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Best Health Insurance Plans for Senior Citizens in 2015

What an irony it is, the older you get, the less affordable health insurance becomes. There is a gamut of insurers offering health plans for healthy individuals and why not, they prove to be a profitable proposition for them. But only a few insurers offer health plans catering to the specific needs of the old aged. The reason is obvious, the frequency and severity of sickness increases as you get older.

More often than not, health plans for senior citizens come with their own set of limitations such as stringent medical checkups, high premiums and exhaustive exclusions to the coverage. Hence, it becomes imperative to look out for some variables, while buying a senior citizen health insurance, such as:

  • Entry and exit age
  • Maximum age for renewal
  • Coverage
  • Exclusions
  • Co-pay
  • Waiting periods
  • Critical illness cover
  • Domiciliary hospitalization

We have handpicked the best health insurance plans for senior citizens. Hope it helps them to choose and buy a plan that fulfills their specific insurance needs.

S.No.

Insurer

Product Name

Entry- Exit Age Cap

Maximum Renewal Age

Sum Assured Limit

Premium

Unique Selling Proposition

1

Star Health

Senior Citizen Red Carpet

60-75

Lifelong

1,00,000 to 5,00,000

4450 to 18,000 (excluding service tax)

One of the first health insurance plans introduced for senior citizens with a wide coverage and unique value added benefits.

2

National Insurance

Varistha Mediclaim

60–80

90

1,00,000 (plain cover) or 2,00,000 (with critical illness cover added)

For mediclaim= Rs 4,180 to 6890. For critical illness= 2007- 2288.

One of the most affordable health insurance plans with valuable features.

3

Oriental Insurance

HOPE – Health of Privileged Elder

For people aged 60 years and above

Lifelong

1,00,000 to 5,00,000

4,500 to 29,000

What make this plan click are the numerous discounts it offers. Plus, there's no upper cap on the entry age.

4

Bajaj Allianz

Silver Health

46-70

75

50,000 to 5,00,000

1,995 to 29,039

A comprehensive health insurance plan offering great flexibility in sum assured.

5

New India Assurance Co. Ltd.

Senior Citizen Mediclaim Policy

60–80

90

1,00,000 or 1,50,000

3,850 to 7,650

The lowest premium among all the health plans for senior citizens.

1). Star Health Red Carpet

Star Health was one of the first insurers in India to design and introduce a health insurance plan pertaining to the selective needs of senior citizens. It was also the first plan that increased the maximum entry cap from 69 years to 75 years. Star Health Red Carpet has made it to our list because of the extensive coverage it offers.

Coverage:

  • In-patient hospitalization expenses covered including ICU expenses, nursing expenses, surgeon's fees, consultant's fees, anesthetist's and specialist's fees, cost of blood, oxygen, pacemaker, cost of drugs and diagnostic tests
  • Pre and post hospitalization expenses covered (up to a maximum of 7% of the hospitalization expenses) Emergency ambulance charges covered
  • Domiciliary treatment covered
  • Day care procedures covered
  • Treatment at network hospitals only

Pros:

  • Pre-existing disease starts getting covered right from the first year (except those for which treatment was received/recommended during the preceding 12 months from proposal date)
  • No medical screening required
  • 10% discount if certain documents are provided related to stress thallium, BP report, sugar, blood urea and creatinine. The discount is also applicable, if the insured submits a self declaration mentioning that any surgery related to brain, heart or cancer has not been done in the past
  • No TPA involved. Direct in-house claim settlement
  • Cashless hospitalization at +5400 network hospitals across the nation
  • 24x7 toll-free helpline
  • Free telephonic consultation with general physician

Cons:

  • Waiting periods - 30 days initial waiting period, before which no coverage is given. 2 years waiting period for specific diseases like cataract, knee replacement surgery etc. 1 year waiting period for specific diseases like hernia, piles etc.
  • Exclusions – Expenses incurred on naturopathy treatment, cosmetic surgery and diagnosis tests. treatments currently availed or availed during the preceding 12 months from proposal date
  • Treatment can be availed at network hospitals only
  • 50% co-payment of the claim amount, for pre-existing diseases
  • 30% co-payment of the claim amount, for all other claims

2). National Insurance Varistha Mediclaim

National Insurance is the oldest and one of the biggest players in the insurance sector. The name holds repute among customers and the insurance fraternity for its innovative plans and hassle-free claim settlement. Varistha Mediclaim is one of the best health plans available for senior citizens in terms of coverage as well as premium.

Coverage:

  • Hospitalization expenses including room and boarding expenses, nursing expenses, ICU expenses, surgeon's fees, anesthetist’s fees, consultant's fees, cost of drugs and diagnostic tests, cost of blood, oxygen, pacemaker, etc.
  • Pre and post-hospitalization expenses
  • Domiciliary hospitalization
  • Optional critical illness cover
  • Organ's donor expenses
  • Ambulance charges

Pros:

  • Diabetes and hypertension, even pre-existing diseases are covered right from the inception of the policy (at a 10% additional premium)
  • Sum insured increased by 5% for each claim free year
  • Reimbursement of cost of health check up once in every 3 years
  • Rock bottom premium

Cons:

  • Waiting periods - Pre-existing diseases are covered after 1 claim free year. Cost of dialysis, chemotherapy & radiotherapy done relevant to pre-existing diseases are not covered even after 1 year. 30 days initial waiting period, before which no coverage is given and for critical illness, it is 90 days.
  • Exclusions – Expenses incurred on cosmetic surgery, dental expenses, visual aid, hearing aid, vaccination, HIV/AIDS, diagnostic tests not directly relevant to any disease, vitamins and tonics, pregnancy related expenses and naturopathy.
  • 76-80 age band will have to bear 10% loading charges up to 85 years
  • 20% loading charges for renewal at 85-90 age bracket
  • Pre acceptance medical checkup for fresh entrants (no medical checkup required if the insured was covered under any health insurance policy continuously for preceding 3 years)
  • Insured has to make 10% co-payment in all claims. Plus, if it's a case of pre-existing disease, an additional 10% co-pay has to be borne by the insured
  • Cover is not substantial from a monetary perspective

3). Oriental Insurance HOPE (Health of Privileged Elder)

HOPE comes from Oriental Insurance, is the most popular health insurer among customers not just for its products but also for its high claim settlement and high incurred claim ratios. HOPE offers coverage for specified diseases at an optimum premium.

Coverage:

  • Hospitalization expenses including room, boarding and nursing expenses, ICU expenses, surgeon fees, medical practitioner fees, specialists fees, anesthesiology, blood, oxygen, operation theatre charges, surgical appliances, medicines & drugs, dialysis, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, artificial limbs, prosthetic devices implanted during surgical procedure like pacemaker, relevant diagnostic test, x-ray, etc.
  • Diseases covered - Accidental injury, knee replacement, cardio vascular diseases, chronic renal failure, cancer, hepato-biliary disorders, chronic obstructive lung diseases, stroke, benign prostrate, orthopedic ailments, ophthalmic diseases
  • Domiciliary hospitalization expenses
  • Ambulance service charges

Pros:

  • Discount in premium for opting voluntary co-payment
  • Discount in premium for every claim free year
  • Benefit of continuity extended if already insured with any mediclaim policy of the company
  • Ayurvedic/ Homeopathic/ Unani treatment covered

Cons:

  • Waiting period - 30 days initial waiting period, before which no coverage is given (except in case of accidental injury). 2 years waiting period for pre-existing diseases. The same waiting period shall also be applied on the complications arising from pre-existing diseases
  • Exclusions – Injury or disease arising from act of war, cosmetic surgery, visual aids, hearing aids, HIV/AIDS, naturopathy treatment, outpatient treatment expenses, disease/injury arising from insured's participation in hazardous activities.
  • Covers specified diseases only
  • Compulsory co-payment of 20% on admissible claim amount
  • Loading for new entrants
  • Pre and post hospitalization expenses are not covered
  • Pre-acceptance medical screening is required and expenses of which has to be borne by the insured

4). Bajaj Allianz Silver Health

Bajaj Allianz is a brand that is known to come up with customer oriented insurance plans. Silver Health is one such plan, offering the best of health insurance to senior citizens.

Coverage:

  • In-patient hospitalization expenses
  • Pre and post hospitalization expenses covered (up to maximum of 3% of admissable hospitalization expenses)
  • Emergency ambulance charges covered subject to a limit of Rs 1000/claim

Pros:

  • In-house health claim administration team
  • Fast claim settlement
  • Innovative packages to match individual need
  • 5% cumulative bonus gets added to your limit of indemnity for every claim free year
  • 5% family discount

Cons:

  • Waiting periods - Pre-existing disease starts getting covered only from the 2nd year of the inception. 30 days initial waiting period, before which no coverage is given. Certain diseases such as hernia, piles, cataract, benign prostatic hypertrophy, hysterectomy shall be covered after a waiting period of 1 year. Joint replacement surgery (other than due to accidents) will have a waiting period of 4 years
  • Exclusions - Non-allopathic medicines, AIDS and related disorders, cosmetic, aesthetic or related treatment, use of Intoxicating drugs and alcohol, treatment of any mental illness or psychiatric illness
  • Pre-medical screening cost has to be borne by the proposer. It will only be reimbursed if the proposer is accepted
  • 20% co-payment, in case treatment is taken at non-network hospital

5). New India Senior Citizens Mediclaim Policy

Holding the zenithal 17.89% market share, New India Assurance is the leading health insurer in India. Senior Citizen Mediclaim Policy offers a standard coverage at the lowest premium among all the health insurance plans available for senior citizens in the market.

Coverage:

  • Hospitalization expenses incurred for the treatment of illness/injury
  • Pre and post hospitalization expenses up to 30 and 60 days respectively
  • Ambulance charges
  • Limited cover for hospitalizations in government and /or registered Ayurvedic/Homeopathic and Unani hospitals

Pros:

  • Discount on premium for voluntary excess
  • Family discount
  • Reimbursement of cost of health check up once in every 4 claim-free years
  • The lowest premium among all the health plans

Cons:

  • Waiting periods - Pre-existing diseases covered only after 18 months from the inception of the policy. There is a 30 days initial waiting period, before which no coverage is given
  • 10% loading charges for renewal between age of 81-85 years
  • Exclusions – Expenses incurred on dental treatment, debility, AIDS, cosmetic surgery, vaccination and inoculation, pregnancy and child birth, war, nuclear weapon, etc
  • 20% loading charges for renewal between age of 86- 90 years
  • Additional premium to cover pre-existing conditions like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, from the inception of policy
  • Pre-acceptance health check up required for new entrants. However, the health check is waived for those who are already insured with New India
  • There's no flexibility in the sum assured

The above stated plans are some of the leading health plans available in the market for senior citizens. Someone who relied on employer health policy for all his life and now post retirement left without health coverage, can bank on these insurance options.

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