Health is probably the first thing that starts deserting people once they approach the autumn of their lives. Old age brings with itself a number of ailments that require expensive treatment and care. Considering the fact that medical inflation is constantly on the rise, it’s imperative for the senior citizens to have a health insurance plan in place so that they can enjoy their golden years.
However, as compared to the youngsters, elderly people may find it a bit difficult to avail a mediclaim policy since their body becomes frail and vulnerable to ailments. Nonetheless, there are many insurance companies in India which are offering senior citizen health insurance plans, specifically for those who are aged 60 and above.
In this article, we’ll tell you how to zero-in on the best senior citizen’s health policy for yourself or your parents.
1. Compare different policies online
Before buying a policy, it’s prudent to compare various offerings from different insurers. It will help you understand the exclusive features and benefits of a policy, its inclusions and exclusions, cost and scope of coverage. After knowing these key factors, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and select the right health plan according to your requirements.
There are many online insurance portals that can help you compare various policies within few seconds and make the right choice for yourself. You can also purchase the policy directly from the website of your preferred insurer and save on premium amount.
2. Opt for a high sum insured
The maximum amount of coverage offered by the insurer is known as sum insured of the policy. In simpler words, it’s the maximum amount that the insurer is liable to pay in case of a claim. Hence, it’s better to opt for a policy with high sum insured so that you do not have to pay from your pocket in case treatment expenses shoot up rapidly.
You must consider various factors while determining the sum insured such as age of the insured, lifestyle habits, and pre-existing ailments, among others. Keep in mind that opting for a high sum insured may also increase the premium of the policy.
3. Watch out for the waiting period
Health insurance plans for senior citizens usually come with a waiting period which means that you’ve to wait for a certain time before you can start enjoying the policy benefits. Therefore, it’s crucial to opt for a policy with low waiting period.
This can come in handy in case the insured person is diagnosed with an ailment within a short span of time after the purchase of policy. To know about the waiting period of a policy, you can refer to the policy bond.
4. Be aware of co-pay clause
A co-pay clause means that in case of a claim, the policyholder will have to bear a certain portion of the claim amount out of his/her own pocket. For instance, if you’ve purchased a policy with 20% co-pay clause, and the claim amount is Rs. 1 lakh, the insurer will pay Rs. 80,000 and you’ll have to bear the remaining Rs. 20,000 by yourself.
Since senior citizens generally don’t have a regular stream of income, it’s essential to choose a plan with minimum or no co-pay clause at all to reduce the financial burden on them.
5. Consider the coverage of pre-existing ailments
Senior citizens usually suffer from several pre-existing ailments. While buying health insurance policy for them, it’s important to check whether the pre-existing ailments are covered by it or not. A wise decision is to go for a policy that covers the maximum number of pre-existing ailments.
While this may push up the premium amount a bit, it can come in handy in case the insured person is required to be hospitalised owing to one of the pre-existing ailments. Else, you could end up paying a hefty amount out of your pocket during such a situation.
Equally important is to read the policy terms carefully and fill in all information accurately in the proposal form to avoid any chances of claim rejection. You can also supplement your senior citizens health insurance policy with add-on covers in order to enhance its scope of coverage. For example, you can choose from a range of short-term health-related covers offered under the Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions category of Bajaj Finserv. These plans are designed to address your precise insurance needs and hence, provide you with better coverage.