You may find it hard to believe that your parents who once cared for you and protected you - now need you to stand by them. Elderly people over 60 years of age and above are more susceptible to health conditions and may need hospital care for age-related issues, such as knee problems, heart conditions, etc. And, to determine the cause of the illness, they may have to undergo multiple X-rays, MRI scans, and other tests. It is important to keep in mind that these health issues associated with old age can be long-term and may require huge medical expenses, which can be financially difficult for the elderly.
That's where senior citizen health insurance comes in. Its purpose is to provide financial assistance for medical treatment in times of need. It is the ideal gift you can give to your ageing parents or elderly family members.
However, the majority of people still hesitate to buy it, mainly because of some misconceptions surrounding senior citizen health insurance policies.
So, let's bust some myths and understand the reality behind these plans so you can make an informed decision!
- Myth 1: Healthy People Don’t Need Health Insurance Cover
There is a common belief that if one is healthy, they don’t need health insurance. But this is not true. Life is unpredictable, and a medical emergency can happen at any time. Moreover, older people are more vulnerable to illnesses and injuries. With rising medical costs, it's nearly impossible to set aside enough money for medical expenses.
It is therefore essential to purchase senior citizen health insurance for your ageing parents or other elderly family members to protect them from exorbitant healthcare costs.
- Myth 2: A Group Mediclaim Policy Provided By Employer Is Enough
Your employer may offer health insurance coverage for parents without a waiting period. However, keep in mind that such a policy is under the control of your employer. They are the deciding factor and so you have little or no control over various aspects - like yearly renewals, modifications, or even termination. Sometimes, there can be changes in pricing and coverage may become inadequate as well. Additionally, you should keep in mind that if you leave this company, coverage ends. Thus, it is always better to cover your parents separately with personal health insurance.
- Myth 3: Senior Citizen Health Insurance Costs A Fortune
Old age increases the likelihood of contracting illnesses. Hence, the chances of making hospitalisation claims are high. Since older people pose a greater risk for insurers, they charge higher premiums. But this should not deter you from buying health insurance. There are many affordable options available in the market.
Comparing different health insurance plans is the best way to find one that fits your parents’ requirements and budget. It's also important to keep in mind that health insurance is only a small price to pay for the hefty expenses they may incur in the future – in case they are hospitalised. You can also make sure that your elderly parents receive optimal medical care and treatment - without worrying about the costs.
✏️Pro-Tip: If you find these plans expensive, you can buy the plan with a copay or deductible. This will reduce the premiums.
?Copay: A specific percentage of the approved claim amount that you’ll share with the insurance company. So, you will pay required to pay a specific percentage of the claim amount out of your own pocket before the insurer begins to pay.
?Deductible: If your health insurance has a deductible component, you will be required to pay a specific amount called the ‘deductible’ before the insurance company steps in to pay. This means that the insurance company’s payment liability begins only when the deductible threshold is crossed.
- Myth 4: Senior Citizen Health Insurance Does Not Cover Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Old age entails a gamut of diseases. As a result, it is common for old people to have pre-existing diseases. A common myth about health insurance, especially among senior citizens, is that it does not cover pre-existing illnesses.
It is important to note, however, that most health insurance policies, including those for senior citizens, cover pre-existing conditions. These diseases might have a waiting period, i.e., a time span during which certain illnesses and diseases will not be covered. You can make a claim for these treatments or diseases once the waiting period has passed. Ensure you read your policy document carefully to find out the waiting period for pre-existing conditions.
- Myth 5: Savings Can Cover Healthcare Costs
Many older people feel that they do not need to invest in a health insurance plan because they think have savings. But, medical inflation is making medical costs soar, and accidents and illnesses can quickly deplete savings.
Even a small doctor's visit these days costs a lot - starting at around Rs 300, they can reach up to Rs 4,000. Also, your ageing parents may require routine checkups, which can drive up these costs. Hence, you need to get separate health insurance for them to handle these medical costs - so they can focus entirely on their health and wellness.
Your parents are at a greater risk of contracting serious illnesses as they age. Senior citizen health insurance helps them deal with rising medical costs, protect their savings, and live a comfortable life after retirement. Make sure you carefully evaluate all the available options and find the ideal one that serves your parents’ needs.