For many people, turning 60 brings exciting new opportunities. Once people retire, they have enough time to pursue a new hobby or travel the world. But as age catches up, many individuals also face chronic health issues. Failing health can cost senior citizens more than a few thousand every year. Thankfully, most seniors safeguard their finances with senior citizen health insurance policies. Selecting the best health insurance for senior citizens can be confusing. Here’s a look at some crucial details policyholders must know:
What Is Senior Citizen Health Insurance?
Senior citizen health plans provide those above the age of 60 with cover for various medical expenses. Given that these individuals are above a certain age, these plans also offer coverage for pre-existing and critical illnesses without minimal to zero waiting periods. Essentially, the health policy is customised to help older people deal with the costs of their declining health.
Benefits of Senior Citizen Health Policies
Medical Coverage for Seniors
Some regular health policies only cover individuals until the age of 65. So, those who are older may not get adequate coverage. With a senior citizen plan, those above the age of 60 and even 70 can get the cover they need.
Minimal Medical Screening
Most senior citizen health plans do not require applicants to undergo any medical checks.
With the cashless facility, senior citizens can get the treatment they require without worrying about paying high medical bills upfront. When they get treated at a network hospital, the insurance provider will settle the claim directly with the hospital.
No Claim Bonus
If a senior citizen gets through a policy year without making any claims, they can enjoy a no claim bonus. The bonus will increase for every subsequent claim-free year.
What Is Regular Health Insurance?
Regular health plans, on the other hand, do not provide any special allowances for senior citizens. But, they offer policyholders the same or similar benefits to senior citizen plans. One vital difference between a regular and senior citizen health insurance policy is the waiting period for pre-existing illnesses. Regular policies might have a waiting period of up to 48 months for these issues. Senior citizen policies have a significantly shorter waiting period of just one or two months.
Benefits of Regular Health Insurance
No Mandatory Co-Payment
Regular health insurance plans do not require policyholders to pay a percentage of each claim. The co-pay clause is optional for regular policies and mandatory for senior citizen plans.
Short Waiting Periods
While regular policies have waiting periods for chronic illnesses and pre-existing conditions, the wait time isn’t as long as earlier. Today, some policies offer a waiting period of just 30 days or less. Of course, you’ll have to do a little research to find the best health plan for you based on your needs.
High Sum Insured Amounts
With regular policies, you can opt for a total sum insured amount of INR 1 crore. Senior citizen plans, on the other hand, hardly ever offer coverage that exceeds INR 20 lakhs.
Senior Citizen Health InsuranceVersus Regular Health Insurance
Both policies come with advantages and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at how the two compare:
When you opt for a senior citizen health insurance policy, you cannot always choose a high sum insured amount. Most policies cap their offerings at INR 10 lakhs.
Regular health plans, on the other hand, offer policies with even INR 1 crore coverage.
Your senior citizen health plan has a mandatory co-pay clause. So, you have to pay 5% of the total amount of every claim that you file. So, even though you have cashless insurance, you will have to pay a portion of your total bill.
With a regular plan, you can opt for the co-pay, but it isn’t mandatory. Some people choose the mandatory co-pay as it decreases their annual premiums.
Senior citizen policies today hardly have any waiting periods for pre-existing and chronic illnesses. They provide cover right from the time you purchase the policy.
Regular plans do have waiting periods, but they aren’t as long as they used to be. Depending on your insurer and policy, you could end up with a waiting period of just 30 days.
Senior Citizen Health Insuranceor Regular Health Insurance – What Should I Choose?
If you’re purchasing health insurance for senior citizens in India, a regular health insurance policy might be better. On the whole, regular plans offer comprehensive cover without the worry of mandatory co-pay. You have to do a little research to find the best health insurance for senior citizens. The best way to go about getting health insurance is to purchase a comprehensive plan when you’re younger. Make sure the policy offers lifetime renewals so that you can continue to get the coverage you need under the same plan even when you’re a senior citizen.
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