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Help me Find the Best Health Plan
Growing up is a task so is growing old. Turning sixty is a major milestone. Do you realize how much your parents have toiled to bring you up?
Most people reading this article are financially independent adults, with parents who retired or about to retire from their jobs. With age catching up inevitably, it becomes more and more necessary for them to be medically insured. Practically speaking, the health care costs are rising by 15-18% each year and soon, a heart operation that costs Rs. 4.5 lakhs today will cost about Rs. 11 lakhs in the next five years.
Human psychology is such that medical emergencies always happen to other people, probably because it is too depressing a thing to think about. However, we all know the truth it is best to be prepared for such unforeseen things that can unfortunately happen to anyone, especially if our loved ones are at stake. There are special health insurance plans dedicated to parents, giving you an opportunity to make their lives more peaceful and safer.
Most of us don't do this but now it is probably our turn to take care of them and in turn you ensure you don't break the bank, if they fall ill. Works well, if you plan well.
So do for yourself and for them a favour. Don't delay - research well and buy them good health insurance. It is the only tool that paves way for a happy and financially stress free retirement.
So, what do you look for in your parent's health insurance plan? That's o.k., do not stress yourself. Here goes your check list:
AGE LIMIT: If it provides cover for anyone over the age of 60 and permits entry right up to the age of 80 and guaranteed renewal thereafter. The points of senior citizen health insurance comparison can be max age at renewability.
Why?: You want to cover your parents for as long as it's possible. The older one gets, more the expenses mount. Hence, when picking a plan for your folks, check till what age the plan can be renewed. Options are few, going wrong once could mean not being able to get health insurance later.
PRE EXISTING ILLNESS: It should be covered subject to terms and conditions. No senior citizen health insurance in India will cover everything from the word go. It's tricky to cover health for older people. So a lot of clauses exist, which exclude certain pre-exisitng conditions or ailments. You need to check that after running the policy for a few years, do such illnesses start getting covered?
Why?: You need to ensure that the exclusion list is the smallest possible. Smallest possible when you buy and has potential to become smaller after a few continuous years of coverage. Older you get, multiple conditions or ailments spring up. A smaller exclusion list could be a life saver then.
CRITICAL ILLNESS COVERAGE: The Critical Illnesses or treatments like Coronary Artery Surgery, Cancer, Renal Failure and Stroke are not only emotionally hard to handle but financially too, they can take a huge toll. These big ones are dangerous as normal plans are never enough to handle them. Especially, if you are looking for quality health care. Look for a critical illness top-up with your basic senior citizen health insurance. These top-ups come at small price compared to the basic plan, but that small price is truly small in the scheme of things.
There are things that get covered by all the plans. Ready reckoner:
Insuring your parents medically is probably one of the most perfect things to give your parents. In their old age, they may require medical attention and the expenses can topple your (or their) pretty little apple cart. The following are the benefits of buying health insurance plans for parents:
Now that it is clear as to why one should buy health insurance for one’s parents, it is time to discuss the next step. You can avail health insurance very easily. But do not, we repeat, do not buy health insurance without comparing. Never buy health insurance based on whether the plan is cheap. Remember that a cheap health insurance policy is worse than no policy.
So all in all, here’s a list of steps for buying the perfect plan:
Step 1: Find a homely, sincere web aggregator who can provide you unbiased quotes from various companies and honest expert advice when you need it.
Step 2: Fill in your parent’s and other particulars before you start your search. #Protip: Always declare any pre-existing conditions. If found out later, your insurer may not only reject your claim, you also stand the risk of your policy getting cancelled.
Step 3: Compare the top three quotes for the 7 points mentioned below:
Step 4: Buy the best health insurance policy that suits you perfectly. Mind you, there will rarely be that one perfect policy. You may have to prioritize your needs and let go of things that hold the least importance. There will be a medical check-up in this timeline, if your company insists on one.
Step 5: Once you buy the policy, dedicate a good amount of time reading the policy wording. You have a look-up period, wherein you can cancel the policy without any loss. Make the most of this. Be alert, be aware.
Why can’t I simply include my parents in a family floater plan?
Technically, you can. However, if your parents suffer from any medical conditions, the premium of the entire plan can hike up. Besides after a certain age, the person requires more than what you would. The sum insured offered by family floater is not enough. If you notice, there isn’t much difference in the yearly premium.
Why should I buy a separate health insurance plan for each of my parents?
One policy may not cover them both. Both your parents may have different sets of requirements and one sum insured may not be enough. Buying two different health insurance policies for each parent is the most efficient thing to do.
What is not covered in Parents Health Insurance?
Critical illnesses such as cancer, organ failure etc, cosmetic procedures, procedures that are not diagnostic or medical in nature, injuries caused by adventure sports and so on. Take a close look at the list of exclusions in your policy wordings.
What about tax benefits?
Under the Section 80D of the Income Tax Act 1961, you can avail tax benefits on health insurance policies. Senior citizens can avail tax benefit of total INR 30,000 for one year. If you are buying this for your parents, you stand to claim this benefit of Rs. 30,000, plus the tax benefit of INR 25,000 for your own health policy. So a total of 55,000 tax benefit can be availed. Thus your policies pretty much pay for themselves.