If there's anything recent time has taught us, it's the unpredictability of life. Health issues can develop at any time, but their chances increase as we age. Financial security becomes crucial over time, but until when can you buy health insurance?
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Most health insurance companies in India offer a variety of health insurance policies up to the age of 65 years. Individuals over the set age brackets can buy comprehensive senior citizen plans that cover a variety of medical expenses.
While the entry age of these plans may vary from insurer to insurer, there is usually no upper age limit. In fact, several insurers even offer plans to people aged 80 years and more.
However, this should be confirmed with the insurer before buying any plan, as there are many insurers who don’t offer health insurance plans beyond a certain age.
Yes, definitely. Most of us prepare for our old age by investing in various things, including appropriate health insurance plans so that we are financially secure whenever there's a medical emergency. Many insurance companies in India offer plans specifically aimed at older people to provide them much needed coverage.
You can buy the best travel insurance plan for your elderly parents depending on their requirements and budget. These plans are aimed at people above 60-65 years and consist of several benefits.
However, it is recommended that you buy health insurance as early as possible. This is because the premium costs of most insurance plans increase with the age of the insurer. As we grow old, the chances of falling sick or developing disorders increase which also increases the financial risk of the insurance company.
The benefits offered by most insurance policies decline with the policyholder's age. In fact, many insurers also have additional terms such as a compulsory pre-policy checkup, no coverage for pre-existing diseases etc. This is why many people suggest buying health insurance from an early age. Take a look at some drawbacks of delaying your health insurance purchase:
Buying a policy later in life means a higher premium. Since people over 50 years are considered under high-risk, insurers demand higher premiums. Otherwise, the premium is lowest for children, nominal for individuals under 30-40s and higher for people over 50 years. You will either have to go for a lower sum insured or remove some add-ons.
Many insurers will also offer the insured to go for the option of co- payout which reduces the insured's premium. However, they will need to pay for a certain amount of the bill.
Most health insurance companies in India put a cap on the total amount you can claim under different cases. This is usually because of any underlying health conditions or pre-existing conditions that the insurer may have noticed after a pre-policy checkup. People over 50 years have to undergo a health checkup before they buy a policy. The sum insured offered to seniors is also lower, with several sub-limits.
As you get older, the benefits offered by your policy also decrease. Getting a higher coverage and optional covers is a difficult task as you are more likely to develop health ailments. Diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure etc. are some extremely common conditions that make you a high-risk person. Since the chances of raising a claim are higher in such cases, insurers reduce the benefits and coverage.
Almost all health insurance policies have a set waiting period ranging from a few months to years. While this time period may vary, purchasing a plan at an older age when you're more likely to need that money is higher. If you buy a plan in your early years, that waiting period will be over and you will be able to file a claim for the covered medical expenses.
The duration of this waiting period can be 30 days to 2 years, depending on the ailment. Suppose you need to undergo treatment for a pre-existing disease that you’re covered for. Even then, most policies have a waiting period of 2 to 4 years. This will serve you no purpose if you need to undergo the treatment early or can’t be compensated for the same.
Pre-existing diseases are those diseases that you are aware of or getting treated for at the time you purchased a policy. The older a person is, the higher are the chances of developing such conditions increase. Most insurers don't cover pre-existing diseases unless it is a special plan or an additional cover has been purchased.
Many insurers can also place a longer waiting period in the case of pre-existing diseases, often around 2 to 4 years. Buying comprehensive health insurance earlier will save you from such conditions and restrictions.
The older you get, the higher is the risk of needing medical assistance. If for some reason you’re unable to buy health insurance plans early, plenty of senior citizen health insurance plans are available to meet your needs. However, it is ideal to buy it as early as possible to avoid disappointments and financial burdens later in life.
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