Think Twice Before Adding Your Parents into Existing Health Cover! Here’s Why

Well-being – physical and mental both – has rightfully gone on to become perhaps the top priority for millennials and Gen Z alike. With more and more Indians joining the workforce, it becomes imperative for them to take care of medical contingencies and/or emergency hospitalization expenses for themselves as well as the entire family. Here comes health insurance into the picture while planning the finances.

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    A single floater plan that covers four adults – you, your spouse, and either set of elderly parents – might seem lucrative at the get-go. Many an insurer is going to try and rope you in to take the add-on benefits of including your parents in the family floater health insurance policy you opt for. Irrespective of how they try to sell it to you – don’t fall for it. Ever.

    Drawbacks of Adding Your Senior Citizen Parents under Existing Health Cover

    Nor should you go for adding your parents to your existing plan. Did you ask why? It is advisable to purchase a separate policy for parents instead of add-ons for a variety of reasons. The most significant of these drawbacks are as follows:

    Effect on Premium: Will Your Premium Remain the Same?

    If you have an existing family floater plan or are looking for one – adding parents to the plan would increase your premium a lot. The reason being - such plans are subject to the age of the eldest in the family. The moment said individual reaches the maximum age covered by the policy, the policy would terminate. You’ll then inevitably have to buy separate health insurance plans for each member – each at a separate cost and without the claim history or coverage for pre-existing diseases that your earlier policy entailed.

    Additionally, a young 25 year old you are surely not as prone to diseases or illness as a 50-year-old you would be. Thus, buying young is the right thing to do. The premium you need to pay is less and also you get to enjoy the coverage for a longer duration.

    You May Like To Read: Best Health Insurance Policy In India

    Pre-Existing Illness: What About Pre-existing Diseases in the Elders?

    A comparatively higher premium is issued to people with pre-existing diseases. It is but more common to have pre-existing illnesses in the senior members of the family. So, if you or your spouse chose to include your own parents in the family floater plan – it adds to the premium. This, in turn, affects the coverage availed by your entire family.

    So, bunk all thoughts to include parents in family health insurance plans else the premium skyrockets once either of your parents gets diagnosed with pre-existing disease. What makes more sense is to purchase separate policies for those with pre-existing disease.

    No Claim Bonus: Does Your No Claim Bonus Remain the Same? 

    No Claim Bonus in health insurance is a saving option you get in the premium at the time of renewal or as an add-on benefit. The condition you need to meet is- you have not to claim during the policy year. This makes you eligible to claim the bonus.

    But with more than one member in a plan – you can’t control where and when one needs to make a claim – in which case you lose on the No Claim Bonus anytime a family member makes a claim. This is more so true with parents who might need hospitalization due to increasing age or a pre-existing illness. If instead, you opt for separate health insurance plans – it is only their plan that gets affected, and your No Claim Bonus stays intact.

    You May Like To Read: Best Mediclaim Policy In India

    Coverage Amount: Is Your Coverage Enough for You?

    The coverage you get for a family of 4 might not be sufficient when you add parents into the equation, thus making up the number to 6. With more family members added to the plan, the coverage can come out to be less. When you add parents – who suffer from pre-existing diseases and/or require frequent hospitalization – to your family health insurance plan, the remaining coverage might come down to be insufficient for others when an emergency arises.

    You must, therefore, remember to increases the sum insured by your health insurance plan if you decide to add parents to the policy.

    Employers Group Health Insurance Plan: Will that Last Forever?

    You might have gotten a cosy deal with your Employer providing comprehensive coverage for you and your family. And have been thinking of adding your parents' name to the plan. But wait – it’s great to have free medical expenses for your family in return for your work and loyalty towards your place of work but the longevity of the insurance facility lies upon your employer’s discretion. It can be pulled out at any time and you might end up helpless in dire situations.

    Your Employer Group Health Insurance Policy holds good as long as you are retained by the company and is often insufficient as compared to individual plans.

    You May Like To Read: Mediclaim Policy For Senior Citizens

    What Should You Do Instead? 

    The best way to ensure a comprehensive plan for the parents that cover all their needs even over the age of 60, with guaranteed renewal and a longer tenure would be to choose from the many online health insurance plans meant for the senior citizens.

    The benefits of opting for an individual senior citizen health insurance plan for your parents instead of adding them to your existing ones are multiple and varied:

    1. You get to renew the policy while enjoying domiciliary hospitalization cover.
    2. Enjoy tax benefit on the premium for the medical insurance, free-look period etc.
    3. Some insurers let you avail cashless treatment and daily allowance.
    4. Options of getting treatment and medical care across multiple hospitals with cashless benefit across the country opens up.
    5. Additionally, you get a reload of the sum insured whilst getting health check-ups annually.
    You may like to Read: Best Health Insurance Policy In India

    To Conclusion

    Hopefully, the cons of choosing a family health insurance plan for your parents will help you make a better, informed decision. The benefits of choosing an individual plan will help you choose a plan that covers all your needs and most – if not all – of the distinct requirements of your parents. Be clear about the sum insured under each plan through a comparison of online health insurance plans before zeroing in on one.

    Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 02 August 2021

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