Though nobody is protected from the novel coronavirus but elderly people above the age of 60 years are considered to be more vulnerable to the adverse effects of this disease. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is an increased risk for elderly people to get severely ill from COVID-19. For instance, people in their 50s are more vulnerable to severe illnesses in comparison to people who are 40, and those who are 50 years old are at a higher risk in comparison to those who are in their 60s or 70s.
Why Should You Purchase Health Insurance for Your Parents/Senior Citizens?
Usually, senior citizen health insurance policies are designed for elderly people who are more vulnerable to health risks and there are numerous reasons to purchase a health insurance policy for your parents in India:
- Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, special health insurance plans have also been launched that offer coverage to people up to the age of 65 years. For example, Corona Kavach policy offers family floater cover to individuals up to the age of 65 years including the cost of consumable items like PPE kits, gloves, masks, ventilators, oximeters, and the likewise
- There is another indemnity based coronavirus health insurance plan i.e. Corona Rakshak health plan that offers coverage on an individual basis. This plan also covers the cost of COVID treatment along with consumable items
- Individuals, who are above 45 years and approaching 60 years of age, should have a health insurance handy due to increasing health issues and retiring age with no regular source of incomes
- If you cannot afford to pay a higher premium you can buy Arogya Sanjeevani policy as it also covers COVID-19 expenses and offers coverage to senior citizens up to the age of 65 years
- Children can also buy this health insurance for their elderly parents to protect their future
Advantages of a Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plan:
Having a senior citizen health insurance plan can prove to be useful in certain ways -
- Your parents can avail medical treatment facilities in reputed hospitals across India
- Without worrying about the medical expenses your parents can enjoy cashless hospitalization benefits and daily hospital cash allowance ( varies from one insurance company to other)
- Coverage for coronavirus treatment that can otherwise create havoc to your savings
- Lifelong policy renewal option helps senior citizens enjoy policy coverage benefits
- Domiciliary hospitalization expenses are covered ( subjected to terms and conditions)
- Free-look period in which you can decide to continue to cancel the policy
- Annual health check-up facilities are also useful in some plans
- Reinstatement of policy sum insured ensures that the coverage amount doesn’t get exhausted
- Tax exemption benefit ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs.55,000 under section 80D of the Income Tax Act
Should you buy family floater insurance or individual health insurance for your parents?
The age of your parents and their medical condition can help you decide, which insurance plan you should buy – whether individual health insurance or a family floater health insurance plan.
If your age is not too much and your parents are below the age of 60 years, then you can go with a family floater plan to protect your entire family under a single plan. And if you have parents who are beyond 60 years of age, then you should buy an individual health insurance policy, as it provides a higher sum insured and higher coverage at the time of medical emergencies.
How you can select the best health plan for your parents during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Here is a checklist that will help you select the right mediclaim policy for parents during such unprecedented time of Coronavirus:
Buy a Comprehensive Health Plan
For senior citizens, it is important to buy a comprehensive or an all-inclusive medical insurance policy that covers routine illnesses, coronavirus treatment, daycare procedures, and critical illnesses. For senior citizens buy a disease-specific plan won’t be a good idea.
Look for the Coverage Benefits-
- Sum Insured Limit- You can opt for a higher sum insured as per your premium paying capability. There are health plans with sum insured options starting from Rs.3 Lakh to Rs 50 Lakh and above
- Coronavirus Cover- For COVID treatment you can get them insured in a family floater plan or buy a separate plan for senior citizens with COVID cover
- In-hospitalization expenses - ICU charges, room rent, nursing and boarding expenses, medical practitioner fees, cost of medicines, drugs, diagnostic procedures, radiotherapy treatment, chemotherapy, dressing, operation theatre, blood, oxygen, x-ray, dialysis, cost of a pacemaker, and any other medical expenses as part of treatment
- Domiciliary Hospitalization Cover- Check if domiciliary hospitalization expenses are covered
- Pre-existing Disease Cover- Most importantly the policy should cover pre-existing diseases after the waiting period of 2 to 4 years
- Renewability- Lifelong policy renewability plans are always a better option
- Pre-medical Screening- Usually, pre-medical check-ups are not required up to the age of 45 years. Do check this clause when selecting a senior citizen health plan
- Free-look period- Free look period of 15 days in which you can decide if you want to keep the policy or cancel it
- Value-added services- Value-added services like online consultation with doctors, e-consultation with specialists, nutritionist, dietician, physiotherapist, vaccination, and other information is an additional benefit
Buy a Critical Illness Cover
It is also prudent to buy a critical illness cover along with a regular senior citizen health plan. As elderly people are more likely to get diagnose with kidney ailments, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, etc. and the treatment cost for such illnesses can be quite expensive. You can also consider getting a top-up or super-top health plan for senior citizens.
Things which are usually not covered under a senior citizen health insurance plan –
- Any type of pre-existing ailments or injuries
- Any diseases that are diagnosed within 30 days of policy inception
- Any other treatment than allopathy
- Self-inflicted injuries or any type of mental disorders
- Overconsumption of alcohol, intoxication and drug overdose
- Medical expenses incurred on treatment of HIV/AIDS infection
- Any cost of dental treatment (unless it is an accidental case)
- Treatment for joint replacement surgeries may not covered
Documents that you need to submit while purchasing health insurance for your parents/senior citizens-
- Medical check-up documents of any previous insurance policy
- Proposal form duly-filled by the proposer
- Supporting documents if there is any pre-existing ailment
- Identity proof and age proof documents
We hope that your parents stay in good health, but having a health insurance plan handy can prove useful to offer financial and health protection.
Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 23 July 2021