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Senior Citizen Health Insurance – The Need & Importance

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Jul 05 2023

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During their working years, many people prioritise wealth creation. In the process, some of them sacrifice health. During their golden years and retirement, they sacrifice their earned wealth to regain health. With senior citizen health insurance, you can protect your savings meant for retirement from getting used up for paying hospitalisation bills. In this article, we will understand what senior citizen health insurance is, its need and importance, and how to avail of it.

What is senior citizen health insurance?

It is a health insurance policy specifically designed for senior citizens, as the name suggests. It is designed keeping in mind the health needs of elderly people. Some of the features of some senior citizen health insurance policies include shorter waiting periods for pre-existing illnesses, OPD coverage, regular health check-ups, etc. However, the inclusions of these features, and the related terms and conditions, will vary across different health insurance policies.

The need and importance of senior citizen health insurance

Some of the reasons why we need senior citizen health insurance include the following:

1) Customised offering

The health insurance needs of different categories of individuals, like children, adults, and senior citizens, are different. At ManipalCigna Health Insurance, with a senior citizens health insurance policy, we provide a customised solution to senior citizens that takes care of their health needs.

2) Increasing life expectancy

With the progress in medical science and other fields, human life expectancy has increased, which is good. But the retirement age has stayed constant at 60 years. With a longer life expectancy, senior citizens have to sustain themselves for longer than before. In such a scenario, medical insurance for senior citizens helps them protect their retirement savings against hospitalisation bills arising from any illness.

3) High medical inflation

The cost of hospitalisation and the various medical procedures has grown rapidly in the last few years. If a senior citizen undergoes a complicated surgery or prolonged hospitalisation, the bill can run into lakhs of Rupees. In such a scenario, mediclaim for senior citizens can be very useful. In future also, medical inflation is expected to grow at a higher rate than the average inflation rate. Hence, the need for senior citizen health insurance.

4) Regular health check-ups and doctor consultations

During old age, due to lower immunity, senior citizens are vulnerable to viral/bacterial infections, digestive issues, body aches, etc. These require regular doctor consultations, diagnostic tests, and medication which can burn a hole in the senior citizen's pocket. Similarly, senior citizens need regular full body health check-ups to monitor their health against diseases during old age.

Some senior citizen health insurance plans provide inbuilt/optional add-on/rider benefits like OPD coverage, annual health check-up, etc. Senior citizens can buy these health insurance plans and avail of the benefits.

5) Termination of employer’s health insurance plan

Some employers provide health insurance to their employees through a group health insurance plan. However, once you retire from your job, the employer's health insurance coverage usually ends. In such a scenario, you must purchase your own senior citizen health insurance plan.

In the above section, we understood the need and importance of senior citizen health insurance. An important additional benefit of senior citizen health insurance is its tax benefits. The premium paid for health insurance is eligible for deduction from taxable income under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. If the insured is a senior citizen (60 years or above), the maximum deduction allowed in a financial year is the premium paid or Rs. 50,000, whichever is lower.

Choosing the best health insurance for senior citizens

While choosing a senior citizen health insurance plan, consider your specific needs regarding features required, the sum assured, the premium paying capacity, etc. MCHI offers ManipalCigna Prime Senior, a specialised senior citizen health insurance plan. The salient features of this plan include:

1) Coverage for pre-existing diseases from the 91st day: The usual waiting period for covering pre-existing diseases under this plan is 24 months of continuous coverage from the date of policy inception. However, you can avail of an option to reduce the waiting period for pre-existing diseases to just 90 days by paying the applicable additional premium for this cover. The feature is a boon for senior citizens with pre-existing disease(s).

2) Unlimited restoration of sum insured: As per this feature, 100% of the sum assured will be restored; any number of times in a policy year, whether for related or unrelated illnesses. It ensures senior citizens never run out of health insurance coverage. The restored amount can be used for future claims and shall not apply to the first claim. For a single claim, the maximum amount payable will be a total of the sum assured, the cumulative bonus (if any), and the restored sum assured.

3) Preventive health check-ups: The insured can avail of the preventive health check-up benefit to keep a tab on any illness that may be developing. When an illness is diagnosed in the initial stage, treating it is relatively easier than treating it at an advanced stage. The frequency of the health check-up, the maximum amount allowed, etc., depends on the plan variant bought and the sum assured.

4) Unlimited tele-consultations: The insured can consult medical practitioner(s) through MCHI's network in India. The consultations can be done through tele and/or chat mode.

5) OPD coverage: You can include OPD coverage through the ManipalCigna Health 360 – OPD Rider. You can choose a package that covers doctor consultations, diagnostic tests, and prescription medicines. These medical expenses that do not require hospitalisation can be covered through OPD benefit. The OPD rider is an optional benefit that can be added by paying the requisite premium.

The ManipalCigna Prime Senior Plan is offered in 2 variants: Classic and Elite. Some of the features include:

Feature

Classic

Elite

Sum assured

Rs. 3 lakhs to 50 lakhs

Rs. 5 lakhs to 50 lakhs

Pre-hospitalisation expenses

Covered for up to 30 days

Covered for up to 60 days

Post-hospitalisation expenses

Covered for up to 60 days

Covered for up to 90 days

Restoration of sum assured

Not available

Unlimited restoration, whether for related/unrelated illnesses

Domestic second opinion

Not available

Available for 36 listed critical illnesses

Health check-up

Once after every claim-free year, available from 2nd policy year onwards

Available each policy year, annually from 1st policy year onwards

Reduction in pre-existing disease (PED) waiting period

Option to reduce PED waiting period to 90 days

Option to reduce PED waiting period to 90 days

 

The above are just some of the features available under the 2 variants. For the complete list, you can check the ManipalCigna Prime Senior page.

Senior citizen health insurance: Eliminate illness-related stress and enjoy retirement

The ManipalCigna Prime Senior is a comprehensive health solution for senior citizens. It provides adequate hospitalisation coverage with the unlimited restoration of sum assured, OPD coverage, health check-ups, etc., to prevent, manage, and treat illness. If you are a senior citizen, you may buy the plan for yourself. If you are a young or middle-aged individual, you may buy the plan for your parents. A senior citizen health insurance plan helps eliminate all illness-related worries and enjoy your golden years to the fullest extent.