Old age is a great time to sit back, relax and enjoy life to the fullest. As people enter their twilight years, they become more comfortable in their own skin and wish to live all the moments they couldn't before. However, old age also comes with its fair share of health problems.
Senior citizens (people who are 60 years or older) are at a higher risk of contracting certain diseases and health conditions - ranging from allergies to cancers and cardiovascular diseases, etc. which lead to an increase in hospital visits, medical tests, and treatments. These expenses can take a toll on their savings.
Investing in senior citizen health insurance is the answer to all of these problems. It helps the elderly protect their savings and live a comfortable retirement. But, keep in mind that these senior citizen health insurance plans can entail higher premiums.
Why are these plans expensive? Do these plans offer value for money? Let’s find out!
What Are The Reasons For The High Cost Of Senior Citizen Health Insurance?
More Prone to Diseases
The immune system weakens with age, and so, elderly individuals are more likely to contract illnesses. Senior citizens who are aged 60 and older are more susceptible to health problems. This means there is a possibility of higher hospitalisation claims - posing a greater risk for insurers. As a result, insurers charge higher premiums to compensate for the increased risk.
Require Frequent Hospitalisation
As people age, there is a possibility that they will develop serious health problems requiring frequent hospitalisation. And, the accompanying treatment costs can cost them quite a bit. With medical inflation on the rise, these costs aren’t going down any time soon. For instance, bone marrow transplant costs in India range from Rs 15,00,000 to Rs 40,00,000. Considering that seniors require expensive treatments time and again, the health insurance plan should be able to cover these costs without draining their savings. Hence, these plans can be expensive.
Senior citizens need a health insurance plan that meets their specific health needs since their health issues are significantly different from those of young people. Elderly individuals are more likely to suffer from health issues and undergo surgeries, such as joint replacements, cataract surgery, etc. because their organs begin to fail as they age. And, these surgeries can cost a fortune. For instance, the knee replacement cost in India ranges from Rs. 180,000 to Rs. 4,50,000. So, the cost of these plans can be particularly high.
Are Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plans Worth The High Premium?
As mentioned earlier, senior citizens’ healthcare needs are far different from those of young people. The high probability of unforeseen medical situations makes having a health insurance plan necessary. A senior citizen health insurance plan is tailored to meet all these requirements under one policy.
Senior citizen health plans come with high premiums because they are more vulnerable to illnesses/diseases, thereby resulting in higher hospitalisation claims. Lack of health insurance can lead to substantial financial losses. Hence, it would be foolhardy to avoid a health plan because of a high premium. Having peace of mind and a feeling of security is perhaps the most important priority in old age. A senior citizen health insurance plan provides just that.
Pro-Tip: If you find the premiums of the plan too expensive, you can reduce them by opting for a copay. Copay is a certain percentage of the approved claim amount that you need to pay from your end before the insurer starts paying up. Choosing a policy with a copay can help you save money on premiums. While you will be responsible for part of the claim, the overall cost of the health plan may be reduced as a result of lower premium payments.
Ageing is accompanied by a multitude of illnesses. There can be enormous costs associated with treating these illnesses, leaving the elderly in a financial bind. However, old age doesn't have to mean huge medical expenses, thanks to senior citizen health insurance. Although these plans can be expensive, it's okay to spend a little extra to ensure that the medical expenses don't eat into the retirement savings.