“Old Age Needs So Little But Needs That Little So Much” – Margaret Willour
Parents in India often give their best to their children. Whether it is protection, education or upbringing of their child, words fall short of describing their sacrifices. They do so at the cost of their comfort & convenience to ensure a good life for their children.
No matter what they do, children can never repay the debt to their parents. But they can do a lot to ease the parents’ burden, especially in the sunset years. Many senior citizens have no regular source of income to support themselves. The problem gets compounded if they have any health issues troubling them.
Old parents no doubt need your love & care. That is necessary but not sufficient. With rapidly changing lifestyles, diseases are common and may become life-threatening as your parents’ age. A sudden hospitalization may set you back by a few lakhs. So it is imperative to buy an excellent medical insurance.
Choosing Health Insurance Plans for Parents
There are innumerable companies in India offering a plethora of health insurance plans. It is quite a tedious task to choose the best amongst them. However, there are certain factors that you must look into before signing up. They are –
- Age Limit
Please ensure that the policy explicitly covers senior citizens (60+ years), as insurance companies often have special terms for them. Check the maximum age up to which health cover is provided. The higher the age, the better the plan. Please keep a tab on the premium amount, as health coverage costs typically rise with age due to higher risk factors.
- Amount of Insurance Coverage
It is essential to have an adequate amount of medical insurance policy coverage to ensure quality care for your parents. With skyrocketing medical expenses, even a week in the hospital can leave a large hole in your pocket. If the hospital bill is Rs.5 lakh, but the insurance coverage is just Rs.2 lakh, you will have to shell out the balance of Rs.3 lakh out of your pocket. You can avoid this situation of under insurance by taking a mediclaim policy that gives optimal coverage.
- Cover for Pre-Existing Illness
Generally, health insurance companies do not provide coverage for diseases that exist before the policy date. If your parents already have specific ailments before buying a mediclaim, there is a waiting period of 1-4 years, after which they shall get coverage for such illnesses. Choose a medical insurance policy for parents with the lowest waiting period. Check with the insurer for exact details.
- Critical Diseases Coverage
Serious diseases such as cancer, heart problems & kidney ailments can be devastating to the family on emotional & financial levels. Surgeries & prolonged medication can get prohibitively expensive and ruin your financial condition. By opting for a critical illness rider, you get a lump sum amount when such a disease has been diagnosed. This coverage is recommended when your family has a long history of ailments.
Exclusions refer to health conditions that a health insurance policy shall not cover, and you will not be paid or reimbursed for the same: E.g. pregnancy-related complications, cosmetic surgeries, dental treatments, mental health issues and self-inflicted injuries. Please read the policy document carefully for a complete list of exclusions.
- Network of Hospitals
Most health insurance plans in India offer a vast hospital network. It refers to the list of hospitals that have an arrangement with the insurance companies to provide cashless treatment to the policyholders. Select a policy with a good network and significant hospitals in your town/city to provide easy access in an emergency.
- Miscellaneous Factors
Other essential factors that should be considered before buying a mediclaim are:
- Higher & faster claims settlement process
- Lifetime renewal of the policy
- Coverage of pre & post hospitalization expenses
- No Claim Bonus (NCB) benefits for not claiming insurance in any year(s)
List of Top Health Insurance Plans for Your Parents
Senior citizens have special needs. It is advisable to purchase a separate mediclaim policy for your parents and not include them in a family floater package. A curated list of the best medical insurance policies for your parents is given below:
- Navi Health Insurance
- With a 100% paperless procedure, you can buy the policy by downloading the Navi App.
- Get insurance coverage up to Rs.1 Crore for pre & post-hospitalization expenses.
- A huge network of over 10,000 top-quality hospitals in India provides the benefit of a cashless claim.
- A high claims settlement ratio of 98% makes it amongst the best in the industry. Fastest claims settlement time of about 20 minutes
- Complimentary health checkups and unlimited online consultations with the best doctors at no extra cost
- Additional 100% accidental insurance after exhaustion of policy coverage
- One of the most affordable medical insurance plans in India
- Aditya Birla Activ Care Insurance Plan
- Senior citizens up to 80 years of age are eligible to buy insurance coverage.
- Provides insurance coverage up to Rs.25 Lakh towards pre & post hospitalization expenses
- The cashless treatment facility in 7000+ hospitals across the country
- No Claim Bonus up to 10% added to the sum insured for every claim-free year, and a maximum of up to 50% of insurance cover
- Provides optional benefits such as home care, advance health checkup, AYUSH treatment cover, personal health coach & lifestyle support
- Bajaj Allianz Silver Health Insurance
- Covers policyholders up to 70 years of age
- Free medical checkup after 4 continuous claim-free years
- Low waiting period for pre-existing diseases of just 1 year
- Coverage of ambulance charges for emergencies
- Provides customized plans to suit special requirements
- One of the most prominent players in health insurance in India
- National Senior Citizen Mediclaim Policy
- The maximum entry age is 80 years with no age restrictions for renewal
- Provides health insurance cover up to Rs.10 Lakh
- Cashless treatment in 6000+ network hospitals and coverage of mental illness & genetic disorders
- It covers the 3 major lines of treatment – Allopathy, Ayurveda & Homeopathy
- No Claim Bonus of 5% added to Sum Insured for every claim-free year
- Provides optional cover for critical illness, accidents and OPD care
After working tirelessly for the family’s welfare, your parents eagerly look forward to a life of peace & comfort in their golden years. Let them relax and not feel the burden of old age in any manner. Their needs may be minimal, but those are extremely important and cannot be compromised at any cost.
Online health insurance plans have greatly simplified the process of buying a health cover. When you buy a health insurance policy for your parents, it’s not just a contract document. It is a bond of love, affection, respect and care. You indeed owe them this sacred gift!