How to choose the best senior citizen health policy: Eligibility, coverage, claim, hospital network

A look at key criteria for choosing the best health insurance policy for your parents in 2022.

With advancing age, people become more susceptible to various health issues. This is the time when they need the safety net of health insurance the most. If you have ageing parents, you cannot ignore their health insurance needs. You must choose the best senior citizen health policy that provides comprehensive coverage and safeguards you from the financial burden of huge medical bills. Here are some key factors to consider:

Eligibility for older people

With advancing medical care, average life spans have increased as well. However, this also means your parents will require health cover for a longer period. You need to look for a senior citizen health plan that not only allows entry after the age of 60 but also guarantees renewability for higher ages. Many health insurance providers now offer life-long renewability. Even though the premiums may be higher, the benefit they offer far outweighs the cost.

Also Read: Insurance For Senior Citizens - Is It Worth It?

Coverage of pre-existing illnesses

It is possible that your parents already suffer from some chronic issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. While most new-age health plans cover pre-existing ailments, they come with a long waiting period. You need to consider a senior citizen health insurance plan that has a minimal waiting period so that you can benefit from the cover in case of an emergency. Do remember to make full disclosure of all health conditions so that you don’t encounter any claim issues.

Affordable copayment clause

Due to the high probability of a claim associated with plans for senior citizens, insurance providers may introduce a clause for copayment. With this in place, if you make a claim, you will have to contribute a portion towards the treatment expenses. The copayment ratio may range from 5% to 50%, depending on various factors such as your parents’ age, health, previous claims made, etc. A high copayment ratio means you will have to pay a large chunk of the expenses before your insurance benefit kicks in. The best health insurance policy, in this case, will be one that has a nil or low copayment ratio.

Also Read: All That You Wanted To Know About Co-Pay And Deductibles In Insurance

Cashless claims and hospital network

A cashless claim facility ensures that you don’t have to break the bank trying to get medical assistance, especially in case of an emergency. The insurance coverage pays for everything from the get-go without any hindrance to the medical care on account of finances. On similar lines, you need to evaluate the insurance providers' network of hospitals. The distance to the hospitals around you and specialised treatments offered should be considered as well.

Conclusion

It is crucial to consider all variables before selecting a senior citizen health insurance plan. A low premium should not be the sole criterion when taking a decision. The best health insurance policy in India is one that will serve all your needs at an affordable premium. Transparent terms and conditions, good customer service, and a high claim settlement ratio are other key factors to consider. In the end, the best insurance policy is the one that gives you peace of mind.

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