Are you planning to buy health insurance for your parents? Well, the Indian Insurance market is currently flooded with healthcare plans specifically designed for elderly parents above 50 years. And many insurance providers also offer family floater healthcare plans specifically designed for families consisting of senior citizens.
What is Health Insurance for Parents?
A health insurance policy for parents is a customized plan tailor-made to provide medical coverage to parents. It offers comprehensive coverage against medical ailments that may arise due to old age and may result in large medical expenses. It comes with a higher sum insured and also provides lucrative benefits, such as annual health check-up, cashless treatment, etc. to manage their medical expenses effectively.
There are several health insurance plans that you can consider for your parents that offer coverage for COVID-19 infection as well other serious illnesses that can cost a fortune for the treatment. Over the last one year, specific COVID–19 plans have been introduced for individuals up to the age of 65–years, and you can buy the same for your parents. And during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, specific coronavirus health plans along with senior citizen health plans make sense. The best part is that the coronavirus medical policies do not require pre-medical screening.
However, the options tend to limit down for other health plans, if the age of your parents is more than 50 years. Also, purchasing a family floater mediclaim policy that covers your parents would mean a higher premium depending on the age of the eldest parent. The primary reason is the age vs. health risk metrics. As the age of the parent increases, the risk factor and the probability of filing a claim also rises, thus the higher premium costs.
Why do you Need a Health Insurance Cover for your Parents?
Buying an adequate health insurance cover for your parents is imperative to ensure that they get the best medical treatment without financial worries. Therefore, to buy the best health insurance plan for your parents, you can take into consideration the following parameters-
Health Insurance Coverage
It is important that you go through the policy coverage benefits. Look for some important factors like policy duration, pre and post-hospitalization cover, critical illness cover, daycare procedures, in-patient hospitalization, Ayush treatment, domiciliary hospitalization etc.
Adequate Sum Insured Amount
Since your parents are more vulnerable to health risks considering their age factor, you must opt for a higher sum insured amount. It will ensure that they can get the best treatment available without any financial constraints.
Pre-existing Disease Cover
If your parents have pre-existing medical conditions then it will only be covered after the completion of the waiting period, which is usually 2-4 years. It may vary from one insure to another and as per the plan opted. Make sure that you check the time duration after which the pre-existing diseases will be covered in your family health insurance plan health plan.
It is the percentage of the amount that you will have to pay on your own. The remaining medical expense is paid by the health insurer. For instance, if you have a policy with 20% Co-pay clause, this implies that for a claim of Rs. 10 lakh, you will need to pay Rs 2 Lakh from your own funds while the insurance company pays Rs 8 Lakh as part of the claim. You can also go for a “no co-pay” clause.
Health insurance premium that you pay for your parents is also eligible for tax exemption under section 80 D. If you are paying a premium for yourself and your parents below the age of 60 years, then your total tax benefit limit on health insurance premium is Rs 50,000. And if your parents are above 60 years of age then the limit extends to Rs 75,000. However, this may change as per the applicable tax limits.
What is Covered Under a Health Insurance Policy for your Parents?
Undoubtedly, hospitalization expenses can make a hole in anybody’s pocket. With a health insurance policy you can get insurance cover for the following expenses:
- Hospitalization Expenses- An illness or an accident can lead to exorbitant hospitalization expenses. The cost of hospitalization is touching the roof, and with a comprehensive health insurance policy, you can have your insurer pay for the medical treatment up to the coverage limit.
- Pre and post hospitalization expenses- Health insurance plans also cover medical expenses incurred before and after hospitalization. Usually, it is 30 days and 60 days but it can vary from one insurer to another
- Daycare procedures- Day care treatments like varicose veins surgery, cataract operation that do not require 24-hours of hospitalization are also paid by the insurer. The number of day-care procedures depends on the plan opted
- Ayush Benefits- Nowadays, most of the medical insurance policies cover expenses incurred on Ayush treatment including Ayurveda, homeopathy, Unani, Siddha, etc.
- Pre-existing Illnesses- Pre-existing illnesses are also covered after a waiting period. However, you can choose a plan that has a lower waiting period and provides coverage to maximum illnesses like heart ailments, diabetes etc.
- Major Surgeries– Most of the health insurance plans cover major surgeries involving high medical costs such as bariatric operations, open heart surgeries, etc. you can get your parents admitted in some the best hospitals in India and even abroad ( if the plan permits) and have renowned surgeons do their treatment.
- Renewability- Health insurance plans usually provide a lifetime renewal option and when it’s for your parent’s lifelong renewal is a preferable option.
What is Not Covered in a Health Insurance for your Parents?
It is imperative to have some knowledge of the health insurance cover that policy offers. Below are some of the circumstances under which the insurer shall not cover the medical expenses –
- Any type of pre-existing ailments or injuries
- Any diseases that are diagnosed within 30 days of policy inception
- Any other treatment than allopathy
- Self-inflicted injuries or any type of mental disorders
- Overconsumption of alcohol, intoxication and drug overdose
- Any expenses incurred on the purchase of spectacles, lenses and other external aids
- Any cost of dental treatment (unless it is an accidental case)
- Medical expenses incurred on treatment of HIV/AIDS infection
- Treatment for joint replacement surgeries, after a waiting period of 2 years
- Any type of plastic or cosmetic surgeries
- Treatment for injuries arising due to war conditions, terrorist attacks, act of foreign enemy or army etc.
How to Choose Health Insurance for your Parents?
As there are number of health plans that are available for your elderly parents, it is easier to find the right one based on your needs and requirements. You can either select any of the above-mentioned plans or check-out more senior citizen health plans to ensure that your parents get the best medical treatment in their golden years. Before that here’s a quick rundown of the things that you should consider while purchasing health insurance for your aging parents-
- Maximum Coverage– When you buy health insurance for your parents, it is important that you go through the policy inclusions and limitations. Your parents need a plan that offers coverage against a number of diseases. At this age, they are more prone to critical illnesses, so that should definitely be covered. Make sure that the diseases on your priority list are covered.
- Entry Age – Most of the health insurance policies provide coverage from 55 to 80 years. But there are certain plans whose entry age is above 60 years. Choose a plan that in which entry is allowed at an advanced age and there is no cap to the maximum age limit with lifelong renewability.
- Waiting Period – Pre-existing illnesses are covered after a long waiting period. Choose a plan that has a lower waiting period and provides coverage to maximum illnesses like heart ailments, diabetes etc.
- Compare Different Health Insurance Plans – Undoubtedly, everyone wants to buy best health insurance plan for their parents. But to ensure this, make sure that you explore different health insurance plans available in the market before zeroing down on the final one.
- Network Hospitals – It is important that you go through the list of network hospitals that are in collaboration with the insurer you are picking. Ensure that the reputed hospitals in your vicinity are listed in the plan so that at the time of emergency it is convenient to take them to the hospital.
- Insurance premium: The premium varies with the age of the individual and as the age of the individual grows the premium also increases. This is the reason why premium for a senior citizen health insurance plan is usually higher than a basic health plan. That is why an individual health insurance plan for senior citizens is a better option than a family floater plan.
- Policy Wordings – A health insurance policy document may seem all ‘Greek and Latin’ to you at the first time, but it is important to go through the policy terms and conditions and comprehend the policy thoroughly.