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Did you ever realise that living long means becoming old too?

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2011 | 116 Views

Everyone wishes to live long; at least most of us do, but no one actually wants to grow old. And ironically, you will realise how it feels to be old only when you grow old and by that time it may be a little late for you to take any corrective actions.

 

So, apart from planning a world trip with your spouse, there are lots of things that need to be taken care of before it too late. Well, let me also remind you that in today’s world, with expenses soaring by the hour, everything needs to be planned in advance – well in advance!

Let us take the example of medicines. With the rising cost of medical expenses, it becomes difficult to think about the BEST of treatment without the support of a financial aid. And the best way to obtain a financial aid for medical purposes is nothing but a Health Insurance. People have started realising this and hence the penetration of
health insurance has increased by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Health insurance is absolutely necessary for every individual if one wishes to avail the best of medical treatment for self and family without feeling the pinch. The ideal is simple – it is better to shell out few thousand bucks each year to the insurance company rather than a sudden blow of many thousands or lakhs anytime during the year.

 

Now, the probability of a person falling ill is higher if he/she belongs to the older age group and this is one of the reasons for the growing awareness and importance of Health Insurance Policies among the older age group people. And hence many insurance companies have special mediclaim (health insurance) policies for senior citizens.

 

Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policies

Most health insurance companies offer insurance policies that cover only up to the age of 55 to 60 years. However there are certain plans which are dedicated to Senior Citizens which allow entry age till 85 and provide cover for life long, provided the same being continuously renewed each year without any issues and concerns.

 

Key Features of Senior Citizen Health Plans

- No restriction on entry age – one can start the policy even after the age of 65

- Provides life long renewals

- Covers pre existing diseases after a few years

- Few plans don’t even ask for medical check up

 

Popular Health Insurance Senior Citizens Plans

1. Apollo Munich Easy Health plans

2. Max Bupa Heartbeat Health Insurance Plans

3. Star Health Senior Citizen Red Carpet Insurance Plan

4. New India Assurance Mediclaim

5. Bajaj Allianz Silver Health

6. Oriental Senior Citizen

 

Max Bupa Health Insurance provides cover for every member of the family across every stage in life-from newborns to senior citizens in their Heartbeat Health Insurance Plan. They do not have any restriction on entry or exit age. Certain insurance plans like Star Health Senior Citizen Red Carpet Insurance Plan do not even have medical examination for issuance of the policy. It is completely based on “declaration of good health”.

 

The most interesting feature of having a senior citizen health insurance plan is that even pre-existing diseases are covered after a few years on continuous renewal. For example in Star Health Senior Citizen Red Carpet Insurance Plan, pre-existing diseases are covered from the second year of operation, in Apollo Munich Easy Health Plans and Cholamandalam Family Health Plan, pre existing conditions are covered after 3 years of continuous renewal, in ICICI Lombard Health Insurance and National Insurance Mediclaim, pre existing conditions are covered after 4 years of continuous renewal, Bharti AXA Smart Health Insurance Policy- Pre existing conditions are covered after 2 or 4 years of continuous renewal, depending on the plan opted for. And in Max Bupa Heartbeat Health Insurance Plans (Silver, Gold and Platinum)-  Pre existing conditions are covered after 24 or 48 months, depending on the plan chosen and the age of entry.

 

Useful Checks

Co-payment - A common feature of the Senior Citizen health insurance policy is "co-payment". It basically means that the customer (Insured) has to bear a certain percentage of the claims amount along with the insurance company. But then some policies provide you the option to pay a higher premium and get the co-payment clause waived off. Please do check the percentage of co-payment in the policy thoroughly.

 

Exclusions – Like any other insurance policy, it is important to go through the exclusion list of senior citizen health insurance plans. Usually there is a waiting period of a year for diseases like hernia, cataract, piles, hysterectomy and hypertrophy. At times there are limits on major surgeries and cardiovascular diseases which needs to be noted before taking the policy.   

 

Tax Benefits

Health Insurance premiums paid up to Rs 20,000 for senior citizens are allowed as a deduction from the taxable income each year under section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

 

Therefore, please realise that if you are living for long then you need to plan for the old age. And the most important planning needs to be done for your health. Having a good health insurance policy not only provides for medical assistance in times of need but also offers peace of mind. This helps you to sit back and enjoy your post-retirement life without having to fret about hospitalization emergencies. So go ahead and get a good health cover and calmly plan your trips or outings with loved ones.


Deepak Yohannan
Deepak Yohannan is the CEO of MyInsuranceClub. He enjoys writing on Personal Finance and contributes regularly on sites like Reuters & Moneycontrol. He is a strong proponent of online insurance and is often found pointlessly babbling about it!

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