When you are looking forward to a slower pace in life and approaching retirement you would not want a medical emergency to throw you out of gear. The cost of health care has reached unreasonable proportions and can easily diminish years of savings.
Personal financial crisis is most commonly caused by unexpected medical events, as even a short hospital stay can see you spend a couple of lakhs. Don't overlook future healthcare costs
Saving for retirement ensures one's financial independence after the steady stream of income disappears. Adequate savings frees a person to live out his retirement as he wishes. Unfortunately, people tend to overlook healthcare costs.
Many employers provide healthcare insurance to employees and their immediate family throughout the duration of their employment. As a result employees rarely worry about healthcare expenses during their working years.
Most people are diagnosed with health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, etc. at middle age; treatment costs remain low in the pre-retirement years as age is still on their side.
After retirement the protective umbrella of workplace insurance disappears. Now this is an issue as most health problems set in after the sixties and healthcare costs now escalate. This is when he actually needs a health cover. Don't dip into your savings, buy insurance
Prepare for this eventuality by calculating health risks along with medical inflation. With the help of a health insurer buy a policy that takes care of your family and you so that you are not faced with huge medical bills.
Buy your policy well in advance as plans for senior citizens are less flexible and more expensive. There is a time bar on many of the ailments and pre-existing illnesses will be taken into account while calculating premiums.
The critical care policies can be a boon if needed as the payouts are good.
It is prudential to retain your savings and invest in paying yearly premiums to take advantage of health insurance.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Deepak Yohannon, January 2014