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Government Plans Health Insurance Scheme for Senior Citizens
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Modified 17 January 2019
As they age, senior citizens tend to become more and more dependent on their family and their medical expenses usually rise as well. Without a proper medical insurance, their medical expenses can become a real burden on the family. We all know that the market is flooded with a lot of options for a health insurance policy but the choice tends to become quite limited when it comes to senior citizen health insurance plans. This is primarily due to the age of senior citizens with which a lot of terms and conditions are attached by the medical insurance companies. Thus, making a choice for one requires checking out for various conditions like age limit of the plan, waiting period for the pre-existing condition, plan renewal age and requirement of going for a medical check-up before one can be insured by the health plan.
These conditions even carry on for the family floater plans where they are imposed on other family members too. So, what is the point of talking about all this? Basically, we are here with an objective to help you out in making you aware of a little more choice that is available for senior citizen health insurance plans besides what is already provided to you by the private insurance companies. We are talking about the health insurance plans that are provided by the Indian government especially for the senior citizen. Along with this, we will also talk about the benefits that some popular health insurance plans provided by the private companies. In this article, we will talk about how the government is trying to help out the senior citizens in providing a good health insurance and reducing their problem of medical expenses. So without any further ado, let us get started.
Health Insurance Schemes by Govt for Senior Citizens
Varishtha Mediclaim Policy
Varishtha Mediclaim policy by government is made specifically for the senior citizens between the age of 60 and 80 years to meet the requirements of a senior citizen health insurance scheme. The policy period is only of a year but the renewal of the plan can be made up to the age of 90 years. One Lakh of sum assured is provided for hospitalization and up to 2 Lakh for critical illnesses coverage. Other features of the plan are mentioned below:
- Cost of medicines, drugs, blood, oxygen, diagnosis charges etc. is covered by half of the sum assured.
- Up to 1000 rupees for emergency ambulance charges.
- Treatment of critical medical problems like benign prostatic hyperplasia, cataract ad organ transplant etc. are covered but only up to a pre –specified amount.
- A fourth of the total sum assured is for fees of surgeons, consultants, specialists, medical practitioners etc.
- Coverage for illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, stroke etc. is provided even without hospitalization.
- No waiting period for pre-existing conditions like Diabetes and hypertensions, if an additional premium is paid.
- Post hospitalization charges are covered for the age up to 60 years.
- Under section 80D of Income Tax Act, the premiums of uptoRs.15,000 are al-lowed as deductions.
National Mediclaim Policy
National mediclaim policy is for people within the age range of 18 to 65 years but the policy period is only for a year with a grace period of one month but what makes it relevant for senior citizens is the that it provides the benefit of lifelong renewal to the policy holders. The sum assured is between 50 thousands and 5 Lakh. Below are mentioned all the coverages that are provided by the National Mediclaim policy:
- Over 140 days of day care procedures
- Up to 2000 rupees of ambulance charges
- Physician, surgeon, anaesthetist fees along with room charges, transfusion and injection charges
- First 30 days of accidental coverage
- Medication and tests charges along with blood, oxygen etc.
- Waiting period is 4 years for pre-existing conditions
- Sum assure can be raised on renewal but only up to 5 Lakh and for a claim free year, the sum assured will automatically be raised by 5%
- Cashless treatment facilities are available at a network of over 6000 hospitals spread all over India.
- Tax benefits under section 80D are available on the premiums paid.
Central Government Employees and Pensioners Health Insurance Scheme
This National health insurance scheme is especially for the employees of central government, both newly recruited and the retired one. The sum cover provided under this plan is of 5 Lakh with a minimal premium.
Pre-existing conditions, pre and post hospitalization and maternity benefits are the coverages provided. Besides all the traditional benefits, this plan has some of its exclusive benefits that are not available with a lot of plans in the market like zero initial waiting period for coverage initialization and the pre-existing conditions and even for the major critical illnesses like cataract, diabetes, hernia etc. while most plans carry a waiting period of up to 4 years for the pre-existing conditions and 30 days for the inception of coverage of the insured under the plan.
The term of coverage is for the lifetime until the survival of the insured. Following are other benefits of the plan:
- Reimbursement for the cost of medical apparatus like artificial parts, hearing aids etc.
- Free Specialist and medical practitioner visits at government hospitals.
- OPD treatment and medicinal cost
- Medication and consultation at Siddha, Ayurveda, Unani systems of medicines and homeopathy
- Reimbursement for emergency treatment both at government and private hospitals
- Cashless treatment for the insured and the beneficiaries at diagnostic centres and certain authorized hospitals.
- Additional members can be covered under the plan if a fixed additional is paid per member.
- Policy period is for lifetime even for the beneficiaries.
Popular Health Insurance Plans by Private Companies in the Market
Start Health Senior Citizen Red Carpet
- Minimum entry age under start health senior citizen red carpet plan is 60 years and the maximum age is 75 years with a lifetime renewability feature.
- Sum assured is between the range of 1 lakh upto 5 lakhs with premiums be-tween Rs.4450 and Rs.18000.
Oriental Insurance HOPE
- Health of privileged elder (HOPE) plan by oriental insurance is specifically made for people above the age of 60 years to include both senior citizens and super senior citizens (above 80 years of age) and provides renewability facility for the complete lifetime.
- Sum assured under this plan is between the range of 1 Lakh and 5 Lakh with premiums ranging between Rs.4500 and Rs.29000.
- It is one of the few plans available in the market that carries no upper limit on the age for entry onto the plan.
Bajaj Allianz Silver Health
- The entry age under silver health plan is 46 years and the exit age is 70 years with a cap of 75 years of age on the facility of renewability.
- The sum assured starts from 50 thousand and goes up to 5 Lakh with premium starting from Rs.1995 to Rs.29039 respectively.
Importance of a Health Plan for Senior Citizen
After having been discussing about various senior citizen health insurance plans, if you still feel why there is so much discussion over this, then might not be aware of how important a health plan is for any senior citizen. To start with, would you prefer to be treated as a Burdon on your family in your old age? And this is not the only one; there are several other reasons that make a health plan important for senior citizens. Take a look upon them below:
With old Age Comes a Range of Medical Problems
Even with a very healthy lifestyle, it is very difficult to escape certain medical problems that comes only with the old age and one should not overlook that not a lot of senior citizens have a very healthy lifestyle. So, the problem only increases with this. The point is that as your age goes up, so does the probability of you getting diseases and medical problems. Some of them might not be that serious and expensive to treat but there are surely a lot of them which are neither too easy to treat nor are easy on pocket in which a medical insurance can prove to be a great support for both the sufferer and the family. A health insurance policy provides cover for major critical illnesses too like body part transplant, heart failure or diabetes.
No Worries About Regular Checkups
Continuing from the last point, with the increasing age visits to your doctor become more frequent than the visits to relative’s house and the former ones are not free like the latter ones. Regular doctor visits are essential too because it keeps you aware about your present health condition. It helps in detecting any new problem at the earliest and even helps in maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you can take the necessary steps to take care of your present health state. Now how a health insurance does is helpful in this area. See, every health plan has a network of hospitals under it where the insured people can avail free health checkups on regular basis. Therefore, a health plan eliminates this expense and takes away the worries from the minds of senior citizens in this regard.
A Health Plan Makes you Financially Independent
This point has been discussed more than one time in this article only. What it really means is that nobody is unaware of the sky touching prices of the medical expenses in today’s time and thus, when you are not an earning member of the family, your medical expenses sort of become a burden on the family and you become a liability. Well, nobody wants to be treated like that, instead, in the old age you need more love and care than ever.
Now, in this particular point, the case is not like that it is one of the benefit of any health plan, rather, a health insurance is made to take care of all your medical expenses and thus, the senior citizens need not depend on their family for their medical expenses and they can have all the love and care from their family at this time of their life.
Your Savings might not be Enough to Take Care for You
We saved this one for the last because some of you might be thinking all this while that they can easily take care of all the medical expenses and not even become de-pendent on their family too because they have huge savings for them that they have accumulated since a long time. Let us assume that you have enough savings, even more than what most plans provide cover for. But don’t you think that the money would be better invested in someplace else and there are for sure better places where your money can be used like to be used in financial crisis, paying off large debts or even if no such situations arrives where it can be used, you can give it to your family as a legacy. The total cost of a health plan including all the premiums is way less and if you really have savings, then you can easily afford a health plan without making a big dent on your savings and if not anything, you can use this money to buy your dream car or go on a luxurious holiday.
So, we have read through all the information mentioned above, we have come to know that there are several senior citizen health insurance plans implemented by the government with nominal premiums and exclusive features like no waiting period for CGHS scheme and lifetime renewability. Considering that a health insurance is necessary for every senior citizen, these plans are the steps made in right direction by the Indian government. All in all, we hope that you got some helpful information out of this article if you were looking for a health plan for yourself or someone you know.
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