Life expectancy is increasing and so are medical expenses, the income after retirement is dwindling, surplus money is also decreasing due to inflation and unforeseen expenses.
Among some of the companies that offer health policies for senior citizens are National Insurance, Oriental Insurance, New India, United Insurance, Apollo Munich, and Max Bupa.
Age- Many PSU companies offer Mediclaim for senior citizens between 60 – 80 years, though many of them limit the age at 69 years – so once you cross 69 years you are no longer eligible. Others like Max Bupa and Apollo Munich have no age limits.
Renewal- The age limit for policy renewal is usually 90 years but may differ from one company to the next.
Pre-existing Illnesses- When a person has a pre-existing illness, the policy will cover this illness only after a wait period of 1-2 years. This again differs policy to policy.
Premium- Premiums are generally on the higher side at this age as the risk is very high. An extra premium is usually charged for pre-existing disease – this is to cover the additional risk.
Sum Assured- The sum assured is usually not very high and Public insurers offer a cover of Rs. 1 -2 lakhs which is low, as medical costs are soaring. Private Insurers offer Rs. 15-20 lakhs under family floaters – but the premium and co-payments are high.
Co-payment- This is the fixed percentage of the total bill on the claim to be paid by the person insured. This is defined in the policy at the time of purchase. The usual co-payment is 10% - 20% though some companies can charge 40%.
No Claim Bonus- When you do not make any claims for two consequent years the sum assured is increased by 5%. Again this differs from company to company.
What are the points you should consider when you buy a senior citizen cover for yourself or your parents?
Choose a policy that lets you renew it to the maximum extent.
A policy should offer a good cover – within the budget. The policy should also cover critical illness plan and pre-existing illness. Some companies cover pre-existing illness only after one year. It will be beneficial to look for a policy that will cover with a lesser or no waiting period.
Choose a policy with a higher sum assured as medical expenses are rising.