Congratulations, for finally taking the decision of buying a Health Insurance for your Parents. You surely are a caring son/daughter of your parents.
Sky rocketing hospital bills, and with near dependence on Private Hospitals for quality treatment, Medical Insurance for Parents especially in a country like India is just not avoidable. A small surgery in a decent nursing home can leave your bank balance lighter by Rs. 75000/-.
Let’s look at the options an average earning son or daughter has when looking at covering his/her parents for Mediclaim in India.
OPTION 1: Employee/Group Health Insurance for Parents:
If you work with an organization which covers your parents, this is a great option as it is in most cases a full cover, covering even Pre-existing Ailments and waiving all kinds of waiting periods. What’s more it does not require Medical Tests. Ofcourse, in case you are looking at a surgery or treatment in the next 2 years, you must go for such an option. At the same time, you cannot completely depend on such plans for ever, for your ageing parents.The drawbacks of depending on Employee/Group Health Insurance covering Parents are as follows:-
Temporary/short term solution:
Though, you get the best cover possible, it is linked to your employment, and gets discontinued the day you separate from the organization. This is true even in cases where you have paid for the premium through a salary deduction.
In most cases, the parents cover is just 1 or 2 Lakhs sum insured, which is not sufficient by any parameter. Anyways, since you don’t decide the coverage and benefits, you are not in control of the coverage or the product.
Increasing Premium and High Co-pay:
Increasingly, we are seeing Insurance companies resisting coverages to Parents. Besides increase in premium by 30% every year, there are new restrictions such as co-pay introduced. Companies which provide optional covers for Parents are also facing major issues, as the Health Insurance companies have started insisting on a minimum population opting in.
Future is not so bright:
Since, there is a deduction in the salary, and the premium is rising every year, we have observed that only people who are likely to claim in the year are renewing their policy, which is resulting in a very high risk population being covered. High claims and losses will keep rising the premiums in the coming years, even though you may not have claimed for your parents.
No Tax Benefit:
In many cases, since the premium is deducted from the Employee’s Salary or included in the CTC and paid by the Employer, there is no Tax Benefit that accrues to the Individual under section 80D.
No Incentive for No Claims:
As mentioned earlier, there are no incentives for making no claims. If the population you belong is making claims, you will have to pay for them the coming year.
OPTION 2: Your own Personal Mediclaim Policy for your Parents.
Though, such personal mediclaim policies will have waiting period for pre-existing ailments as well as mandatory waiting periods for specified illnesses, this is your own policy and is very sensible in the long term. If your parents are in the age bracket of 50 to 69, there are some very good health insurance policies which can help you provide a lifelong medical coverage to your Parents.
The Benefits of your own policy for your Parents are as follows:
You keep your parents covered under an Independent Mediclaim, irrespective of which organization you work for, and which country you are located in the coming years.
There are various options of senior citizen Health Insurance policies available for your parents, where they can be covered for their entire life. Remember, as your parents grow older, getting a health insurance becomes trickier and trickier. After the age of 69, getting a policy becomes extremely difficult.
No Medical Test till age 69:
There are policies available, where there is no Medical Test required till the age of 69, of course there are terms and conditions. In case you do not live with your parents, and it is difficult for them to get the tests done themselves, such options are very convenient.
You decide the coverage:
You decide how much cover you require for your parents.
No Claim Discounts/Bonus:
In case you do not claim in a particular year, you may enjoy No Claim Discounts or Bonus.
You can save tax of more than Rs. 10500/- by buying a Health Insurance for your Parents.
The drawbacks of your own health insurance policy is that, in case you are looking at claiming for a treatment or surgery in the near future (next 2-4 years), this policy would exclude such treatments. The mediclaim policy excludes existing ailments at the time of buying the policy for 2 to 4 years. The policy generally also excludes a list of specified ailments and their treatment for 2 years. After a span of 4 years, most policies almost cover most of the hospitalizations that could be required. For people more than 60 years, old, in certain cases, there could be permanent exclusions applied for certain ailments, which means treatments for such surgeries would not be covered for the lifetime of the Health Insurance policy.
Tips to buy Medical Insurance for your Parents?
- Look for a Specialist Mediclaim Advisor: Look for an advisor who specializes in Health Insurance services and provides professional assistance at the time of claims. An advisor will also sound you on the background of various insurers as well as provide you detailed solutions.
- Renewal Ceasing Age: Look out for the Renewal Ceasing age in the Mediclaim policy. This is the age, when the cover will stop and would not be renewed. For instance, in case of Bajaj Silver Health, though it is a very good product, the policy ceases renewals at the age of 70.
- No Medical Checkup Options: Generally, Medical checkups become mandatory for people aged more than 45. There are medical insurance policies available, which can provide covers from the age of 46 to the age of 69 years without medical tests. In case Medical Checkups are not convenient, one can look at these options.
- Declare current Health history honestly: Note, any misrepresentation or omission of information in the proposal form regarding health of your parents can result in cancellation of the policy and exposing your parents without a Health Insurance cover. Please ensure all health facts are clearly mentioned.
So go ahead and insure your parents through your own personal mediclaim policy, and ensure they get the best quality care and treatment in their delicate old age.
In case you would like a Medimanage Expert to help you buy a policy, you can provide your details in the following link:
Inquire for Senior Citizen Health Insurance today!