Senior Health Insurance Plan

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The senior health insurance plans have nowadays become extremely important considering the increasing rate of lifestyle diseases among people of an advanced age group. These plans can be extremely helpful in cases of medical emergencies which can create a major financial shortcoming if the patient is not covered.

Senior Health Insurance in India

Earlier on the insurers were not exactly willing to cover the senior citizens due to the fact that they had more chances of claiming the amount compared to the younger or middle aged clients. Even organizations that provided such services had really high rates of premium, which meant it was almost impossible for the senior citizens to buy such policies.

To add to this, there were not many options available as well in this regard. This meant that if the insured were not happy with what was being offered to them, there was not much else to choose from.

On July 1, 2009 the national government took some definitive steps that were aimed at improving the overall scenario in this sector. As per the new rules each insurance company was bound to offer insurance coverage till the client was 65 years old. This meant added security for the later stages in life as well as the freedom to choose a different service provider in case the present one was found to be below par.

Nowadays the laws require the insurers who do not provide such services to state, in writing, the reasons for their refusal to do so. It is expected that the causes will be fair and logical. They are also supposed to provide reasonable rates of premium.

Nowadays the situation has improved significantly with service providers such as Max Bupa who are providing special facilities like no upper limit for enrolment age and capability to renew the program as long as the insured is alive.

When is the right time to take senior health insurance?

In case someone is taking insurance at a later stage in life it is better to take one when there is some level of income. This ensures that the proposer has some flexibility as he or she can compare various plans and choose one that suits them the most. Also it is important to choose plans where there is no upper limit when it comes to age or plans that offer lifetime renewal facilities.

Senior health insurance – some useful points to be remembered
It is a trend among people in India to look for the best services that are apparently available only in the top private hospitals and it needs to be remembered the expenses at these hospitals are only going up at regular intervals. These bills are among the major reasons for availing such policies.

For people who are looking to spend the rest of their lives on their pension or on the interest accrued from their savings it is essential to have a health insurance so that there is no financial crisis in times of a medical emergency.

In most of the cases, the health cover, which is available at the time when people have a job, is not there when that individual retires. So it is prudent to avail a health insurance plan for the senior citizens.

In case the wards of a senior citizen are helping them with their group or employee insurance plans it needs to be remembered that these Mediclaim policies are effective only for 2 to 4 years.

However, if they are already suffering from a disease they might not get any advantage from the plan. They should also keep in mind that if their wards change their companies the particular plan may no longer be effective.

In majority of the health plans the pre-existing illnesses of a senior citizen are not covered for a 2-4 year period. If the policy can be availed early on, then its benefits can be availed after a few years.

Often there are many service providers with lucrative offers and benefits and this can lead to confusion of choice. So it is always prudent to consult with insurance advisors who operate independently.

In most of the health policies for senior citizens it is necessary to conduct a medical examination prior to acceptance. But, if the proposer is not willing to take these tests, they can still look for policies where such tests are not required. It is better though, in such policies, to declare the already existing health ailments so that the claims are not rejected later on.

Proposers should also remember that according to government rules implemented in 2009 health insurance firms should pay back half of the costs incurred for medical tests if they are accepted.

How to buy senior health insurance?

Following are certain factors that need to be kept in mind while buying a health plan for senior citizens:

  • Main features
  • Terms and conditions
  • Scope of benefits and coverage
  • Exclusions
  • Premium rates
Advantages of senior health insurance
There are several beneficial aspects of the senior health insurance plans. Apart from the financial benefits during unexpected medical emergencies these plans cover regular health checkups that help the elderly people visit their doctors and stay well.

These plans are also good from the perspective of long term medical treatments and also provide the policyholders income tax benefits as specified in Section 80D of the Indian income tax act.

Top senior citizen health plans

Bajaj Allianz – Silver Health Plan

The Silver Health plan of Bajaj Allianz is designed primarily for the senior citizens and provides coverage for medical expenditure that has been incurred when the insured was hospitalized.

National Insurance - VARISTHA Mediclaim for Senior Citizens

The VARISTHA Mediclaim for Senior Citizens program of the National Insurance Company provides coverage for senior citizens in the following areas:
  • Hospitalization costs
  • Domiciliary hospitalization costs
  • Treatment of critical illnesses
The following critical illnesses are covered in the program:
  • Coronary artery surgery
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Important organ transplants such as kidney, pancreas, lungs, or bone marrow
  • Renal failure
  • Blindness and paralysis – extra premium is needed in these cases
  • Stroke
New India Assurance - Senior Citizen Mediclaim Policy

The Senior Citizen Mediclaim Policy of New India Assurance provides coverage in the following cases:
  • Hospitalization costs for treatment of injuries and illness
  • Ambulance charges
  • Pre hospitalization expenses for a maximum of 30 days
  • Hospitalization in government facilities or Ayurvedic, Unani, and homeopathic hospitals – limited coverage is provided in these cases
  • Post hospitalization costs for 60 days at the most
  • Pre existing ailments – hypertension and diabetes are covered as well

This plan also qualifies for tax benefits and reimburses health check up costs.

United India Insurance – Senior Citizen

The Senior Citizen plan of United India Insurance covers the following:

  • Room, nursing, and boarding costs
  • Fees of treatment
  • ICU costs
  • Costs of hospitalization
  • Fees of surgeons, consultants, anesthetists, specialists, and medical practitioners

Star Health Insurance - Senior Citizen Red Carpet

The Senior Citizen Red Carpet program of Star Health Insurance offers the following advantages:
  • Hospitalization cover
  • Blood, pacemaker, and oxygen charges
  • ICU costs
  • Diagnostic tests and drugs costs
  • Nursing costs
  • Cataract costs
  • Fees of surgeons, consultants, anesthetists, specialists, and medical practitioners
  • Ambulance charges in emergency cases

Last Updated on 28/08/2011

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