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How to choose the right health insurance plan for your ageing parents?

‚ÄčA health insurance plan plays a critical role in safeguarding your and your family's health. It ensures that you are always prepared for a medical contingency involving your loved ones. However, things can be a bit complex if you have ageing parents to look after. It is so because most health insurance plans come with additional clauses for coverage for senior citizens. Therefore, it is very important to choose the right mediclaim policy for your parents. Not doing so can result in unnecessary financial losses and stress.

Let us accept it, with increasing age you are prone to conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, hypertension, arthritis, and diabetes, among others. Increasing age only makes such conditions worse. This means increased doctor visits, medical check-ups and chances of hospitalisation. Therefore, it is very important to cover the elderly members of your family with a robust mediclaim policy for them. Although insurance policies for elderly persons come at a higher premium, they can help to save money on their medical and hospital bills.

There is a wide range of health insurance plans, specially designed for senior citizens, available in the market. So, it is very important to compare different plans and choose the one that suits your and your parents' needs the best.

Today, let us look at some factors to consider when selecting a mediclaim policy for the senior members of your family.

Co-payment

A mediclaim policy for senior citizens comes with several caveats. First, they are issued only for elderly persons who are above 60 years of age. Second, they come with the co-payment feature. As per this clause, when making a claim, you will have to pay for the cost of a certain percentage of the medical bills from your pocket.

Let's say, your policy comes with a 20% co-payment feature. Now, if the hospital bills of your elderly parent amount to Rs 100,000, you have to pay Rs 20,000 from your pocket. Only the remaining Rs 80,000 will be borne by the insurance company.

Renewability

According to the guidelines issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), senior persons are eligible for life-long renewability of their mediclaim policy. This means they can avail of the same plan throughout their lifetime and not bother with buying a new policy.

Importantly, you must make sure to divulge all details about your parent's medical history to your insurer. Otherwise, your insurance company will not process your policy renewal request.

Waiting Period

The stipulated waiting period before you can make a claim is another important factor to be considered when choosing senior citizen health insurance plans. While the usual waiting period for specified disorders is two years and that for pre-existing illnesses is four years. Therefore, it is always better to consider your parents' pre-existing medical conditions and the mandatory waiting period before buying a policy. Remember, the shorter the waiting period, the better for the policyholder.

One important point to note is that the waiting period does not apply to accident hospitalisation cases. Also, some policies come with a sub-limit for specific medical treatments. For this reason, you should study the policy documents and understand the features thoroughly.

Medical Check-ups

Many health insurance plans do not need you to undergo a pre-policy medical check-up as a requisite. This applies even when you are opting for a mediclaim policy for your aged parents. Additionally, insurance policies offer the benefit of regular health check-ups for all insured persons in the policy. Now, this helps not only to monitor your health but also to diagnose medical ailments at the early stages itself.

Add-ons

Health insurance plans for elderly citizens cover pre-hospitalisation, post-hospitalisation, and other medical costs. Besides, a mediclaim policy offers added benefits such as cover for home-based or domiciliary hospitalisation treatment and ambulance costs. If your parents prefer to avail of alternative medicine such as homoeopathic treatment, then buy an insurance policy that covers such treatment options.

Conclusion

You should read all the features of senior citizen health insurance plans before buying the policy. Make sure to do your research and compare policies for their inclusions and exclusions, and choose the one that suits your needs and fits your budget the best.

After all, buying a mediclaim policy for your ageing parents is the best gift you can give your parents. Then, you need not worry much about them receiving quality medical care during their old age.

Reliance Health Insurance has several attractive health insurance plans offering the best coverage to senior citizens. So, what are you waiting for?