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Compare and Buy Best Senior Citizen Plan for your Parents

We have all heard that, “Age is just a number.” But to the insurance companies, it’s much more than that. To them, the older you are, the greater your medical needs will be, and hence, health insurance costs will be higher. 

For this very reason, we have specially designed insurance plans to address the varying needs of senior citizens and provide financial as well as medical coverage. All you have to do is diligently analyze your needs, and compare and buy the best senior citizen plans for your parents. 

So what should the comparison parameters be? Here’s listing the top pointers to consider: 

  • Coverage
  • Inflation
  • Age
  • Expenditure
  • Lifestyle assistance
  • Plan features

Meaning of Senior Citizen Plan

The insurance sector offers various coverage plans that provide financial safety to individuals that are aging and may face issues shortly. The plan offered is the Senior Citizens Insurance policy. 

These policies are more focused, or have a target audience of people belonging to the elder age group, especially for individuals aged above 60 years. It helps them be safe and secure thereby, stress-free.

One can opt for such a plan for their parents at a much younger age too. 

Paying for treatment costs from the individual’s hard-earned money and turning all savings into expenses is not fair, and thus, senior citizen health insurance allows you to be stress-free about the future and relax in your old age. 

What is the need for a senior citizen health insurance plan?

The introduction of such a policy has a purpose. The reason behind the requirement of this plan is:

  1. Coverage – The coverage by regular health insurance and a senior citizen plan varies, and thus you need to understand the difference. Regular insurance plans do not provide adequate coverage for the diseases that may be faced by individuals in a later stage of their life. Even though regular plans may not seem to be enough, one shall add a senior citizen plan along with the existing policy to have optimal coverage. 
  2. Inflation – With the rapid increase in the medical sector due to rapid research and development, the expenses one will have to incur for getting quality treatment will go up thereby, being unaffordable. Having a high sum assured and various diseases being covered under the senior citizen insurance plan helps at a later stage and works in your best interest.
  3. Age – It is advisable for not only senior citizens but for everyone that you need to purchase health insurance at an early stage of your life. It helps to receive the benefits of paying lesser premiums and higher coverage together. Early bird gets the worm, logic is applied in this case. On the insurer’s side, a specific age limit is applied to the policies being issued. Senior citizen’s plan usually mentions an entry age of 60 years, and the maximum age until the purchase of the policy is 75 years of age. 
  4. Expenditure – It has been noticed that the medical expenses required for a senior citizen are 3.8 times higher than that of a young person. To protect oneself from these expenses, it is important to get senior citizen health insurance. If you use your savings to pay these expenses, you may end up spending all your money and thereby becoming bankrupt which no one wishes for, thereby increase in the requirement of such a policy. 
  5. Better assistance – As we grow older, and retire we tend to have less work. A quote mentions that having an idle mind can make a person miserable. Due to lesser work, senior citizens tend to suffer from depression, obesity, and lack of physical activity. Senior citizen insurance plans offer benefits such as providing health-related advice, diet, fitness regime, and more. Such activities allow senior citizens to stay distracted.

Senior Citizen Insurance Plan Features

The general features comprise:

  1. In-patient hospitalization – 

The policy issuer provides coverage in case the insured undergoes an emergency and is hospitalized. The expenses are borne by the insurance company. The two methods of filing a claim are cashless and reimbursement facility. To opt for a cashless facility, you need to admit yourself to a hospital that lies within the network of the insurance company. In case you cannot reach the network hospital, get yourself admitted to any hospital and then make use of the reimbursement option by providing the necessary proofs required while filing a claim.

  1. Pre- and post-hospitalization – 

The various tests conducted before getting yourself treated and being demanded by the doctors are considered to be pre-hospitalization expenses. Once you are treated but require constant medical attention and have doctor’s appointments and medicines that are to be consumed post-discharge are also covered under post-hospitalization expenses.

  1. Tax exclusion – 

A person purchasing the senior citizen health insurance plan can enjoy tax benefits of between INR 30,000 to INR 50,000 under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. 

  1. Pre-existing diseases – 

To cover pre-existing ailments under this plan it is required that you need to serve a waiting period. The term of the waiting period varies per ailment that you need to get covered. While choosing a plan, one shall look out for policies that have lesser waiting periods.

  1. Pre-medical check-up – 

Most senior citizen insurance plans do not ask for pre-medical check-ups. Although one shall remember that such tests work better in their benefit because it helps the insurer get a clearer picture about the amount of risk they are dealing with. In case of no pre-medical tests, the insurance company may tend to charge a higher premium to safeguard themselves.

  1. Claim procedure – 

The company you have chosen shall be customer-friendly or claim-friendly. It means that the procedure for filing a claim and the settlement ratio needs to work for the benefit of the customers. 

  1. Co-payment – 

The clause of co-payment was introduced with the motive of letting customers realize the unnecessary expenses they are making. Under this clause, a certain percentage or a pre-decided amount is set that the customer has to pay in case they file a claim. Once they have done their bit, the insurance company will be borne the majority of expenses incurred. While purchasing a policy, one shall lookout for such a clause and choose a plan that has lower co-payment terms. 

Comparison

Whenever we go to a market, do we directly pick out the first thing at the given price? No, we tend to compare prices, find the same thing in different variants, bargain, and follow the entire procedure before making the final decision working in your interest. 

In the same way, while choosing an insurance policy you need to find out the best one that helps you. To do that, you need to go step-by-step. 

  1. First, you need to acknowledge your requirements or identify them
  2. Begin to understand the working of insurance
  3. Learn the basic terms. Do your homework
  4. View policies based on the goodwill of the company
  5. Shortlist and start comparing 

For comparing various plans, you can take help from online websites that are mainly involved in that business. You can also contact a broker for a clearer picture. Websites like policy bazaar and insurancedekho help in comparing various senior citizen insurance policies online easily. 

”FAQs:

I have my parents covered under a family insurance plan; do I need to purchase senior citizen policies for them? Why?

It is advantageous to purchase a separate senior citizen health insurance plan for your parents. The reason being that having a common insurance plan can lead to an increase in the premiums payable. The insurance premium is decided based on various aspects such as the age of the insured, pre-existing diseases, family history is also taken into consideration. As your parents are aged, the premium chargeable for them will increase thereby leading to an overall rise in the cost. Also having a separate insurance plan helps your parents enjoy the various benefits offered by the insurance company.

Is the Group insurance plan adequate for my parents?

No, the coverage offered by a group insurance plan is not adequate for your parents. As they grow elder, they are more prone to fall prey to various diseases. The sum insured in a group insurance plan is very low to cover various expenses associated to get them treated. Having a personal insurance plan helps you from not paying money from your pocket in case of emergencies.

Should I buy money-back or a health insurance plan?

Both the policies have their benefit. The final decision depends upon the situation you are in. It means if you have financial security and require to cover your medical expenses only then, opting for a senior citizen health insurance plan will interest you. On the other hand, if you need to save money for your retirement then you can invest in retirement or money back plans that will serve the purpose of providing an income to you. The solution may be unique to every person viewing the problem. Although having financial security along with insurance coverage is equally important. However, as a matter of policy it is always better in the interest of financial planning to keep your investments and your insurance risk coves distinct.

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