It is imperative for us to get covered by health insurance, especially during this time. More importantly, if your elderly parents are not covered under a policy, it is time to get them insured.
Rakesh Goyal, Director of Probus Insurance, says, “Having a health cover ensures that your parents get the finest treatment during medical emergencies without the need of financial worries. Considering the age factor, your parents are more vulnerable to various health issues or illnesses, and getting a high insured plan for them can make the treatment process relaxing without any financial constraints.”
Most salaried people usually depend on their employer-provided health plans, and do not get an additional health plan. Hence, after retirement, these people are left without a separate health cover. But it is important for the retired and the senior citizens to get covered by a policy, especially because they are the ones with high chances of getting a host of health problems. Additionally, with the steep rise in healthcare costs, without a health insurance policy, it could leave a hole in your pocket.
While buying a policy, note that if your parents have any kind of pre-existing diseases, then those diseases would also be covered after a specific period (waiting period). This would help you to save on the heavy expenses on the treatment of these pre-existing diseases, post the waiting period. The waiting period varies from insurer to insurer.
Also, there are certain health insurance plans that not just cover the hospitalization charges but also cover various other expenses such as medicines, tests, periodic health check-ups, ambulance costs, day-care surgeries, etc. This coverage definitely adds some ease to your pocket.
You also enjoy tax benefits wherein the health insurance premium that you pay for your parents is qualified for deduction under Section 80D.
Things to consider while buying a policy
Factors that one must consider while looking for a health insurance policy is selecting the right insurance amount, checking the network hospitals, seeing if the coverage is adequate as per the age of the family members, understanding the waiting period (if any).
Goyal adds, “One must also research on the claim settlement history of the insurer (from where the policy is to be purchased). Also, check if the plan comes with other additional factors such as maternity benefits, free medical check-ups, No Claim Bonus (NCB), co-payment option, etc.”
Points to consider while choosing the right policy:
- Health history of your parents – For senior citizens, it is suggested to disclose all previous health-related diseases along with any ongoing health issue, symptoms, and diseases that are not formally diagnosed. Also, before looking into insurance policies it is better to have an idea of the medical state of your parent’s so that you can get the policy that provides relevant coverage. Additionally, try to keep your parent’s health history handy, so that when a claim arises, you are able to produce it.
- Sum insured – The sum insured of a policy should be decided after considering factors such as medical inflation and the health of the parents. It is better to take time and decide the policy sum insured as once the policy is issued and comes into effect, it gets difficult to increase the sum insured. Hence, experts say the sum insured should be chosen assuming an inflation rate of 7 to 10 per cent annually.
- Parameters of a policy – Evaluate policies based on a few parameters, such as co-pay, room rent limits, treatment limits, surgery, etc. There are plans which will have a lower premium but based on the aforementioned parameters you should choose your policy. Usually, most policies with a low premium have various restrictions that limit the usage of the policy significantly. Hence, it is better to read the terms and conditions of the policy wordings carefully to understand the applicable limitations of the policy.
- Disclosures – Give all correct information while filling up the proposal form for an insurance policy. You need to give your parents personal details while filling up the proposal form such as their health status and history. Then once the insurer analyses the application, you could also get a call to explain more about your parent’s health conditions. Insurer generally asks such policyholders to undergo a medical check-up, depending on which the insurer can either issue a policy, increase the premium, or, can also decline the application. Also, not disclosing all health conditions could lead to claim rejection during a crucial time.