At the pinnacle of their lives, the one thing that is of foremost importance is their health. As we grow old, Health problems will only increase. If Senior Citizens rely only on their pension, they would not be able to face medical contingencies. An adequate Health plan will help Senior Citizens to lead a stress-free life. However, it is tough to get a good Health plan for Senior Citizens, as insurers consider issuing Health insurance for Senior Citizens is high risk for them. However, government has increased Tax deduction limit for Senior Citizens on Health Plans from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 under section 80D. This shows that it is encouraging Senior Citizens to take health plans with higher premium.
We have analyzed a few factors which should be kept in mind before deciding a health plan for a Senior Citizen:
On the proposal form of Health plan, one needs to reveal every health problem. Disclosing every fact regarding your health will help you to claim the total amount at the time of emergency. Hiding pre-existing health problems might give you a good cover but insurers would reject that claim as fraudulent act when you apply for it. So, it would be a good idea to be truthful.
Low-Premium Plan is of no use:
Generally, premium for Senior Citizens are very high. If there are plans at low-premium, they might not serve you as per your need, as low-premium plans wouldn’t include several important features. So, though the premiums are high, it is suggested to go for a health plan that provides adequate coverage.
Factors that impact Your Health Plan:
If the Health Plan comes with a Co-Pay option, then at the time of claim some amount should be spent from your pocket. The minimum the Co-Pay the better is your Health Plan. So, go for a Health plan that has no Co-Pay or lower Co-Pay.
Your Health Plan would not be utilized completely, if your plan has a Sub-Limit option. In Sub-Limits, Health Plan will cap expenses on the lodging. So, it is ideal to choose a Health plan which has no Sub-Limits, as lodging contributes a substantial share under medical expenses while taking a treatment at Hospital.
Health Plan with a Deductible option will make you pay from your pocket for a few deductibles before sanctioning your claim. So, it is prudent to go for a Health plan which has no Deductibles.
Don’t neglect Pre-Existing Exclusions:
Many of Senior Citizens suffer from diseases before taking a Health Plan. Pre-existing exclusions would not cover for pre-existing diseases for certain duration. If Senior Citizens have any chronic diseases, then this factor is unavoidable. While choosing your Health Plan, pre-existing exclusion should be as low as possible.
Free from Disease Waiting Period:
Some Health Plans will cover for certain diseases after a stipulated time. Diseases like cataract, hernia, etc. are a few diseases which fall under this category. As cataract is the most common problem faced by Senior Citizens, they should check that their Health Plan is free from this feature.
Check Disease-wise capping:
Health Plans with Disease wise capping have cap on certain ailments. Senior Citizens should be careful while choosing a Health Plan, as their Health Plan should not put a cap on their existing or suspected diseases
Claim-Settlement ratio plays a significant role while choosing a Health Plan. More the rejection or pendency of claims, lower the Claim-Settlement Ratio. So, it is prudent to take a Health Plan which has a good Claim-Settlement Ratio.
A major portion of the hard earned savings of Senior Citizens is spent on medical emergencies. It is very important to choose a Health Plan very judiciously so that these medical emergencies do not leave a hole in the pockets. Failure to choose an adequate Health Plan can leave a Senior Citizen in a debt trap. This becomes all the more important because this is a phase of one’s life when earning is minimal.