Can NRIs Buy a Health Insurance Policy for Their Parents Living In India?
Many NRIs want to know the answer to this question, and fortunately, the answer is Yes, the NRIs who are away from India, can still buy health insurance for their parents and family who are residing in India.
Though health insurance has always been an elementary tool in good financial planning, the COVID-19 scare has made it all the more significant. It's not just hospitalisation that could cost a fortune but there are many other expenses like isolation, PPE kits, sanitisation etc. that can burn a big hole in your pocket. By buying health insurance for your family, you can safeguard yourself against a financial meltdown.
How to buy a health insurance plan for parents?
Once you finalize the company and the plan that you wish to buy, you can get in touch with the company, or buy the health insurance plan online itself. You also need to provide the following documentation:
- ID that is Government approved
- Residence proof
- NRI Questionnaire - A form that includes various details like your address, your parents’ address, your date of leaving India, the purpose of stay, Indian bank details etc
- Medical report of all the members
- Copy of your passport
- Proof of Income
- Proof of Age
- ITR documents
Most companies ask for these formalities only, however, depending on the company and plan that you choose, some more documents may be required.
How to pay the premium?
Most companies accept premium payments through debit/credit cards and also net banking. Though some companies may accept cash, it is strongly recommended that you make an electronic payment as otherwise, you would not be able to make a claim for it.
If I buy health insurance for my parents, do I save on taxes?
The premium paid towards health insurance comes under the exemption of section 80D of the ITR. You can claim this facility for the insurance premium you pay for your spouse, children and parents.
- For self, spouse and children - INR 25,000
- For parents above 60 years of age - INR 50,000
- For parents under 60 years of age - INR 25,000
- When self and parents both are above 60 years of age - INR 1,00,000
Apart from this the expenses that you make on preventive health check-ups also entitle you a deduction that is up to INR 5,000, with the maximum limit of INR 25,000/30,000.
What all to keep in mind when buying health insurance for my parents living in India?
- Age of entry
Under the directions of IRDAI, most health insurance companies keep 65 years as the maximum age of entry for health insurance, but it is advised that you confirm this beforehand.
- Sum Insured
The maximum amount that will be reimbursed is directly related to the premium that you pay. A larger cover at the time of claim is always better as this implies that you would have to spend a lesser amount from your own pocket.
- Age of Renewal
You must check the age when you need to renew the medical policy for senior citizens.
- Coverage Provided
See to it that the plan you choose offers cover for a number of illnesses, especially pre-existing illnesses. If your parents suffer from a particular disease or it runs in the family, get the provision for its cover.
- Network Hospitals
The broader the network of hospitals, the better, especially the hospitals that are in close vicinity to your parents.
- Avoid a Family Floater Plan
When you include senior citizens in a family floater plan, the age of the eldest member becomes the renewal age, thus it is advised to opt for an individual plan or a floater to cover only your senior citizen parents, instead of including them along with you.
Which are the top health insurance plans that I can choose from for my parents?
Though numerous companies offer health insurance plans; the following are offering tailor-made health insurance plans for senior citizens:
- New India Assurance Senior Citizen Mediclaim Policy
- Tata AIG Medi Senior Plan
- Star Health Senior Citizens Red Carpet Policy
Should I buy health insurance for my parents living in India?
If you are still contemplating buying insurance for them, take a look at the reasons why you should:
- The medical inflation rate is on a high, affording treatment for the most common of health issues is becoming a challenge
- Post-retirement, the insurance that came with their employers, if any, lapses
- With an increase in life-expectancy, parents are going to live longer, it is our duty to ensure they can take-on a medical emergency without worrying about finances
- Parents may not have a regular flow of income, with a health insurance policy they wouldn't have to depend on others
Over the past many years, many Indians have moved to a foreign country in search of better prospects, in many cases, the young migrators have to leave their parents behind. Despite being away, you can play a pivotal role in safeguarding their finances during their golden years by buying the best health insurance policy for them.