In today’s world, most people are so driven and involved in their work that they do not pay heed to their health. They become a host to several diseases without even realising it. This becomes a bigger problem in their old age when their body isn’t capable enough to fight these ailments very well.
Health insurance becomes essential and indispensable for senior citizens as they are physically more vulnerable, prone to several ailments in the later years of life, and financially less stable. There is no fixed source of regular income after retirement, and most of them are dependent either on their children or their savings which they might run out of.
Additionally, the skyrocketing costs of healthcare services make it a strenuous task to pay for their treatment, regardless of a regular income or not. Therefore, purchasing good health insurance for yourself or your parents is a wise move and is the need of the hour.
Therefore, senior citizens health insurance promises to provide a wide array of facilities to people above 60 (varying according to different policies). It functions as a financial armour in times of emergency, rendering numerous benefits like health check-ups, cashless hospitalisation, ambulance charges, critical illness coverage and much more.
Key features of senior citizens’ health insurance
A senior citizen’s health insurance has several characteristic features, some of which are listed below-
- Hospitalisation expenses– This health insurance covers all the costs a person has to bear during their treatment, including room, medicinal expenses, nursing fees, and ICU and operation theatre charges. The cost of diagnostic tests, artificial limbs and prosthetic devices is also a part of this insurance.
- Cashless hospitalisation– You do not need to carry a lot of cash during an emergency. There are a lot of hospitals listed under your insurance policy that allow you to avail of cashless hospitalisation facilities.
- Covid-19 treatment– Many insurance companies also take covid-19 into consideration and cover the costs of its treatment upto a specific amount.
- Ambulance charges– The ambulance cost of reaching the insured to the hospital is also covered under the senior citizens’ health insurance.
- Daycare expenses– Most good health insurance plans for senior citizens also cover the cost of treatments that require less than 24 hours of hospitalisation like chemotherapy, dialysis, etc.
- Pre-existing disease– After a fixed waiting period, the costs of any pre-existing illnesses related to the heart, lungs, kidney, diabetes and blood pressure of the insured senior citizen are also included in it.
- Domiciliary hospitalisation cover– There are times when the doctor suggests home treatment for some people. In such cases, your insurance company will also cover the domiciliary hospitalisation expenses.
- Organ donor expenses– These are the expenses incurred during organ transplants.
Importance of senior citizens’ health insurance
- Rising healthcare costs– The advancement in technology has led to an extreme rise in medicinal expenses. Considering this unstoppable boom, it is essential to have health insurance so that we do not have to depend on anyone else during a medical emergency.
- Unstable income– As already mentioned, senior citizens do not have a regular source of income after retirement. They are primarily dependent on their savings or pensions, which might not be enough in any serious medical emergency. Hence, it is imperative to have health insurance for senior citizens.
- No debt crisis– With no regular source of income, no one to look after your expenses and no health insurance, the only choice you would be left with is borrowing money from people. The pressure of paying the money back can not only strain you financially but can disturb you mentally as well. Therefore, senior citizens’ health insurance is an essential tool to save you from any possible debt crisis later in your life.
- Growing vulnerability to diseases– With old age comes an increased risk of being infected with several conditions, which are likely to affect our bodies severely. The frequent medical check-ups, hospitalisation, and ambulance charges can cost you a considerable part of your savings if you do not have health insurance.
- Tax-benefit– Under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, you can avail of tax exemption if you have a senior citizen health insurance.
- If you hold insurance for your elderly parents, you can avail a tax exemption of up to Rs. 50,000
- If the senior citizen undergoes treatment for any acute disease, a rebate of up to Rs. 1 lakh can be availed.
- You are also eligible for an additional tax rebate of Rs. 25000, i.e., a total of Rs. 75000, if you are an earning senior citizen.
Some of the best health insurance plans for senior citizens
- Aditya Birla Activ Care Plan
- Bajaj Allianz Silver Health Plan
- Bharti AXA Smart Health Insurance Plan
- Care Senior Health Plan
- Niva Bupa (Formerly known as Max Bupa) Heartbeat Plan
- Kotak Mahindra Health Care Plan
To sum up
The benefits and the features of a senior citizen’s health insurance demonstrate its importance. Whether you have a regular income or not, if you can afford your medical expenses at present or not, it is always advised to hold a mediclaim policy, especially if you are above the age of 60.
Good health insurance from a reputed and trusted insurance company can save you from all/a the majority of your future medical expenses and provide you with the ability of self-sustenance even after your retirement.