Your parents might skillfully hide their worries from you thinking you already have enough to look after. But you can see that they are getting old and with age increases their health problems. Medical advancement has assured treatment for almost any illness; however, it comes with a very high cost. An unannounced health emergency can leave you with debts, huge credit card bills and excessive guilt or regret. Now is the right time to buy health insurance for your parents if you haven’t bought it already. Here are 5 things you should keep in mind to purchase the best health insurance policy for your parents.
- Entry Age and Renewal Age
Most health insurance for senior citizens can be availed upto a maximum age of 65 years. This is why you need to plan early to get the best health insurance policy for your parents. There are some insurers who also cover people beyond 65 years of age for instance Bajaj Allianz Silver Health Plan. Some insurers offer policies which can only be renewed till a certain age. It is therefore advisable to go for a lifelong renewal plan.
- Waiting period for pre-existing diseases
Health insurance for senior citizens offers to extend cover to pre-existing diseases only after a specified time limit which is called the ‘waiting period’. It is advisable to disclose the exact state of your parents’ health while buying health insurance for your parents. Based on the illnesses your parents are suffering choose a plan which best suits their requirements. Typically for illnesses like Diabetes there is a waiting period of two to four years. Try opting for a health insurance plan with minimum waiting period if you think your parents might need medical assistance in the near future.
- Co payment
Co payment or simply ‘Co-pay’ is the cost which will be shared by you with the insurer in case of a claim. Some insurers impose co payment in health insurance plans for senior citizens. There are many insurers who also offer to pay 100% of the admissible claim. While buying health insurance for your parents you can waive off the co payment option by paying an additional premium. Do remember to check with your insurer on the conditions under which you will be eligible for getting your insurance company to pay 100 % of the claim amount.
Premium is the amount you will pay annually towards the health insurance plan for your parents. The premium of health insurance for senior citizens will definitely be higher than that of younger people. In case of pre-existing diseases expect the premium to be higher as the insurer will duly charge you for the additional risk taken to cover a policy holder who has a pre-existing disease. While comparing premiums to get the best health insurance policy for your parents do also consider the co payment option of the cover and zero in on a plan accordingly.
- Sum Assured
Sum assured is the total insurance cover that you take at the time of a policy. This is the maximum amount that you can claim. For this, you must consider rising medical costs as also whether or not you can afford to pay the premium. Best health insurance policy for parents is the one which you can continue to pay the premiums for year on year. So don’t get emotional and opt for the maximum sum assured while buying health insurance for your parents, do keep a rational check on its affordability too.
As a thumb rule, while purchasing any insurance policy and more so health insurance for senior citizens do carefully read the exclusions and conditions of your policy to avoid any hassle at the time of claim. Acquaint yourself with the network hospitals and claims procedure of your insurer. Spend some time to research and find out the best health insurance policy for your parents. Gift them the assurance that apart from your love and support they will get the best quality medical treatment if they ever need it.