7 things to consider before buying health insurance for your parents

7 things to consider before buying health insurance for your parents

With advances in medicine, the life expectancy of an average Indian has increased manifold. However, the rate of inflation is also rising continuously, making medical treatment extremely expensive in the country. This is where the importance of adequate health insurance coverage comes in.

The Indian insurance market has a wide range of health insurance offerings for young professionals. The industry also has products targeted at specific customer demographics, including senior citizens and people with life-threatening illnesses.

Types of Health Insurance for Senior Citizens

if you are looking Buy health insurance for your parentsA family floater healthcare plan would be a good option. These plans are specially designed to provide insurance coverage to the entire family including senior citizens. However, some plans impose a limit on the age of the parent, while others require the policyholder to pay higher premiums based on the age of the eldest parent.

Insurers impose these restrictions because of the age-versus-health risk metrics they have to deal with. Therefore, as a person ages, the risk he/she takes for the health insurance company also increases. To maintain balance, the company incorporates these underlying rules that act as a buffer. Therefore, it is advisable to buy an individual health insurance plan for your parents to get maximum coverage at a reasonable cost.

One can supplement the health insurance policy of his/her parents by opting for personal accident cover at the lowest cost. This is a very useful cover which is also found as a very popular rider life insurance. In fact, general insurance companies have also started offering personal accident cover as part of their car insurance policies. This indicates the eligibility of this rider in the personal insurance domain.

Why should you buy health insurance for parents?

It is essential to protect your parents with health insurance for the following reasons:

Senior citizens will not be the active earning members in the family. This means they have to submit a medical bill from their savings or pension. In dire circumstances, they may also depend on their children to provide financial support.

Medical inflation has made it very difficult for the common man to get medical services at reasonable rates.

Health insurance provides coverage for pre-existing diseases. This gives you complete peace of mind, especially when you are away from your parents.

The increase in life expectancy makes it essential to be equipped with adequate health insurance to tide you over the tough times.

Even though your parents are benefiting from health insurance provided by their employer, this facility ends after retirement.

Things to note before buying

Most of the major health insurance providers today offer mediclaim policies Which are specially designed for senior citizens. It is important to keep these things in mind while selecting a plan:

1. Entry Age – All health insurance policies have entry age criteria that must be met by the individual to be eligible for coverage. However, entry age guidelines will vary between insurers and plans; Therefore, it is advisable to compare policies between providers. This exercise will help you to assess the extent of coverage available under a plan and the respective premiums. You will also get a clear picture of the admission criteria.

2.Renewal Age – Your parent’s health insurance plan will specify the maximum age up to which you can renew the policy. This is called the renewal era. Similar to entry age, this factor also varies between plans and insurance companies. Therefore, it is recommended to compare the offers of different insurance companies in the market before taking a decision.

3. Limit of Coverage – While choosing a plan, you should make sure that you choose a plan that offers protection against a wide range of diseases, especially pre-existing diseases. In the language of health insurance, pre-existing diseases are referred to as those diseases from which the insured has been suffering in the past or is suffering in the present.

Such illnesses are usually covered after a specific period, called the waiting period. Under some plans, the waiting period can go up to 2 years for diseases like diabetes. If there is any common illness in the family, then you should have your parents covered for it.

4.Sum Assured – In health insurance, the sum insured is also known as the health cover. The policy will reimburse the expenses incurred for medical treatment up to a pre-determined sum insured under the plan. If you opt for a plan with a higher sum insured, you will receive a larger amount for medical emergencies. Hence, it is wise to opt for a bigger cover for your parents.

5.Cost of Insurance – When compared to a health insurance plan for you, the insurance policy you buy for your parents is always costlier. As mentioned above, this is mainly due to the risk that senior citizens pass on to the insurer. It is not always wise to choose the cheapest medical insurance policy, as it may have less coverage.

6.Network Hospital – While choosing an insurance company, you should choose an insurance company that has a wide network of hospitals. This helps you avail cashless claim settlement facility, which will be a boon in case of an unprecedented hospitalization.

7. Individual vs. Family Floater – The coverage that your parents will get under an individual health insurance policy will be higher than the coverage under a family floater plan. Also, an individual plan would be more viable from a cost-versus-benefit standpoint as well. Hence, choose an individual plan to provide maximum protection to your parents.

You can buy health insurance for your parents through various channels, online and offline. However, buying insurance online is advisable, as it offers several benefits, some of which include highly secure transactions, premium discounts and ease of purchase/renewal.


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