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Common Mistakes of Senior Citizen Health Insurance and Know How to Correct Them

By Juhi Walia
16 September 2022, 1:11 PM

Buying health insurance for senior citizens is a significant decision. This is important to give them a safety net for all the medical problems and illnesses which they would be vulnerable to due to old age. As much necessary as this is, it can be tricky to find the most suitable health insurance for them, especially if you are new to insurance. You need to know different types of health insurance and compare health insurance plans for their coverage. And in case they have pre-existing illnesses, choosing the right policy with optimised coverage is vital.

And then comes the preconceived notions about health insurance that make people commit mistakes. Notions regarding inclusions and exclusions of a health insurance plan remain the biggest culprit. Here we have highlighted some common mistakes one commits regarding senior citizen health insurance. Let's check out!

Common Mistakes While Taking Senior Citizen Health Insurance

In this guide, we cover a list of all the common mistakes that people make because of being unaware of the health insurance plans in India. Let us dive deeper into this and learn more:

Mistake 1: Hiding Pre-existing Diseases

This is a myth that an insurance provider will only provide coverage to you if you do not have any prior health issues. However, this is not true. Insurance providers understand that senior citizens  health insurance to reduce their burden on themselves and their families. This is especially true for any pre-existing ailments or conditions. Therefore, these insurance plans provide coverage for many such diseases and hence are more curated to your benefit. There is a waiting period to get treatment for pre-existing diseases, but it most certainly is covered under the insurance policy. So instead of hiding your pre-existing medical conditions, you can be open about it and more informed about the insurance policy. Hiding these could lead to claim rejections, which could be excruciating both mentally and financially. The premium paid over all those years would feel like a burden then.

Mistake 2: Buying Health Insurance Purely for Tax Benefits

Section 80D of the Income Tax Act allows a policyholder to receive tax deductions on the payment of premiums. Many people buy health insurance solely to get tax deductions. So now, when your primary motivation to get insurance is a tax deduction, you will certainly not put in enough research and work that needs to be done to get the right insurance. Moreover, you will likely not compare health insurance, so you will have no clue about the right insurance provider for your elderly family members. When you choose a policy under such notions, you will not be able to land on a policy that will help you in times of medical emergency. This is a common mistake people make, which they should not, though. 

Mistake 3: Not Reading Terms and Conditions

It is common not to read the terms and conditions of the health insurance plan you buy. People prefer to read generic information about the insurance and get in touch with the insurance company or insurance agent to know everything about their health insurance policy, but no one ever bothers to read the terms and conditions. So instead of having accurate knowledge, all they have is implied knowledge. These terms and conditions are important because they will tell you all about the exceptions and situations wherein your policy will and won't apply. So, be sure about the terms and conditions before choosing a plan.

Mistake 4: Not Researching Different Health Insurance Policies

Senior citizens, in general, tend to take word of mouth more into consideration as compared to researching different policies. If your friend group has taken a certain policy, you will take the same policy as well. This is not an accurate measure. Your friend may require treatment for a specific disease that you may not, or you may need treatment for a pre-existing illness that your friend may not need. 

So, avoid committing this mistake by researching and comparing different policies online. You will know more about the suitable policies when you know enough about all the alternatives available. Only you can know your medical requirements the best to make the right decision.

Mistake 5: Paying Less Premium and Getting Insufficient Coverage

People generally have a basic health insurance plan thinking they will have to pay less premium. When you choose your health insurance policy based on the premium price alone, you may compromise on the coverage you need. It shouldn’t be based on premium only. You should consider the premium price and see that it does not blow a hole in your pocket, but that should not be the only deciding factor. You need to check your health insurance for pre and post-hospitalisation coverage, doctor's fees, emergency costs, health checkups, etc, before buying. Have a holistic idea about the policy coverage and exceptions. You should not just find health insurance with low premium rates because it will compromise highly on getting you the necessary coverage. 

Mistake 6: Not Checking Riders

Buying a base health insurance policy is good, but not looking for add-ons is a mistake. Riders are the way you can customize a policy to your needs and wants. This is also necessary because a base health insurance policy does not cover the person's specific ailments and diseases, but an add-on will help you get cover for it. Having a rider for your health insurance policy will change the whole dimension of the coverage. Most health insurance policies do not cover critical illnesses senior citizens can have. So, with a regular health insurance policy, you can get a critical illness rider for an extra premium. Similarly, there can be capping on room rent while undergoing treatment at a hospital. In that case, having a room rent waiver rider helps eliminate the room rent limit, thereby ensuring full coverage on that front.


The above listed are some of the most common mistakes people tend to make regarding senior citizen health insurance. These mistakes could be because of a lack of knowledge or cultural implications. But you do not need to worry about it. You can start researching all the necessary specifications for a health insurance policy today. You can create your own list of needs and cross-check it with the insurance policy to see if those are included or not. If it is not already a part of your insurance policy, look for riders and add value to your policy. Do not forget to compare the health insurance policies of different insurance providers before purchasing. This will only help you choose better.

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1. What should I research in different health insurance plans for senior citizens?

You can research the premium amount and coverage provided for that amount. This will give you a primary idea about what all do you need to look for in an insurance policy.

2. For my senior citizen health insurance, can I choose riders based on their price?

It is more advisable to choose riders that suit you, like a critical illness add-on. Being a senior citizen, getting affected by critical illnesses is common. See the cost thoroughly, and if that comes within your budget, it's only good to have it.

3. Shall I select a senior citizen health insurance policy with low premium rates?

Low premium rates may result in insufficient coverage, although that may not be the case across plans. So, check the coverage thoroughly, and if you get a low-cost deal, go for it.

4. The terms and conditions of a senior citizen health insurance policy are very long. What part of it should I read to be informed better?

Policy terms and conditions are lengthy, so it is okay if you are not able to read everything. But do go through the headings of everything and also, very importantly, read the 'exceptions.' This will help you figure it out better.

5. Would my claim processing become tough with my senior citizen health insurance if I have listed my pre-existing conditions?

No. The claim processing will just stay the same if you list your pre-existing conditions. If you list your conditions with the insurance company, it can make prior arrangements for the claim. There will be a waiting period of up to four years.

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