Things to remember while buying Health Insurance plan
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Things to remember while buying Health Insurance plan

Here's what you need to remember while buying a health plan for your parents

  • September 21, 2016  
  • |  
  • UPDATED   11:21 IST

Yashish Dahiya
You may have come across a myriad of options when it comes to buying health insurance plans for yourself. But when it comes to buying a health policy for your parents, who happen to be 60 or above, the same cannot be said. This is simply because the older you are, higher are the chances of falling sick, thus increasing the risk factor for the insurance company. However, insurers do realise that this segment of consumers also form a large part of the market and are in need of adequate insurance cover. Thus, they have come up with products that are more suited for senior citizens. But how do you choose what is best for your parents?
Well, we share a few factors that you need to keep in mind while buying a health insurance policy for your parents.

Waiting period for pre-existing disease

Now, since the policyholders, in this case, are old, hence, it is important to see if the policy has a lower waiting period. This is so because in this case, if the policyholders have any existing conditions, then it will take time for coverage and should the condition worsen to manifest into an illness earlier then they may have issues. For instance, Star Diabetes Safe has a waiting period of a good four years as opposed to Religare's Health Insurance Care Freedom, Max Health Insurance Heartbeat Gold Plan or L&T's My Health Medisure Prime plans that have a waiting period of two years. So, if tomorrow if you have bought a health policy and your parents have pre-existing illness worsens and they are admitted in a hospital, their health policy will hardly be of any use since the waiting for existing illnesses is high. Hence, a lower waiting period is a critical factor to consider while buying a health policy for your parents.

Features

A health plan for a senior citizen must have features that suit their needs. So, you must watch out for important features that actually have higher cost implications. These include benefits under room rent limit or capping for various treatments or ailments. Look out for what all is covered by the healthy policy. For instance, an expensive treatment such as organ donation that may easily cost anywhere between Rs 3-4 lakh must be covered. There are plans that provide such specific features. To give you an example, Cigna Pro Health Protect SB02 covers the organ transplant treatment up to the sum insured. If these sub-limits are low or these features are absent, you may end up paying higher amount from your pocket.

Co-payment

This is an important point to remember. Usually, while buying health plans for older members of the family, some insurer keep co-payment requirement i.e. you would have to bear some portion of the medical expenses as and when incurred. The reason for the same is insurers want to mitigate their risk of underwriting a senior citizen - who is much more likely to require medical services and treatment frequently. You might ask - why opt for a co-payment insurance plan? The reason being some of these plans may have features thatsuit your requirements. As such, the co-payment requirement is typically a minimum of 20% from the insurer. However, some plans offer reduction in the co-payment requirement with renewal of the plan every year. For instance, Max Health Insurance Heartbeat Gold Plan has 20% co-pay, after the age of 65 years, which is reduced by 5% on every renewal. So if the first year, its 20% co-pay, the second time you renew the policy, it will be 15% co-payment. Similarly, L&T's Medisure Prime has 25% co-payment, after the age of 70.

To conclude, these are some basic parameters that one needs to remember while buying a health policy for your parents or the eldest member of the family. Know your needs and weigh your options to make the best bet.

By, Yashish Dahiya- CEO & Co-founder, Policybazaar.com