Senior Citizen Health Insurance: 5 Things to Consider Before Decidingread
Jan 09 20232914 Views
Between April 2020 and December 2020, the share of medical insurance plans purchased by senior citizens between the age of 60 and 80 in India was 15% of the total population. However, the share for comparatively younger people (18-40 years of age) was 45%, thrice the figure for the elderly. Even today, several senior citizens suffer from various critical conditions but are not insured to cover the cost of their treatment. As per a recent survey by Help Age India, as many as 67% of the respondents had no health insurance coverage. This shows that health insurance awareness for the elderly is low in India. So, let's talk about senior citizen health insurance and its importance and learn five essential things to look for to make an informed decision before purchasing a senior citizen health plan.
What Is Senior Citizen Health Insurance?
Health insurance plans for senior citizens offer coverage of medical costs for individuals older than 56. These plans are created specifically to provide financial assistance to the elderly when they have a medical exigency. Most of these plans cover pre-existing health conditions.
The elderly are most sensitive to illnesses which could amplify their medical expenses. After retirement, they face financial and health-related issues and, therefore, need protection extended by medical insurance. Thus, the IRDAI has instructed insurance providers to set at least 65 as the highest eligible age to avail of health insurance plans. Some senior citizen health plans by ManipalCigna have a maximum entry age of 75. These policies ensure that the insured stays protected from unpredictable and high medical costs and has a safety cushion to fall back on during tough times.
Almost all plans cover a wide range of health conditions. Therefore, certain factors must be considered when choosing the best policy for senior citizens.
#1 – Waiting Period
This is the period for which the insured must wait before they can avail the benefits of the health plans. It starts from the date on which the policy is issued. The policyholder can't claim insurance benefits during this period. Therefore, it is vital to check the waiting period of the chosen health insurance policy for senior citizens. At ManipalCigna, health plans for senior citizens have:
- An initial waiting period of 30 days
- Specific ailments waiting period of 24 months
- Critical illness waiting period of 90 days
Note that some plans by ManipalCigna allow the Pre-Existing Diseases Waiting Period to be reduced from 24 months to 90 days, subject to terms and conditions.
#2 - Pre-Existing Conditions
A pre-existing condition is an illness that a policyholder has before buying a health insurance plan.
As we age, we become more prone to falling ill. This must be addressed, especially when purchasing health insurance for senior citizens. So, remember all the hereditary diseases and pre-existing conditions you have. Then check the whole list of medical conditions covered by the chosen senior citizen health insurance scheme before you purchase it. It's good if the list is long. Coverage for most listed conditions usually commences after one year of the plan's purchase.
#3 - Inclusions and Exclusions (Both Medical and Non-Medical)
Most importantly, you should know what the chosen medical policy for senior citizens includes and excludes under its coverage. Knowledge about this is needed to make a claim. You can learn about all the medical and non-medical inclusions and exclusions of the health policy in its documents. Ensure to go through them carefully before buying the plan.
Here are the inclusions under ManipalCigna's medical insurance for senior citizens:
- In-patient hospitalization expenses
- Ambulance cover
- Pre-hospitalization expenses
- Post-hospitalization expenses
- Daycare treatment
- Domiciliary treatment
- Donor expenses
- AYUSH cover
- Health maintenance benefit
- Worldwide emergency cover
- Second opinion on listed critical illnesses
Below are the optional covers of the ManipalCigna senior citizen policy:
- Hospital daily cash
- Cumulative bonus booster
- Voluntary co-payment
- Waiver of mandatory co-payment
- Critical illness cover
ManipalCigna's health insurance for old age has the following exclusions:
- Diseases contracted within 30 days of signing up for the health plan
- Dental treatment in cases related to an accident
- Cosmetic Surgery
- Diseases contracted in times of nuclear attacks or war
- Injuries due to breach of law
- Suicide attempt
- Treatment for alcohol addiction or drug abuse
- Unproven treatment
#4 - Covers, Riders, Co-Payment, Sum Insured, Annual Health Check-up and Alternative Treatments
You must understand the type and amount of coverage your elderly parents need. For that, consider factors like their health concerns, medical requirements, and medical history.
Also, consider the kinds of riders your parents would prefer and choose a senior citizen policy accordingly. After that, based on their financial condition, choose a suitable amount of sum insured.
The best health insurance plans for senior citizens have the option of co-payment. This feature determines how much money the insured might need to pay from their pocket. So, it's good to pick a plan with the lowest co-pay to ensure your parents do not need to dip into their life savings.
Remember to check whether the chosen plan covers annual health check-ups and alternative treatments like AYUSH. Regular check-ups can identify many health conditions in their early stages and help treat them in time. Alternative treatments are helpful when traditional methods can't help cure a particular ailment.
ManipalCigna offers coverage of up to ₹3 crores at affordable premiums. Moreover, all the health insurance policies for senior citizens above 60 come with helpful riders, low co-payments, and coverage for annual health check-ups and alternative treatments. In fact, 30,000+ health check-ups are availed by the insured every year.
#5 - Network of Hospitals for Cashless Facilities
The benefit of receiving treatment at a network hospital of the insurer is that the policyholder need not spend from his own pocket to pay the medical expenses. The insurance provider bears all the hospital bills and settles them directly with the network hospital. It's good if the insurer has an extensive network of cashless hospitals so the insured can avail treatment at any part of the county and get easy access to nearby hospitals in the case of emergencies.
ManipalCigna has 8500+ network hospitals and 18,000+ hospitals for cashless outpatient services.
It is the right time to opt for the best medical insurance policy for senior citizens to cover the healthcare expenses of your elderly parents. You can choose from individual coverage and family floater policy and, whenever needed, add to the cover with top-up and super top-up health insurance for senior citizens.