A Guide to Health Insurance for Retirees
Is Retirement the time for which your parents have been saving money their entire working life? There were not many good insurance plans when they were young hence there is a chance that they might not have very robust health insurance in their golden years. You do not want their savings to be eaten up by health ailments that accompany old age. There are many health insurance plans for senior citizens available now but how do you select the best one? Here is a guide to health insurance for retirees.
There are many myths surrounding this issue. This guide to health insurance for retires shall try to address them one by one.
Group Insurance is Sufficient
In order to avoid steep premiums of individual insurance many people opt for group insurance policies offered by their employers which allows them to cover their dependent parents. This policy does not offer good financial assistance to senior citizens who are the most vulnerable in the family to fall ill. So, it is advisable to purchase senior citizen plans for your aging parents
While it is true that most insurance companies do not cover pre-existing ailments there are many insurance companies that offer specially curated insurance plans for senior citizens with reduced waiting period for pre-existing ailments even as low as 1 year.
Insurance plans for senior citizens are normally costlier than the policies for the younger population but your parents are going to fall ill inevitably so it is better to invest some premium into this policy instead of trying to scamper for money later.
Things to Look for while Buying a Health Insurance Policy for Retirees
- Medical History: It is important to provide accurate information about pre-existing health ailments of retirees when you buy your health insurance. This will help to avoid any rejections in claims at the time of hospitalization Choosing the plan.
You need to get into the nitty-gritty of things like whether hospitalization costs like room rent, bills of medicines, laboratory tests, daycare and ambulance expenses etc. are covered or not and also check if any sub-limits of these features are present or not.
- Filling the Proposal Form: The proposal form gets rejected when knowingly or unknowingly people lie about their medical condition. There have been cases when people have not reported the disease and during a medicalcheck-up or at the time of claims, the disease was found to be pre-existing. and hence the insurance company rejects the proposal/claim outright in such cases.
- Medical Check-Up: Many insurance companies insist on Pre-policy medical check-up especially for retirees. Once you have submitted your proposal form the doctors will do some tests like kidney function test, liver function test, urine routine, lipid profile and sonography (only for women) to determine your health condition.
Your Proposal form for Senior Citizen is rejected, now what?
Even when you use the points given above in this guide to life insurance for retirees, please note that sometimes the proposal form is rejected.
You have two options when this happens
- If you have doubts regarding the medical check-updone, then you can approach the panel of doctors for reconsideration. If the doctors are satisfied with your point then they will reconsider your application and accept it.
- In case this doesn’t work then you can approach a different insurance company, if you apply for health insurance for retirees within 30 days of your application to the first company then the old medical documents will be sufficient, you don’t need to go through all the tests again.
- Treatment facility at a large number of hospitals all over India
- Cashless benefits (Opt for insurers having wider cashless network hospitals)
- Free-look period
- Annual health check-ups
- You will get a tax deduction on the premium.
Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plan Does Not Cover
- Pre-existing health ailments upto the pre-defined waiting period
- If you contract any disease within 30 days of the policy period, then it won’t be covered in the plan.
- Alternative treatments like homeopathy, Ayurveda are not covered in the plan, hence you won’t get money if you choose to heal yourself with Ayurveda instead of allopathy
- If the retiree has inflicted any self-harm then it won’t be covered
- If the retiree has used drugs then plan won’t cover the expenses for treatment
- The cost of spectacles, lenses or dental implants won’t be covered unless in the event of an accident
- If the retiree has AIDS then the expenses won’t be covered by the insurer
- Certain surgeries like the joint replacement will be covered only after atleast 2 years of the policy.
- Expenses for plastic surgery won’t be covered
- If the injury is due to invasion of a foreign army or war, then it will be excluded
While you can use this guide to health insurance for retirees as a starting point there are some important points to note apart from the above-given ones, like if the insurance company finds out that you have started taking alcohol or are smoking then they might increase the premium amount.
Hence it is best to read the related documents carefully before going for the plan.
It is advisable to take health insurance for retirees to avoid inevitable exorbitant hospital expenses.