Health Insurance For Parents

The Indian Insurance market is full of plans that cater to healthcare. There are many insurance providing companies that have plans that are designed for families that have senior citizens. So that one combined health plan can cater to all the members of the family.

But, there are fewer options available as far as a health insurance plan for parents is concerned if the parents are more than 50 years of age. Another point is that the plans that cater to the entire family including senior citizens have higher premium based on the age of the eldest parent. The reason behind this is that people tend to get exposed to more health risks and disease as they age and thus higher the age, higher the premium that has to be paid.

Why do you need a Health Insurance Cover for your Parents?

Lifestyle Diseases

A disease associated with the way a person or group of people lives. Lifestyle diseases include atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke; obesity and type 2 diabetes; and diseases associated with smoking and alcohol and drug abuse. In case when lifestyle disease becomes a medical emergency, healthcare insurance comes as an aid to provide financial security.

Beat medical inflation

Having health insurance ensures that parents get all the required medical attention in time without thinking too much of the cost that it might incur. Many people in their mid-forties and early fifties want to enhance the sum insured on their health insurance plans because their finances now allow them, and they also want greater protection for their families and themselves. Sometimes, if they have had a few claims in their existing health policy, or have contracted a few ailments, their current insurer may turn down their request to hike the sum insured, or may apply to load (that is, charge a higher premium). One option available to such persons is to buy a top-up (TU) or super top-up (STU) from another insurer.

Inadequate insurance

The add-ons to your health coverage help cover broader range of issues.Being underinsured means someone has inadequate health insurance coverage to address the financial expenses associated with health care services, resulting in financial strain, medical debt, or postponing needed care due to cost.

Without health insurance, getting sick or injured could mean going bankrupt, going without needed care, or even dying needlessly. -Jan Schakowsky

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Health insurance is a type of insurance coverage that protects an individual or a group of people against medical and surgical costs against payment of regular premiums.

Mounting healthcare and surgical costs are a major strain on household budgets. Like any other insurance, mediclaim or health insurance is the best possible protection you or your family may have against any medical (usually hospitalization or surgical) costs. Health insurance also makes medical help affordable for everyone.

Mediclaim or health insurance makes you eligible for tax benefits on premium paid under 80D of the Income Tax Act.

Given the current healthcare scenario, there is no right age to get medical insurance – the earlier, the better. Children can be added to either parent’s mediclaim policy. Many health insurance providers also have special plans for senior citizens and old age related health costs.

Most health insurance providers offer customized mediclaim or health plans. They are broadly of 4 types –

  • Individual health plan
  • Family health plan
  • Critical illness plan
  • Senior citizen health plan

Accident-related medical costs are generally covered by all health insurance plans or may be taken as an add-on rider.

Health insurance costs vary depending on the following factors –

  • Number of persons covered
  • Age of the person/persons assured
  • Health of the person/persons assured
  • Location (health risks in metros is deemed more than that of people residing in small cities and villages)
  • Additional riders (if any are opted for)

When a person signs up for a health insurance, the insurance company ascertains premium based on a number of criteria. Once determined, the company usually charges the same premium for that age group. The older a policy holder gets, the more the premium amount is. In the meantime, if there is a claim in any year, the premium may be hiked upon policy renewal. This is called load premium. The insurance company may sometimes offer a discount on premium, if no claim is registered for a number of years.

Mediclaim health insurance policies usually do not cover the following –

  • Congenital medical conditions and diseases
  • Pre-existing diseases diagnosed prior to policy issuance
  • Medical costs arising out of self-inflicted injuries and/or attempted suicide
  • Cosmetic surgeries and/or treatments including dental treatment
  • Drunken driving related accidents
  • Cost of spectacles or contact lenses
  • Treatment of HIV/AIDS

Planned hospitalization – Submit a written application with the TPA. Include doctor’s recommendation for hospitalization, medical records, and planned expenses. Once approval comes through go ahead with hospitalization. Notify TPA and make a claim through the hospital to avail cashless benefits.

Unplanned hospitalization/Accidents – Notify TPA within 24 hours of hospitalization. Submit a notification statement with name, policy number, and known medical details. The insurer is likely to clear your eligibility details within a day or two. Stake cashless claim through the hospital to avail cashless services or pay cash and stake claim with all bills and records at the completion of treatment.