What Is Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plan

A senior citizen health insurance, as the name suggests, is a medical policy that is specially designed for people aged above 60 years. As per the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) guidelines, every health insurance company in India must offer coverage to all individuals aged up to 65 years.

As people get old, they are at a higher risk of suffering from various ailments and the treatment for some diseases can be expensive. To meet the expenses and get the best medical care, it is paramount that you have a senior citizen health care plan. Senior citizen health insurance plans offer various benefits including cashless hospitalisation, coverage against critical illness, and pre-existing disease cover.

Benefits of Buying Senior Citizen Health Insurance

Apart from providing financial protection against hospital expenses, there are many other benefits of senior citizen health insurance policy such as:

  • Cashless hospitalisation

The insurance companies have tie-ups with a wide network of hospitals across the country. You can seek treatment from any of the hospitals that are part of the insurer’s network and get a cashless claim. In such cases, the insurer will directly settle the bill with the hospital.

  • Ambulance charges

It is another significant benefit of health insurance policy for senior citizens. Most insurance policies cover ambulance charges. Make sure to read the policy documents to know the exact limit of ambulance cover.

  • Tax benefit

A lot of people invest in a health insurance policy for tax-saving purposes. The premium you pay towards the health insurance for senior citizen is subject to tax deduction under Section 80D of the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961.

  • Coverage for day care treatment

It is the general notion that insurance claim can be filed only after 24-hour hospitalisation. But there are many plans that also cover day care expenses; you can get reimbursement for various medical treatment that doesn’t require you to get admitted in a hospital.

  • Pre and post-hospitalisation cover

Apart from reimbursing the expenses incurred while you are hospitalised, the best health insurance for senior citizens also compensates for the expenses incurred before you get hospitalised and during the recuperation after getting discharged from the hospital.

What are the exclusions of senior citizen health insurance plan?

Just like any other health care policy, the senior citizen plans are subject to some exclusions. While the exclusions differ from insurer to insurer and based on the type of plan you purchase, here some general exclusions.

  • There is no health insurance for senior citizens that offers coverage against diseases contracted in 30 days of buying the policy.
  • Most insurance companies do not offer compensation for any alternative treatment methods such as ayurvedic medicine, homoeopathy or any other non-allopathy treatment.
  • The treatment cost for any health condition that may occur due to drug abuse or alcohol consumption is not covered. Also, most medical policies do not cover expenses related to self-inflicted injuries.
  • Any injury that occurs due to an act of terrorism, nuclear explosion or war.

Important Things to Consider While Buying Health Insurance for Senior Citizens

Over the years, with the advancements in healthcare technology and the invention of new treatment methods, the life expectancy of an average Indian has increased significantly. At the same time, the cost of treatment has also increased manifold. In such a situation, senior citizens who don’t have a stable source of income find it difficult to afford quality health care. This is where having a health insurance cover is beneficial. You must consider these tips if you are buying a senior citizen health insurance for yourself or your old-aged parents-

  • Opt for a higher sum insured

While buying a health insurance policy, you must consider the medical inflation and choose a higher sum insured to get full protection against medical uncertainties.

  • Take note of the waiting period

Considering the age of the senior citizens, it best to look for an insurance plan that has the lowest waiting period for a pre-existing cover.

  • Renewal age

While comparing health insurance plans for senior citizens, look for a policy that has the maximum renewal age in order to get protection for a maximum period.

  • Network hospitals

Choose an insurer that has the higher number of network hospitals, especially in your locality. In the event of a medical emergency, you can avail cashless hospitalisation in any of the network hospitals in your vicinity.

  • Co-payment

Most insurance companies offer senior citizen health insurance with a co-payment option, which means you must bear some part of the expense. The percentage of co-payment varies from insurer to insurer. Choose a plan that has the lowest mandatory co-payment to get maximum coverage.

Buying a senior citizen health care plan is the most definitive way to get financial protection against medical emergencies. Make sure that you study the different insurance companies and their plans and choose the best policy that has an affordable premium and meets your requirements.