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Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plans in India

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Health Insurance after the age of 60 years used to be impossible in India a few years back. Now, though a bit more expensive, it is available. There are a few insurance companies which offer health cover to senior citizens.

Anyone over the age of 60 is considered a senior citizen in India. The plans may be limited and restricted when compared to regular health insurance plans, but once you reach the age of 60 it is very important to have a health insurance option.
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Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plans in India

Life expectancy is increasing and so are medical expenses, the income after retirement is dwindling, surplus money is also decreasing due to inflation and unforeseen expenses.

Among some of the companies that offer health policies for senior citizens are National Insurance, Oriental Insurance, New India, United Insurance, Apollo Munich, and Max Bupa.

Age- Many PSU companies offer Mediclaim for senior citizens between 60 – 80 years, though many of them limit the age at 69 years – so once you cross 69 years you are no longer eligible. Others like Max Bupa and Apollo Munich have no age limits.

Renewal- The age limit for policy renewal is usually 90 years but may differ from one company to the next.

Pre-existing Illnesses- When a person has a pre-existing illness, the policy will cover this illness only after a wait period of 1-2 years. This again differs policy to policy. National Insurance’s Varistha Senior Citizen Policy will never cover a pre-existing illness.

Premium- Premiums are generally on the higher side at this age as the risk is very high. An extra premium is usually charged for pre-existing disease – this is to cover the additional risk.

Sum Assured- The sum assured is usually not very high and Public insurers offer a cover of Rs. 1 -2 lakhs which is low, as medical costs are soaring. Private Insurers offer Rs. 15-20 lakhs under family floaters – but the premium and co-payments are high.

Co-payment- This is the fixed percentage of the total bill on the claim to be paid by the person insured. This is defined in the policy at the time of purchase. The usual co-payment is 10% - 20% though some companies can charge 40%.

No Claim Bonus- When you do not make any claims for two consequent years the sum assured is increased by 5%. Again this differs from company to company.

How do you choose a Policy?

What are the points you should consider when you buy a senior citizen cover for yourself or your parents?

Choose a policy that lets you renew it to the maximum extent.

A policy should offer a good cover – within the budget. The policy should also cover critical illness plan and pre-existing illness.

Some companies cover pre-existing illness only after one year. It will be beneficial to look for a policy that will cover with a lesser or no waiting period.

Choose a policy with a higher sum assured as medical expenses are rising.

Buy a policy that has less exclusion – some companies excludes certain diseases or impose special conditions.

Choose a policy that has a minimum or no co-payment.

These are some of the Companies and the Policies they offer-
Star Health Insurance Company - Star Senior Red Carpet Plan
Age60 - 75 years
RenewalLifelong
Pre-existing illness CoverFrom 1st year
Sum Assured1 - 5 Lakhs
Co-payments50% for pre-existing disease, 30% for other illnesses

Bajaj Allianz - Silver Health
Age43 -70 years
Renewal75 years
Pre-existing illness CoverAfter 1 year
Sum Assured50000 - 5 Lakhs
Co-payments20% on out of network hospitals, No co-payment on extra premium

Apollo Munich - Optima Senior
Age61 onwards
RenewalLifelong
Pre-existing illness CoverAfter 3 years
Sum Assured1 - 5 Lakhs
Co-payments15-30% based on room type, 30% on specified disease, Pre-existing illness covered after 3 years

Max Bupa - Heartbeat
Age0 - to no limit
RenewalLifelong
Pre-existing illness CoverAfter 4 years
Sum Assured2 - 3 Lakhs
Co-payments20% for above 65 years

National Insurance - Varishta Mediclaim
Age60 - 80 years
Renewal90 years
Pre-existing illness CoverAfter 1 year
Sum Assured1 Lakh on hospitalization / 2 Lakhs for critical illness
Co-payments10%

United India Insurance - Senior Citizen Plan
Age61 - 80 years
RenewalLifelong
Pre-existing illness Cover-
Sum Assured50000 - 3 Lakhs
Co-payments20%

New India Insurance - Senior Citizen Mediclaim Policy
Age60 - 80 years
Renewal90 years
Pre-existing illness CoverAfter 1.5 years
Sum Assured1 - 1.5 Lakhs
Co-payments10% on BP and Diabetes

The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd - Individual Healthclaim Insurance
Age18 - 80 years
Renewal80 years
Pre-existing illness Cover5 years after policy taken
Sum Assured50000 - 5 Lakhs
Co-payments-
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