InvestorQ : My parents are senior citizens and I have been thinking of getting a health insurance plan for them. Can you explain the concept of senior citizen health insurance plan to me?
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My parents are senior citizens and I have been thinking of getting a health insurance plan for them. Can you explain the concept of senior citizen health insurance plan to me?

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3 years ago
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Personally, I think this is a very sweet gesture on your behalf. I’m sure your parents must be very proud.
So, getting to the point. Senior citizen health insurance plans, as the name suggests are insurance plans that are tailor-made for senior citizens who are over 60 years of age. Irrespective of where they come from, senior citizens across the globe are fearful of the life they’ll lead when they retire. The fear of whether they’ll be able to take care of unexpected medical expenses play a lot in their minds. Inflation, their age and their limited sources of income create a doomsday-like scenario in their minds.
But, it needn’t necessarily be like that. With the average lifespan increasing in India, from 53 years to 71 years in the past 20 years, senior citizens are likely to live longer than before. Thus, senior citizens, especially pensioners and retirees above 60 years of age have to invest in a good medical insurance policy that provides them adequate health cover against medical expenses caused due to ailments, disability or an accident. Senior citizen health insurance plans are exclusively for those individuals who are 60 years’ old or above, and who need financial help in order to meet medical expenses in case of a hospitalization.
The premium for a senior citizen health insurance policy depends on the policyholder’s age and the sum insured. The sector regulatory body, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), has mandated that the minimum entry age for senior citizen health insurance is 60-65 years and granted lifetime renewability.
If you are planning to purchase a health insurance plan for your parents, here are the few things you must bear in mind:
• Co-payment clause: This is a clause which comes as a rather unpleasant surprise to most people. It is the fixed sum of money that the life insured has to pay for the covered healthcare services. This clause also depends on the hospital where the insured is receiving treatment; the specified ailments; and hospital charges.
• Sub-limit: This refers to the percentage of sum insured that the insurance company will pay for certain hospital expenses and illnesses such as room rent, doctor fee, cataract treatment, cardiovascular treatment, etc.
• Waiting period: The waiting period for a senior citizen health insurance plan is higher, from 1-4 years for certain illnesses. The waiting period is important when taking a health insurance policy for an individual with a pre-existing medical condition.
• Pre-existing conditions: Some health insurance plans offer coverage for pre-existing conditions after the completion of a waiting period of 2-3 years. However, its noteworthy that the insurance company will only pay up to 50% of the claim in case of pre-existing conditions.
• Medical check-up: Senior citizens have to provide medical certificates when purchasing a health insurance policy.
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