Committing mistakes is a part and parcel of life but we must learn from our mistakes. When we grow up, we tend to forget that our parents are also becoming older with each passing day. During their younger days, there is a possibility that they might not have opted for life insurance. Even if your parents would have opted for insurance, they may not have complete visibility.
As a responsible and caring son/daughter, it is your responsibility to check whether your parents have insurance coverage. They have worked hard to make sure that you have a comfortable life and this is your chance to give back something in return. It is a gesture that they would remember for the rest of their lives.
Senior citizens should enjoy their second childhood. Having health insurance for senior citizens makes this experience possible they no longer have to worry about the costs associated with medical treatment.
Policy for senior citizens has different coverage options and thorough research needs to be done before zeroing on a policy. You should have a look at your parent’s profile, health, known medical conditions, etc. before presenting them this gift for stress-free living.
There are several health insurance providers in the market offering different types of health insurance plans for parents and senior citizens. You have to carefully evaluate the insurance company and their plans before choosing any health insurance plan for your parents.
It is important to be aware of the rules that are set by IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) that has given a clear mandate to the insurance companies under which new health insurance plans for senior citizens can be purchased up to the age of at least 65 years.
As per the rules devised by IRDAI, no insurer can refuse the renewal of a health insurance policy held by senior citizens except on the grounds of fraud, moral hazards, or misinterpretation.
The other important rules set by IRDAI for insurers (or insurance providers) about health insurance for senior citizens are:
- A rejection of a proposal for issuance of providing health insurance for senior citizens should be in writing along with the major rejection reasons.
- Senior citizens should be provided the flexibility to change their TPA (Third-Party Administrator) wherever practicable.
- At least 50 percent of the costs involved in the pre-medical examination should be reimbursed with the risk being accepted by the insurance provider.
Many insurance providers claim to offer the best insurance plans for parents & senior-citizens but you should always perform a detailed review of the plans. You can also refer to insurance aggregator websites but do not be biased with what is posted on the sites!
The best health insurance plans for parents will cover the following aspects:
- Age Extension – As your parents grow old, there are possibilities that medical expenses might increase. Hence, choose an insurance plan that allows maximum age extension.
- Pre-Existing Ailments – Before choosing an insurance policy for your parents, you must keep a note of their known or pre-existing ailments. A thorough analysis of your parent’s profile will give this information. When choosing an insurance plan for parents & senior citizens, always have a look at the exclusions in the policy application.
- Critical Disease Coverage – Immune systems weaken with growing age and there is a growing threat of diseases. Always check whether critical or terminal disease coverage is a part of the insurance plan since no one wants that their parents are not provided appropriate healthcare due to certain pointers in the insurance policy.
Some of the other factors that have to be considered when choosing the best health insurance plan for parents:
It is a known fact that higher the insurance premium, higher is the coverage. When choosing the insurance plan, you should always check whether the cover offers more than basic hospitalization, pre-hospitalization, and post-hospitalization expenses.
The thumb rule is that there should not be any compromise on the treatment of your parents and you get the best value for your money.
Imagine a situation where you require a huge sum for your parent’s treatment in the middle of the night. It looks scary, isn’t it? Before shortlisting an insurance plan, always have a detailed look at the network of hospitals covered under the plan. Also, check which hospitals under their network offer cashless benefits.
As stated earlier, IRDAI mandates that at least 50% of the charges incurred in the pre-insurance medical investigation test needs to be paid by the insurer. Health insurance plans for parents & senior citizens usually have a co-payment clause.
Always look for an insurance plan that offers the best deal as far as such charges are concerned.
Another advantage of choosing the best health insurance for parents is that many plans offer NCB (No-Claim Benefits) in case your parent’s health is in good shape during the insurance period. So, choose a plan that even rewards when the insured person is keeping good health.
Irrespective of the benefits offered via NCB, you should always have a close look at the claim process and choose an insurance provider that has a friction less claim process. At the end of the day, you want the claim process takes minimum time so that you can focus on your parent’s health.
There is a general exclusion list whose costs are not covered in any insurance plan:
- Cosmetic surgery
- Dental treatment
- Treatment for AIDS
- Expenses occurred due to drug abuse
- Non-allopathic treatment
- Expenses incurred during the treatment of self-inflicted injuries
Apart from these major factors, you should always check if there are any hidden clauses with the policy. As parents may need to be hospitalized in certain cases, always opt for an insurance plan that covers the maximum amount of the costs incurred in day-care procedures.
Buying an insurance policy for your parents is easy as you can buy an insurance policy online as well as offline by consulting a financial advisor. In any case, health insurance plans for parents and senior citizens is the best gift that you can give at their age.