Parents' Health Insurance

Your parents have spent their entire lives creating a better future for you. Take a moment to look at them now. Eyes wrinkled and weak, ears dull of hearing, knees and hands brittle. The hands that used to cook for you and play with you are now trembling to hold a spoon at dinner. As they age, they find new companions like hypertension, diabetes, and many more health conditions.

What better way to say that you care than buying your parents a health insurance policy? But, there’s a catch. As you grow older, your eligibility for health insurance lessens. Insurance companies conduct stringent checks before they approve an application. You might have limited options or will need to pay exorbitant premiums to cover your parents.

So, how can you buy a good insurance policy for your parents? Let’s find out!

How Can You Ensure The Best Insurance Coverage For Your Parents?

When you are planning to buy an insurance policy for your parents, you want to make sure that it is the best plan available and at a lesser premium. For this, you will need to know every little detail about their health and medical history.

  • Start with what you know about their health. What conditions do they suffer from, and how long have they been treated for it?

  • Have a chat with your parents to know more about any missed out medical conditions they face.

  • Look at all the medications they take and check why these are required.

  • You could also check their medical records for other conditions that might have slipped their mind. Look for medical conditions that they do not even realise they are going through. And list all surgeries and medication that they have had in the past.

  • You can also contact your family doctor to add any further missing details that the insurer might want to know.

Having such insights into your parents’ health conditions will enhance a seamless health insurance policy purchase. It will also eradicate unwanted hassles in claim settlements in the future.

Calculate Your Health Insurance Premium

Which Health Insurance Plan Will Suit Your Parents Best?

The Best Option Is A Comprehensive Health Plan

These health insurance plans do not have an entry age limit. They also offer the best benefits, exclusions, lowest limitations, and financial conditions such as copay. Though they may be on the expensive side, their benefits are worth investing in. You can choose this plan if you find your parents to be healthy and free from major health issues.

Here's a comparison of comprehensive health plans without any age limits -

Niva Bupa (Health Companion) Aditya Birla Health (Activ Health - Platinum Enhanced) Care Insurance (Care) ICICI Lombard (Complete Health Insurance - Health Shield)

Room Rent Limit

No Limit (Except Suite or Above) No Limit Single Private Room No Limit

ICU Charges

No Limit No Limit No Limit No Limit

Pre-Hospitalization

30 Days 60 Days 30 Days 30 Days

Post-Hospitalization

60 Days 180 Days 60 Days 60 Days

Day Care Procedures

All procedures covered up to SI 586 procedures covered up to SI 541 procedures covered up to SI All procedures covered up to SI

Organ Donor

Up to SI Up to SI Up to 1 Lakh Up to 10% of Sum Insured

Domiciliary Treatment

Up to SI Up to SI Up to 10% of SI Up to SI

Modern Treatments

No Limit (Except Robotic Surgeries) No Limit No Limit No Limit

No Claim Bonus

20% (Max Up to 100%) 50% (Max Up to 100% or 1 Crore whichever is lower) 10% (Max Up to 50%) 10% (Max Up to 50%)

Restore Benefit

- Full + Partial Restore - Once per policy year - Unrelated Illnesses - Full + Partial Restore - Once per policy year - Unrelated Illnesses - Full Restore - Once/Unlimited (Optional) - Unrelated Illnesses - Full + Partial Restore - Unlimited times - Unrelated Illnesses

Health Checkup Limit / Predefined Test List

Predefined Test List Predefined Test List Predefined Test List Individual - 1 Coupon Family Floater - 2 Coupon

Non Medical Expenses Cover

Covered Not Covered Covered Covered (Optional Cover)

Pre-Existing Diseases Waiting Period

48 Months 36 Months 48 Months 24 Months

Co-Payment

No Co-pay No Co-pay 20% Co-pay (For 61 years and above) No Co-pay

Please Note:

  • This table was created in November 2022.

  • We have opted for the No Room Rent Limit option, wherever applicable.

  • The insurance company may ask for a medical test if your parents have multiple health conditions, lifestyle issues (like being overweight, etc.), and habits (excessive smoking/drinking/tobacco consumption).

  • This is just an indicative list.

Your Second Best Option Is A Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plan

If your parents aren’t eligible for a comprehensive health plan, you can choose a Senior citizen health insurance plan. These plans are comparatively cheaper but come with many financial limitations. Let us dig deeper into this!

The first limitation is a copay. This means that you will have to pay a part of the claim amount, each time you proceed with it.

Secondly, insurers might apply room rent limits which might deprive you of getting quality healthcare. It might face a cap on room charges, surgeon fees, tests, etc.

Thirdly, they might impose sub-limits on treating specific diseases like cardiac treatments, cataracts, fractures in long bones, hysterectomies, etc. These financial limitations mean that any costs above the mentioned limit have to be borne by you.

Lastly, you will have to go through a waiting period for pre-existing diseases. Almost all insurance companies impose a waiting period. You will need to continue the coverage through the waiting period so you can get long-term coverage!

Here's a comparison of the top health insurance plans for senior citizens above 60 years -

Niva Bupa Senior First - Platinum Care Insurance Care Senior Star Health Senior Citizen Red Carpet Aditya Birla Health Activ Care - Premier

Age Limits

61 - 75 years > 61 years 60 - 75 years 55 - 80 years

Sum Insured options

5 - 25 Lakhs 3 - 10 Lakhs 1 - 25 Lakhs (Individual)10 - 25 Lakhs (Floater) 5 - 25 Lakhs

Room Rent Limit

Single Private Room (10% copay for higher category) 1% of Sum Insured 1% of Sum Insured (1 - 5 Lakh cover) 6,000/- (7.5 - 10 Lakh cover) No Limit (Except Suite or Above)

ICU Charges

Up to Sum Insured 2% of Sum Insured 2% of Sum Insured (1 - 10 Lakh cover) Up to Sum Insured

Surgeon, Anaesthetist, Medical Practitioner, Specialist's fees covered

Up to Sum Insured Up to Sum Insured 25% of Sum Insured (per hospitalisation) Up to Sum Insured

Anaesthesia, Blood, Oxygen, Operation Theatre charges covered

Up to Sum Insured Up to Sum Insured 50% of Sum Insured (per hospitalisation) Up to Sum Insured

Co-Payment

20% per claimI 20% per claim PED claims - 50% Non-PED claims - 30% 10% per claim

Pre Existing disease waiting period

24 Months 48 Months 12 Months (with exceptions) 24 Months

Limits for treatments like Cataract, Cerebrovas, Cardio, Cancer, Renal Diseases, Breakage of Bones, Knee Replacement Surgery imposed

No sub-limits Sub-limits imposed based on Sum Insured Sub-limits imposed based on Sum Insured No sub-limits

Please Note:

  • This table was created in November 2022.

  • We have opted for the No Room Rent Limit option, wherever applicable.

  • The insurance company may ask for a medical test if your parents have multiple health conditions, lifestyle issues (like being overweight, etc.), and habits (excessive smoking/drinking/tobacco consumption).

  • This is just an indicative list.

Important: It might be difficult for your parents to get a Senior Citizen Health Insurance plan if-

They suffer from any critical illness like heart disease, cancer, etc.

They are on insulin with Type 1 diabetes.

They have 3 or more unhealthy lifestyle habits like alcohol consumption, heavy smoking, or being overweight.

Group Health Insurance Policies From Banks

A group health insurance policy from banks is the last resource for parents who do not get coverage under any of the policies above because they suffer from multiple illnesses or the premiums are expensive.

All you have to do is apply for an account in such banks and enrol your parents in the group health insurance policy. These policies differ from a standard insurance policy as such:

They may not have a lifetime renewal, and the policy terms might not be under your control.

The banks negotiate the policy term and benefits at frequent intervals. It is the sole discretion of the bank to change the terms and pricing of your policy or even switch you to a new policy.

Service requests are not handled by the bank and would require you to contact the insurance or TPA directly.

Due to negotiated prices and higher claims, customer service may not be up to the mark.

Here’s a comparison of group health plans from banks -

PNB/OBC Bank of India
Royal Oriental Reliance Swasthya Bima
Eligibility Customers of PNB/OBC Bank Customers of BOI Bank
Age Up to 79 years Up to 79 years
Individual/Floater Available Available
Sum Insured Options Upto 10 Lakhs 1-5 Lakhs
Copayment (1 to 10L SI) No No
Copayment (15L to 25L SI) No No
Surgeon, Anesthetist, Medical Practitioner, Specialist's fees Upto SI Upto SI
Anesthesia, Blood, Oxygen, Operation Theatre charges, Cost of Pacemaker etc Upto SI Upto SI
Room Rent Limit 1% of SI 1% of SI
ICU Charges 2% of SI 2% of SI
Pre-existing Disease Covered - Waiting Period 4th year 4th year
Limits for 5L Cover
Cataract 30,000 Not mentioned
Knee Replacement 1.5 Lakhs Not mentioned
Hernia, Hysterectomy, Kidney stones etc. No Limit No Limit
Cerebrovascular, Cardiovascular, Cancer, Breakage of bones, Renal Failure No Limit No Limit

Please note that this is just an indicative list.

Things To Keep In Mind While Buying Parents' Health Insurance

  • Choose Adequate Coverage

    Ideally, a Rs 15-20 lakhs coverage would suffice if your parents are above 60 years. If you feel that the premiums are hard on your pockets, choose a policy with the maximum coverage that you can afford. No one wants to spend money on medical treatments despite owning a health insurance plan.

  • Share Every Detail Before You Make The Premium Payment

    All medical reports and history that you collect should be shared with the agent or the salesperson on the phone for an underwriting evaluation of the medical papers before making the payment. This can save a lot of time and help avoid tedious/stressful payment and refund processes.

  • Duly Fill Out The Proposal Form With The Correct Details

    Fill out the proposal form meticulously, providing every required detail about your parents’ health correctly. Ensuring that every detail that you know is filled can keep unwanted confusion at bay. If you don’t pay attention to each teeny bit of information, this can jeopardise your claim.

  • Provide Clear Declarations

    As a part of the underwriting process, the insurer will appoint a representative to call your parents for an audio or video assessment. Make sure that they provide all information in its true form based on the health assessment that you carried out. Note that this call is recorded by the insurer. It will be used for both evaluation and claim settlement purposes.

  • Know The Policy

    Make sure to be your own Sherlock Holmes and research every detail about the policy you buy. People in their old age are prone to medical conditions. Check and compare the waiting period for pre-existing conditions among different policies and opt for a low waiting period. This will ensure your parents get coverage at the earliest. You also need to be aware of coverage restrictions, if any.

  • Your Employer Health Insurance Plan Will Not Suffice

    If you have an employer health plan, it will offer coverage for your parents without a waiting period. But, remember that such plans will be managed by your employer and not you. You do not have a say on policy renewals, terminations, or any modifications. And, the policy terminates once you leave the company and your parents might be left without a cover. This is why it is better to buy a parent’s health insurance policy on your own.

  • Invest In A Healthcare Savings Fund

    With age, insurance policies come with restrictions and limitations. It is thus recommended to simultaneously invest in a healthcare fund for parents with multiple ailments. This becomes all the more important if they don’t qualify for any of the policies mentioned above.

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Conclusion

Our parents took care of us during our spring years; it is our responsibility to care for them in their autumn years. With age, they need more medical attention. This is why it becomes imperative to buy a parents’ health insurance policy for them. They did their part best in bringing us up - let us do ours now!

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