Featured Image Caption: Senior Citizen Medical Assistant | Image Credit: Shutterstock
Medical insurance for senior citizens is a necessary investment. It provides financial protection to your aging parents against the hospital bills in the absence of their income.
With the rising cost of medical bills in India and the risk of COVID-19, a medical insurance policy is a must-have for everyone. It is more critical for someone who has elderly parents. It is an unfortunate reality, but you become more vulnerable to diseases and may have to visit the hospital more often than you like with age. It is advisable to buy medical insurance for senior citizens separately, even if covered under your employer’s group insurance policy.
Let us discuss this in detail below:
What is Senior Citizen Medical Insurance?
Medical insurance for senior citizens is a health plan designed specifically for people over 60 years of age.
When you buy this insurance plan, you are required to pay a specific premium to the insurer, and in return, the insurance provider will pay for the medical expenses that their treatment may incur.
Reasons to buy Medical Insurance for Senior Citizens
When you invest in this insurance, you get the following benefits:
The cashless treatment facility is available at network hospitals across India.
Most of these policies offer you a free look period of at least 15 days that allows you to check and review the policy at your convenience. Use this time to read the fine print and make an informed decision.
Free annual health check-ups
The policy beneficiaries are allowed to take one free health check-up annually as part of their medical insurance.
You can also avail treatment from your home under this policy.
The premium paid towards health insurance plans is eligible for tax deductions u/s 80D of the Income Tax Act.
Tips to Buy the Right Insurance Plan
Now that you know the benefits of buying medical insurance for senior citizens, here are some tips to help you choose the right one:
Check the hospitalization coverage
All health insurance plans will provide in-patient hospitalization as part of the policy benefits. It means that the insurance provider will reimburse the expenses you incur in case if your parents need to be hospitalized. The costs will cover medicines, diagnostic tests, consultation fees, etc.
However, medical insurance for senior citizens may have a sub-limit for some of these expenses. For example, some of these plans may have a sub-limit on the room rent or consultation fees. Therefore, it is important to check for these sub-limits and choose an insurance plan that offers maximum coverage.
Check the policy terms for post-hospitalization coverage limitations
Most insurance companies will compensate you for the expenses incurred after being discharged from the hospital. These expenses include follow-up check-ups, medical tests, postoperative treatment, etc. You may be eligible for compensation for up to 90 days after discharge, as per your policy terms.
However, some insurance companies may only pay you up to 10% of the claimed amount. According to experts like Care Health Insurance, you must always check the policy document for these terms to ensure that you are getting 100% post-hospitalization coverage.
Make sure domiciliary care is included
In some cases, the doctor may recommend at-home treatment for old-age parents. Under this facility, the insurer will cover the costs of doctor’s visits, medicines, nurse expenses, etc. Since this is a common type of treatment option for older patients, be sure to check for this provision in your policy document.
It should include AYUSH treatment
AYUSH, short for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy, is considered as a reliable alternative treatment for old-age people. If your parents prefer AYUSH treatment to the allopathy method, then it is best to look for a plan that covering its costs. It is usually available as an add-on facility, but you can also consider buying one to get maximum coverage.
These are just some of the many things including coverages, exclusions etc., that you need to keep in mind when buying medical insurance for your old parents.