The advancements in the field of healthcare have leapfrogged over the years. At the same time, the costs of medical treatments have gone up. For those who have senior citizen parents at home, it is highly essential that they think about the possibilities of age-related illnesses and the rise in medical expenditures and take suitable steps to mitigate the impact on their savings. Thanks to the availability of mediclaim policies for senior citizens offered by top insurers in India, buying a health cover for one’s parents is easy.
Still, if you are confused by looking at so many options available online, you will need a guide you can refer to when picking the best mediclaim for senior citizen parents. We share some useful points you must consider before you make a decision.
- Entry Age Limit
Some insurers offer mediclaim policies for senior citizens only up to 80 years. Some insurance companies, such as Care Health Insurance, do not have any limit on the maximum age for entry. It is a highly noteworthy fact and beneficial for someone looking to get elderly parents covered in a health policy. Thus, when you compare and buy a health policy for your parents, do not forget to check the eligibility criteria.
- Affordable Coverage
If affordability is your focus when choosing a health cover, then carefully analyse the benefits you are getting in the policy and how much premium you need to pay. The best mediclaim policy for senior citizens offers coverage for various medical expenses like in-patient hospitalization, room rent, ICU charges, ambulance cover, domiciliary hospitalization, day care procedures, and pre and post-hospitalization benefits. Often, the premium is on the higher side. But, only decide after you have thoroughly compared and analysed different plans. You could use tools like a premium calculator, which makes things easy.
- Waiting Period
If your parents have a pre-existing condition when buying the policy, check what the waiting period is, after which the illness will be covered. Usually, the waiting period for a pre-existing disease is 48 months, but it may vary from one insurer to another. There is also an initial waiting period and a waiting period for named ailments. So, it is one crucial point you and your parents must consider so that you pick the right policy and ensure your parents do not face any delay in getting treatment.
There may be a cap on the maximum age to renew a senior citizen mediclaim policy. Lifetime renewability is one of the best features mediclaim for senior citizen provides. It implies that your parents can continue with the same policy by regularly renewing it and enjoy its benefits. This way, they do not need to buy another policy, which becomes difficult to get after a certain age.
Most mediclaim policies for senior citizens include the co-payment clause, which means the policyholder has to bear a certain percentage of the claim amount. The insurer will pay the remaining amount. Some policies give the option of a co-payment waiver. It will be helpful if you check the co-payment clause mentioned in the policy documents
There could be a cap on the maximum coverage one could get for some expenses, such as room rent, ICU charges, and specified medical treatments like cataract operation and total knee replacement. So, it is crucial to note these limits and plan for your expenses accordingly. It also ensures you do not face any hassle when filing a claim.
- Cashless Hospitalization
The cashless hospitalization facility under your mediclaim will be available at network hospitals empanelled with the particular insurer. In this feature, you need not make any direct payment to the hospital; instead, your insurance company will settle the expenses as per policy terms and conditions. You should not only ensure that the facility is offered, but you must also check the complete list of network hospitals. This check will help you identify which network hospitals are located closer to your residence so that you need not face any delays in accessing medical care for your elderly parents in a time of urgent need.
- Alternative Treatment
The alternative forms of medical treatment are gaining importance, especially among senior citizens. They are usually effective in treating certain chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. If your parents, too, are considering alternative treatment as an option for their illness; in that case, it is your responsibility to check if the cover is provided in the best mediclaim for senior citizen you have selected
- Tax Benefit
Here is another benefit that your parents can get if they are opting for a mediclaim policy. Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, the policyholder is eligible to get an income tax deduction on the premium paid to the insurer. So, in one year, your senior citizen parents can avail of a maximum deduction up to Rs 50,000. It is an opportunity to save money, considering they might have limited income during their retirement years.
- Annual Health Check-up
To keep a tab on their health condition, your parents can get the most out of the annual health check-up feature that many insurers now offer in their senior citizen policies. Read the policy terms and conditions to know how you can avail of this facility.
Getting a mediclaim cover for your parents can be quick and easy if you follow this guide. The points mentioned above are crucial to remember. Additionally, there are exclusions that you must check without fail. Every health policy specifies some exclusions, which are situations when the policyholder cannot get a claim. Knowing these exclusions will keep you informed and help you plan for those unexpected expenses.
Further, it is equally essential that you know your insurer’s claims procedures. You can get a claim in two ways – one is the reimbursement, and another is the cashless claim option. You should be aware of both these procedures. Moreover, when applying for a policy, fill in the correct details, including any pre-existing conditions your parents might face. All these steps will ensure your claims experience to be comfortable and hassle-free.