senior citizens, covering their medical costs.

Moreover, health insurance policies for senior citizens offer cashless hospitalisation, preventive health check-up benefits, and other facilities. Senior citizen health insurance also covers pre-existing diseases, critical illness coverage, and pre-and post-hospitalisation expenses, though policy specific terms may vary.

Benefits of senior citizen health insurance and Mediclaim policy

Compared to a standard insurance policy, it is advisable to opt for a senior citizen health insurance and a Mediclaim policy for older adults. Here are some of the benefits of senior citizen Mediclaim and health insurance policies.

  • Screening before hospitalisation: One of the important benefits of availing of a health and Mediclaim policy is that most policies do not require older people to undergo pre-medical screening when buying a health policy.
  • Extended medical cover: Many health insurance companies provide health coverage for people above 60 years under family health insurance plans categorized as senior citizen health insurance plans. Many insurance companies also extend medical coverage to elderly people beyond 65 years of age.
  • Major hospital expenses: Another major benefit of senior citizen health insurance plans is that it covers a range of medical bills and expenses, such as pre-hospital expenses and in-patient and post-hospitalisation expenses.
  • Tax rebate and benefits: Most health insurance policies pertaining to senior citizens offer tax-exemption benefits each year under Section 80D of the IT Act, which is twice that of those under 60 years of age.

Need to buy health insurance policies for senior citizens

Owing to increasing age and decreasing immunity, senior citizens are prone to several health issues and stand an increased risk of developing rare diseases. Medical expenses may burn a hole in your pocket, increasing your financial burden. Moreover, it is nearly impossible to foresee a medical emergency well in advance, but it is important to have a plan in place to manage the uncertainties. Health insurance provides coverage and helps you prepare in advance with the available cash needed to treat your loved ones.

Here are some important reasons to buy senior citizen health insurance policies for your loved ones.

  • Navigating healthcare cost: Withever-increasing medical expenses, treatments and other hospitalisation costs may impact your financial budget, putting you under additional financial pressure. Hence buying a senior citizen health insurance plan becomes imperative.
  • Covering critical illness: The possibility of developing or being diagnosed with ailments like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and kidney problems are common with increasing age. Thus, a well-structured and curated comprehensive senior citizen health insurance plan provides add-on coverage for critical illness.

What gets covered in health insurance plans for senior citizens?

Before considering subscribing to a senior citizen health insurance plan, you may carefully check and understand, what is covered and included in such plans.

  • Day care expenses/treatments: Medical treatments that constitute less than 24 hours denote day care service. Moreover, treatments like chemotherapy and dialysis form a part of day care treatments.
  • Hospital admission cost: The hospital expenses include doctor fees, cost of medicines, bed charges, surgical equipment charges, operation theatre charges, and diagnostic and other tests required to be done and incurred at the time of admission. These constitute a major chunk of the overall medical charges.

What does not get covered in health insurance plans for senior citizens?

Although a major portion of medical expenses is covered and forms a part of the health insurance policy, many hidden costs and medical expenses are not included, which you should be aware of.

  • Pre-existing diseases not included till completion of waiting period (or as the policy specific terms may be).
  • Expenses arising from suicide and self-injuries are not included.
  • Expenses incurred to cure addiction to drugs or alcoholic treatments are not accounted for.

Important aspects to consider while buying health insurance plans for senior citizens

When buying a health insurance plan for senior citizens in your family, you should have a comprehensive idea of where you can avail of cashless hospitalisation benefits and which hospitals the insurance provider has a tie-up with. You can get a pulse of good hospitals in your locality and then cross-check whether the insurance company has partnered with those hospitals. It will help you to rationalise before deciding. Having a health insurance cover for your elderly loved ones will help you plan your finances while ensuring they are cared for.

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