For many people, life after 60 is like a second inning. They have paid their debt, educated their children, and made them capable of standing on their feet. So, senior citizens have enough time to pursue their hobbies or go on a world tour. Of course, one needs to be in good health to enjoy their retired life.
However, senior citizens are the most vulnerable to diseases. Moreover, after retirement, sources of income may also dwindle. Hence, health insurance becomes the need of the hour.
In the past, it was almost next to impossible to get health insurance for senior citizens. However, things have changed after the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) set 65 years as the maximum age for entry into health insurance.
This gave rise to health insurance plans for senior citizens.
What is health insurance for senior citizens?
As the name suggests, health insurance for senior citizens is a health insurance plan that covers the health-related expenses of individuals above 60 years.
The individual has to pay a health insurance premium at regular intervals to avail benefits of health insurance.
Benefits of Senior Citizen Health Insurance
Health insurance offers various benefits to senior citizens. Here are some of the essential benefits:
Covers the cost of treatments: Medical treatments are getting costlier every year. Having adequate health insurance helps to stay protected from unexpected expenses from medical treatments. Most health insurance companies offer plans that cover various illnesses and other ailments.
Covers medical coverage to elderly individuals: Individuals above 60 years of age can get health insurance coverage through senior citizen health insurance as the regular health insurance plan offers coverage to individuals below 65 years of age.
Maximum age to renew: One can not only take health insurance for senior citizens after 65 years, but policyholders can also renew the policy up to 80 years. Few companies also allow policyholders to renew their health plan until 90 years if there was no break in premium payment.
Cashless hospitalization: Most insurance companies that offer insurance plans for senior citizens allow cashless transactions. In cashless hospitalization, the hospital settles the hospital bills with the insurance provider.
Tax benefits: Payment of premium against the health insurance plan can be helpful to reduce taxable income as premiums paid are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80D.
Things to know before buying senior citizen health insurance
Before buying a senior citizen health insurance plan, here are some things that you need to know before buying a senior citizen health insurance plan.
As this health insurance plan aims at senior citizens, it should offer lifetime renewability. This will help senior citizens to renew their policies with no hassle.
Most senior citizen health insurance plans have a co-payment clause. The co-payment clause is a clause that states that the insured individual has to pay a percentage of the total hospital bill.
Typically, the co-payment rates can range from 20% to 50%.
For instance, if the total hospital bill amount is Rs.5 lakhs and the co-payment rate is 30%. In this case, the health insurance company will pay Rs.3.5 lakh, while the policyholder needs to pay the remaining Rs.1.5 lakh.
So, it is essential to buy a health insurance plan with a low co-payment rate.
Entry and exit age
Another essential factor that you need to consider is the entry and exit age. Select a health insurance plan that doesn’t have any entry or exit age. This will help you buy the health plan at any age and exit whenever you want to.
Typically, health plans come with a waiting period for existing illnesses. This is the length of time that you need to wait before utilizing your plan’s full coverage.
However, most senior citizen health insurance plans have a waiting period of up to 2 years for specific ailments. In addition, the waiting period can go up to 4 years for pre-existing diseases.
Suppose you are a senior citizen and don’t have a health insurance plan. In that case, you can look at health insurance plans for senior citizens. It has various benefits. However, it is essential to compare a few factors such as lifetime renewability, entry, and exit age, waiting period, or co-payment rate before buying a senior citizen health insurance plan.
This blog is purely for educational purposes and not to be treated as personal advice.