Seeking a Health Insurance for a Senior Citizen

The number of senior citizens enrolled in health insurance schemes has steadily been growing despite the ever rising cost of health insurance and the risks associated with this group.

Feb 08, 2016 07:02 IST India Infoline News Service

Most health insurance providers in India describe a senior citizen as a person over the age of 65 years. The number of senior citizens enrolled in health insurance schemes has steadily been growing despite the ever rising cost of health insurance and the risks associated with this group. If you are seeking to buy a health insurance for a senior citizen here is what you need to look out for.
 
Pre-existing Conditions and Diseases
Insurance companies generally prefer to mitigate risks exposed by these pre-existing conditions usually by:
  • Loading higher premiums.
  • Inserting a longer waiting period.
  • Declining to cover for any form of treatment of the pre-existing conditions.
  • Denying selling the policy.
Exclusions
Having noted that this is a major source of concern for many senior citizens, most insurers include a section for ‘Important exclusions’ in their sales pitch. You need to be aware of this; it is advisable to read and understand all exclusions, including the undisclosed, exclusions thoroughly.
 
Co-payment
Co-payment is where you meet a certain fraction of the cost the claimable hospital bill privately. Most insurers include this feature in a policy to control the number of claims made by senior citizens. A good understanding of the co-pay percentage mentioned in a policy is necessary before opting for one.

Age limit
A condition limiting the entry age of a prospect is usually included in many policies for the senior citizens. Age limit conditions however are not applicable to renewal of existing policy holders as stipulated by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. A renewal can only be declined on grounds of fraud, moral hazard or Misrepresentation.
 
When seeking health insurance for a senior citizen, look out for the best suiting policy. It is rare that there will exist a perfect policy for you. You may have to let go of less important things and prioritize on more important needs. A good understanding of the policy wording is necessary, usually insurers include a ‘look-up period’ wherein you can cancel the policy without any loss. 

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