Yes, you read it right.
Let’s find out why I am saying so..
The health insurance industry works in reverse order always within India.
If you did a random check, you could find multiple different policies in the market. But if you took a closer look, you could find only very few numbers of health insurance plan for senior citizens available in Indian Insurance market.
What is a Health Insurance Plan for Senior Citizens?
Before telling you more about it, you should understand that the senior citizens health insurance plans provide very limited features to opt for by default than the regular health insurance plan available to people aged less than 65 years.
Just think your age is 65 now and you plan on taking health insurance.
For the sake of argument, we shall assume that you do not have any health problems with no smoking or alcohol consumption history.
You approach a health insurance company for a 5 lakhs policy, they will do an initial checkup to assess your health and issue a policy also.
But the catch here is the premium, it will be highly priced
Why senior plans are highly charged, because the risk and the probability of you getting admitted for a hospitalization is higher than a middle aged person in the coming years after taking a policy.
If the insurance company charges you a regular normal premium, then they might end up in a loss as a company. So to mitigate this, they price the policies higher for senior citizens in general.
People generally don’t think of the long run before taking a senior insurance plan.
Insurance companies increase the premium every few years once than the price they quoted when you applied. As a result of this, you generally pay more than the insured amount in the long run.
On top of it, these policies don’t provide wider coverage in terms of hospitalization with many restrictions in payout.
What is the best time to take medical insurance for senior citizens?
Let me give you a fact check before jumping towards medical insurance for senior citizens..
In the Economic Survey 2019, it is mentioned the population of senior citizens will rise from 8.6% in 2011 to 16% in 2041.
Like abroad, the number of people in the old age group will go up higher in the near future.
If you are in the middle age category now, it is the right time to opt in for an insurance cover of adequate cover.
Check out my previous post on ‘the types of health insurance plans available in India’ to know the right combination of plans to pick. Click here to read it now.
Then how to select health insurance plan for senior citizens in India?
If your age is anywhere below 65 years, just go and apply for a policy right away. Even though the premium might be higher, you will get a regular health insurance cover with wider features.
Suppose you have crossed 65 years, there are limited options for you. Let’s see the options via you could take health insurance plan for senior citizens in India:
Don’t opt for regular health insurance at any cost:
Why because, these policies are charged a bomb and the amount paid is more than intended for the purpose. Avoid them at any cost.
Opt for a Super Top Up plan with high sum insured:
These policies will have a deductible built-in and lesser priced. So choose a super top up plan with lower deductible amount and higher sum insured capping.
You will at least reduce the premium a little bit.
Opt for a Group Senior Citizen Health Insurance cover:
If you are in an old age home, ask the society or organisation to opt for group health insurance cover.
Though these group policies waive off PED waiting period, the restricted features remain the same.
And the insurance companies will underwrite the premium to a sizable amount if they see increased claim from the group policy.
But, hey it’s just better than having nothing at all to cover.
What are the other ways to cover a health expense?
Its basics of personal finance.
Always set aside a 6 months emergency corpus as a backup.
Since there is no guarantee that these insurer’s process the claims faster, it’s better to opt for financial backup now itself.
This is highly recommended if you have not attained senior citizen age bracket yet.
Get yourself enrolled with your son/daughter company policy if possible.
These policies do cover mostly and generally they process claims better since they are corporate cover plans.
Know your hospitals in your locality.
Yes, it is really useful if you are not fond of the government. Hospitals.
Talk to your friends and neighbours.
Get to know which hospitals are good and charge a reasonable amount for the treatment.
This comes in handy even if they are not in the network or empanelled hospital list.
Last, simple one.
Do some exercise. Keep your daily morning or evening walk. Don’t be idle.
Have an eye on health, do your yearly checkups.
By the way, do you know you could claim upto 5000rs in your income tax for the amount paid towards health checkups?
Make use of it, it is a wise decision to spend the money towards it.
If you are looking for the best health insurance for senior citizens again in google, let me tell you right away.
There is no perfect plan, that too specially for the senior citizens category.
There are limited options and due to the current COVID scenario, insurance companies are revamping their whole insurance policy list and revising their premiums too.
Also, there is a growing market for home healthcare with many companies jumping on this market.
Do remember there are no health insurance covers to treat home healthcare expenses until they are directly related to a current hospitalization.
The above might be too much information as of now, but it is not so complex as it looks.
Don’t be worried much about future health expenses, plan your basics of personal finance correctly.
Everything will fall in place one after another.
As Satchel Paige said, “ Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind it, it doesn’t matter.”
Live the moment to the fullest, help your friends and relatives. Make an impact in others lives..
And cherish these moments.
These memories will be your soulful companion, when you grow older.
Also, if you are ready to binge upon on the cancer specific health insurance plans in india, do read them here.
Let me know what are your thoughts and queries in the comment section below.
Until then see you on my next post.