Health insurance for senior citizens

Ever since my employment (and after my dad's retirement), my parents have been covered by the group medical insurance in the companies that I worked for.  I never had to worry about either my personal health insurance or my parents'.  When my dad was hospitalized a few years back, the insurance covered (most of) the charges (though the claim process was laborious and the time it took, protracted).

I realized a couple of things too late:

a) It is good to have a personal medical insurance, even if you have company provided insurance.  This helps when you change companies and/or if your company does not provide (adequate) insurance
b) In the absence of a), if you have a company provided group medical insurance, it is good to convert it to an individual/family medical insurance when you leave the company by paying the relevant (additional) premium.  This ensures continuity (which is required to cover pre-existing illnesses) and avoids the need to do any check-up.  This is especially relevant for senior citizens.

Getting an insurance for myself, wife and kid was not a big deal and it happened online with no medical tests. But it was a different thing for my parents.

I started by checking with a cousin of mine, who works for a popular Government general insurance company.  He said he will get back to me in a few days, though his first reaction was that it was difficult - especially for my dad, who is 70+.   Despite a couple of reminders, nothing happened from his side.

I did not want to attempt to take an insurance in Bangalore for my parents, who predominantly stay in Cochin.  So, I had my brother in Cochin check with his insurance agent. He came back with the same answer as my cousin - no insurance possibilty for my dad, the premium for my mom would be around Rs.50,000/- per annum.

This made no sense, so I took to the internet.  A search for "Senior Citizen Medical insurance" threw up very useful results.

The first was this link from General Insurance Council, an association of all the general insurance providers. It gave a list of products specifically for senior citizens provided by various insurance companies.  Many of the links were dead or incorrect, but many of them worked.

The one which attracted me was Senior Citizen Mediclaim Policy from New India Assurance Co. Ltd.  It met my primary requirement - entry age > 70.  Most other links covered senior citizens policy where the entry age was less than 70.  That would have been ok for my mom but not for both.

Of course, there was a pre-acceptance health check-up that had to be done.  Of course, the coverage is only for Rs.1.5 lakhs maximum.  Of course, there are limits of coverage for each head. But, the point is, there is an insurance policy for senior citizens (even 70+) with a reasonable premium.  (The premium can be discounted further since there is a separate tax exemption over and beyond the standard 80D for senior citizens).

I sent across this link to my brother, who, in turn, went back to his agent.  It appeared that this was a new scheme which the agent himself  did not know.  I don't know what was worse - an employee of the Company (my cousin) not knowing about the scheme or the agent.

It appears that there are other providers of mediclaim for Senior Citizen as well.   This comparison link seems interesting though it is possibly dated.

To summarize, the earlier one insures and regularly renews his/her insurance the better.  If not, a scheme like the above may still be useful.

Of course, all this is contingency.  For all you know, you may not need any insurance at all - in which case, all the premium amount that you will pay will help the others!  On the other hand, no amount of insurance might help - God alone can help then!


Comments

  1. Nice post. It has good information about insurance policy for health.
    Compare Insurance Policies

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