The segment of population that is most susceptible to illnesses and their ensuing costs is that of the senior citizens. As retired individuals, facing failing health and financial constraints, a health insurance is probably the need of the hour. Obtaining medical insurance for senior citizens was almost impossible as insurance companies permitted renewal only if you have been a policyholder with them without a break. However, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has instructed companies to set 65 as the highest age for entry into health insurance plans. Subsequently, the Senior Citizen Health Insurance policy took its present form.
Health Insurance for Senior Citizens refers to the reimbursement or indemnification of expenses incurred on account of medical conditions, exclusively for the senior citizens. A Mediclaim Policy for Senior Citizens, on the other hand, offers financial protection from all expenses related to events of hospitalization.
Benefits of this Policy
A Health Insurance for Senior Citizens offers various benefits to you as a policyholder. Here's a listicle of the most important ones.
- Financial Cover - In uncertain times, health Insurance policies ensure that you are protected from unexpected and unaffordable financial costs. While different companies offer varying products, almost all policies cover a wide range of illnesses and their allied treatments.
- Renewability Age - A Medical Insurance for Senior Citizens can not only be taken at the maximum age of 65 years but can also be renewed up to 80 years of age. Some companies allow renewability up to the age of 90 years, provided there has been no break in payment of premium since the policy was first taken.
- Cashless Hospitalization - Most companies that offer insurance plans to senior citizens allow cashless transactions, i.e., a benefit where the hospital can claim payment for the rendered treatment directly from the insurer.
What does this Policy cover?
There are several features that need to be checked before opting for a health insurance that best suits you. The most obvious and important factor to consider is the extent of the cover provided. Depending on the vendor, there may be slight variations in product offerings, but a fair outline of what you can expect in a health insurance or a Mediclaim Policy for Senior Citizens is enlisted hereunder.
- Hospitalization Expenses - These relate to direct expenses incurred on account of hospitalization. Doctor visits, room charges, cost of medication and surgery are completely covered by an insurance policy, subject to the financial limit of the plan. Certain companies also offer pre- and post-hospitalization cover for a specified time period.
- Day Care Expenses - A few procedures like chemotherapy and dialysis do not require hospitalization. However, most such medical procedures are also enlisted as 'Inclusions' in most Health Insurance Policies for Senior Citizens.
- Pre-existing Conditions - While pre-existing medical conditions are not covered from the moment the policy is drawn, most medical insurance companies, usually after a period of one year, offer cover to most pre-existing conditions.
Special Features of the Policy
Whether you choose to take up a Health Insurance or a Mediclaim for Senior Citizens, you are eligible for certain benefits:
- Tax Gain - As a policyholder, under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you can claim deduction for an annual premium amount not exceeding Rs. 30,000 in a financial year.
- 'No Claim Benefit' - Most insurance companies offer a 'No Claim Benefit' wherein your premium is discounted if you have not made any insurance claims in the preceding financial year. Some companies also offer reimbursement for a Health check-up every 3-4 years of 'No Claim' in addition to the benefit in premium.
Being aware about the exclusions that policies entail will not only help you make an informed decision, but will also prepare you beforehand to deal with such situations. Most Senior Citizen Insurance Plans do not cover the following situations:
- Illnesses contracted within 30 days of signing up for the policy
- Dental treatment, except in cases arising out of accident
- HIV/ AIDS
- Cosmetic Surgery
- Illnesses contracted in times of war or nuclear attacks.
Senior Citizens are often the most neglected category in as far as an insurance cover is concerned. Apart from being absolutely necessary, an insurance, be it a health insurance or a Mediclaim for Senior Citizens, is quintessential in leading a worriless and hassle-free life. However, finding the right policy that suits both, your requirements and your budget, may qualify as a challenging task. A little patience and thorough research can help you find that ideal plan that will financially protect you from most untoward medical circumstances.
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