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Retirement years are fraught with many challenges. One of them is to meet the cost related to health care. Limited incomes, increased life expectancy coupled with inflated medical costs, may seem to be a concern for many. To ease such issue, it is vital to incorporate health insurance in your retirement plan. This would ensure unexpected medical expenses are met, without draining out the retirement corpus that has been saved.
Health Insurance- Start Early
A sound retirement plan should not only build a retirement corpus but must also make provisions to take care of medical expenses in later years. With age, our proximity to illnesses and diseases increase. Thus, health insurance is an important component of retirement planning.
Financial experts have always stressed on the importance of planning for retirement early in one’s earning years. The sooner you enter a policy, the lesser is its cost. This is because health insurance premiums are directly proportional to the age of the insured. Post the age of 60 years, premiums go up every 5 years by at least 20%.
Evaluating Before Making a Choice
Before choosing a health insurance plan, a realistic evaluation of your needs is required to ensure you choose the one that is most suitable to you.
Your medical needs - Pre existing illness, heredity ailments etc…that need to be covered
Family: Who are your dependents you desire to cover post retirement, and their age and existing health condition.
Family history of critical illness if any that may be a high risk.
Regular checkups and doctor visits. With age regular routine checkups may be required. Does the plan take care of that?
Your preferences and lifestyle- The type of hospital and rooms you prefer.
On evaluation of these factor, look into the options offered by health insurance providers. For a family cover you could opt for a floater plan.If you have a history of critical illness in the family, it would be wise to opt for a critical Illness plan, which covers maximum no. of ailments.
Reviewing Your Plan
Just as important as it is to evaluate your needs before choosing a policy, periodic reviews are a necessity too. Health Insurance policies should be periodically reviewed to ensure there is adequate and wide coverage of medical ailments. It is always ideal to opt for a comprehensive policy with lifelong renewability.
Health Insurance for the Senior Citizen
Health Insurance providers have medical insurance policies exclusively to cater to senior citizens. With Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) mandate on keeping 65 years as the maximum entry age for a health insurance policy, a few insurance companies have come up with insurance policies with a late entry age. Such plans however may be limited in their benefits or the sum assured may be in adequate.
Some of the health insurance policies for senior citizens are Silver Health from Bajaj Allianz, Varistha Mediclaim offered by National Insurance, Optima Restore from Apollo Munich, Complete from ICICI Lombard and Gold from Max Bupa. So for those who have not incorporated a health plan early, these policies could provide the much needed financial support to meet medical expenses in the retirement years.
What Can a Health Insurance Policy Offer?
Here is a quick look at the most common benefit offered by health insurance plans that would be required in the golden years...
Hospitalization and Domiciliary hospitalization expenses
Treatment of critical illness such as room charges, doctor fees, nursing fees, cost of medicine and drugs, etc.
Day care expenses arising from procedures such as chemotherapy, dialysis, etc
Medical expenses before and after hospitalization
Pre existing diseases (subject to terms and conditions of the insurer)