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Essential Tips for Choosing a Health Insurance Policy for Senior Citizens
Medical insurance is a must for everyone but assumes an even higher priority for senior citizens. Healthcare costs are escalating wildly, and it is usually not possible to bear the cost of emergency treatment on one’s own when you are retired. Income from pension, savings and other investments done when young can quickly dry up as the need for special care increases with age.
Getting quality healthcare becomes increasingly important as one ages, but ironically, it is also more difficult to find a policy that offers decent cover. A senior citizen health insurance policy can help fill this gap as they are designed keeping in mind the healthcare needs and requirements of elders. Such policies tend to be more expensive than regular health insurance policies, but one is assured of coverage of a lot of common issues and illnesses associated with old age.
There is a huge demand for health insurance for senior citizens, and a lot of policies from various insurers exist in the market. These are meant for people between the ages of 65 and 80, the age group that is not covered by regular health insurance policies. New regulations allow people to extend their regular policy to cover an extended period and even change insurance providers. The rising competition in the market is good news for the consumer and presents a lot of options for them. It is easy to get lost in a sea of jargon and technicalities when buying such a policy. A few essential tips should help an individual choose the policy that best suits their needs.
• Cover: Carefully evaluate what is and what is not covered. Many conditions are more common in the elderly. Some of these conditions like hypertension can lead to other problems. Try to look for a policy that covers as many conditions as possible, if not all. Choosing the cheapest policy will generally mean poor coverage. Also note that certain conditions are not covered, just like regular health insurance policies, but the list may be longer for senior citizens. These include cosmetic surgery, STDs and AIDS, etc.
• Entry-Exit Age and Maximum Renewal Age: Entry age refers to the minimum age for an individual to qualify for a policy. Most insurers have it at 60 or 65. At the same time, many policies do not allow renewal after a certain age. This is usually 90, but may be as low as 70 for some policies. It is better to choose a policy that offers lifelong renewal
• Co-Payment: Co-payment means that the patient pays a percentage or a fixed amount of the costs whenever there is a claim. This can significantly lower the premium cost. However, it is important to strike a balance and opt for a percentage or amount that you will be able to afford in an emergency.
• Waiting Periods: While it is a no brainer, the waiting period is often not given its due importance. Always pick a policy with the lowest waiting period possible.
• No-Claim Bonus: Some policies allow you to claim a bonus at the end of a year if no claim was made. This can lower the premium cost, but is not widely available.
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Suggestinsurance.com is the online identity for IRDAI approved insurance broker – S B Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd. On SuggestInsurance.com we offer quotes from leading insurance companies and let the customer explore the insurance plans, get their details, view and study brochure and other documents, compare features and benefits of these plans side by side and then take a decision.
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