Things to keep in mind when buying health insurance for parents

Things to keep in mind when buying health insurance for parents

India has a great demographic advantage – we are a nation of young people, with around 65% of Indians under the age of 35. Our brilliant young people are making great strides in all areas and contributing to the growth of the country. However, to pursue better education and employment opportunities, more and more young Indians are now staying away from their hometowns. One of the most pressing concerns for these young people is the well-being of their aging parents, and one of the main concerns is how to handle the situation if their parents have a medical emergency. The insurance industry understands how important it is for everyone to ensure that their parents are healthy and fit. To address these concerns, the industry offers health insurance plans and riders that support the specific needs of seniors. This article highlights the factors one should keep in mind when buying health insurance for parents.

A comprehensive policy with adequate sum insured:

With age, the risk of various medical ailments and problems increases, and medical inflation increases at an unprecedented rate. A comprehensive health insurance plan helps manage medical emergencies without putting a dent in your pocket or your parents’ savings. You should ideally look for a policy that offers broad coverage with an adequate sum insured. Remember that a policy with a low sum assured would be of no use during an adverse event. When reducing the insured amount, keep the cost of inflation in mind as well. A certain sum insured may seem appropriate today, but it may not be enough in a few years. Medical inflation must be taken into account and an increase in the sum insured every few years is recommended.

Pay attention to waiting periods and sub-limits

The other crucial point to keep in mind concerns the waiting period for pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions refer to ailments or health conditions that the policyholder suffered from before purchasing health insurance. Typically, insurers impose a waiting period for such ailments and the insured cannot file a claim for said condition until after the waiting period ends. The waiting periods in a contract specially designed for seniors are relatively less than in other contracts. You should look for policies with reasonably lesser waiting periods. Also, take a close look at the policy’s sublimits. Sub-limit is a cap placed in a policy – this cap is explicitly expressed as a fixed amount or a percentage of the sum insured. So, while the sum of the insured policy may be Rs 5,00,000, the sub-limit for disease ‘A’ may be Rs 50,000. This implies that for disease ‘A’, the maximum liability of the insurance company will be Rs 50,000. It is crucial to take note of the sub-limits, as a policy with lower sub-limits may lower the premium, but it will also limit coverage and increase out-of-pocket expenses.

Search for hospitalization at home

This is the situation where insurers cover the cost of treatment at home, in extreme cases where the insured cannot be admitted to hospital or due to a lack of beds in hospitals. Coverage is subject to certain conditions, which may vary from insurer to insurer. This coverage becomes very useful for the elderly as they are more likely to encounter a condition where hospitalization may become difficult.

Insurer’s hospital network

Insurers bundle various hospitals in their network across the country for cashless facilities. Consult the insurer’s hospital network. The list of hospitals in the network is available on the insurer’s website. The insured benefits from cashless claims settlement in the hospitals of the network. Choose an insurer who has a good network of hospitals in the city where your parents live, this will help you settle your claim without hassle.

Associate politics with fit runners

Today, the insurance industry offers few very useful endorsements, which help you to further strengthen the basic senior policy. These runners have convenient features like home care services, which include physiotherapy and nursing care, medical teleconsultation, ambulance services, and a fall detection facility, to name a few. Devices used to track fall detection alert the service provider in the event of a fall, who will then dispatch emergency assistance services to assist the insured. These innovative services help the insured to obtain timely care and attention, which greatly contributes to a smooth recovery and solves the worries of children or relatives of the elderly. You can also opt for a wellness endorsement, which will cover preventive health checks, laboratory tests, teleconsultations. In addition, you can opt for a supplement and improve the coverage. Supplemental plans are designed to augment the base plan by providing additional coverage on top of the base policy at a nominal premium.

Why opt for separate health insurance for parents? The age of the oldest member determines the premium for a family floating health insurance; covering parents in the family floating plan will significantly increase the premium. For example, if you are 30, your spouse is 29, and your mother and father are 62 and 64 respectively, the premium will be calculated based on the age of the oldest member – in this case, the father. The other main reason is that if one of the parents suffers from a serious illness, a large part of the sum insured or the entire sum insured could run out, leaving the other members without sufficient coverage or no coverage. at all.

Please note that like any other policy, the Health Policy for Parents also has an entry age. The entry age can vary from one insurer to another, but it is generally between 55 and 80 years old.

Keep these critical points in mind when looking for health insurance for your parents. Good health insurance coverage is probably one of the best gifts you can give your parents. This will ensure that their savings are not spent on paying medical bills. Health insurance will bring them peace, better access to quality medical care and a peaceful life.

(The author is the Managing Director and Managing Director of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance)

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