With health insurance comes a sense of relief that you and your loved ones are protected. In the event of any medical emergency, health insurance acts as a saviouras it safeguards you from facing a financial crisis due to such circumstances.This is one big reason why health insurance becomes a lot more significant for any senior citizen. Old-age people are more prone to new illnesses and health disorders; hence it is important to have senior citizen health insurance for your elders.
There are many policies available in the market that look too good to be true.These policies may look beneficial at first but have problems that are visible only when you file a claim.However, in to order avail of the right treatment and facilities, you will be required to make a well-informed decision when purchasing a policy.
Here are a few points to remember while buying health insurance for senior citizens:
1. Higher premium:
The first thing you need to consider while buying a senior citizen health policy is the premium amount as it is much higher than policies meant for younger individual. A good policy will have a high premium because the risk for the insurance provider is high. If a senior citizen health insurance policy comes with quite a low premium, you should look at that policy a lot more carefully before signing up.
2. In-patient hospitalisation for more than 24 hours and Sub-limits:
The second thing you should check is whether it covers all in-patient hospitalisation expenses like doctors’ fees, Nurse’s fees, specialists’ fees, drugs, and medicines costs. Please note that such expenses will become reimbursable, only if the covered member is admitted to the hospital for more than twenty-four hours. Some senior citizen health insurance policies may stipulate sub-limits for each type of expense/procedure. Senior citizens may require more days of inpatient treatments.
3. Limits on post-hospitalisation expenses:
Post-discharge, the senior citizens may have to incur certain expenses related to the illness/injury for which they were hospitalized. The post-discharge period for insurance coverage is 60 days to 90 days. Also, money-wise, reimbursement for such expenses can be a limited percentage of the amount claimed.
4. Time-period of hospitalisation:
The fourth point is that there are generally restrictions when it comes to the number of days for day-care hospitalisation. Such periods may be in the range of 8 to 10 days. Treatments and procedures like cataracts, chemotherapy, dialysis, etc., will require less than 24 hours of hospitalisation. You should check how such cases will be reimbursed as per the policy you are buying.
5. Waiting Period:
The fifth one relates to pre-existing illness, which your senior citizen family member might already have. You got to be careful whether the policy supports coverage for such illness.You should check the waiting period in the policy for that particular illness or condition in the policy. There could be a co-payment clause, requiring you to share about 10% to 30% of the expenses from your side. Also, go through the exclusion clauses relating to medical conditions and expenses on treatment carefully. If any of the exclusions apply to the senior citizen getting medical insurance, be prepared to face such situations both mentally and money-wise when there is a medical emergency.
6. Compare and Buy:
Lastly, you should compare various policies of different insurers and buy the one that gives maximum benefits at a comparatively lesser premium. No policy is perfect and they come with some kind of compromises, but do your best to get maximum advantage. Checking the claim settlement ratio of an insurance provider also helps many times. Claim settlement ratio is nothing but what percentage of claims have been processed by a company. This gives us an understanding that what will be the probability of claim rejection or acceptance by a particular insurance company. An insurance provider can’t proclaim to be the best individual health insurance company if their claim settlement ratio is not high enough.
To sum it up, researching and reviewing companies before buying health insurance gives an overview and helps us make the best decision. One must read the health insurance terms and conditions carefully. Having a thorough understanding of what your policy provides and does not provide becomes crucial when you are a senior citizen.It’s best to start early and make sure you already have a health insurance policy when you enter the age bracket of senior citizens. With a health insurance policy by your side, you will never need to ask for help from anyone. That feeling of being secured in old age is priceless and a health insurance policy makes it possible for you.