The prevalence of health problems rises with age. Even if we consume the appropriate foods and exercise regularly, our bodies will develop health problems with time. Financial concerns resulting from these health issues can be overbearing for senior citizens as most don’t have much besides a pension to bank on. Also, knowing the age-wise health insurance eligibility criteria beforehand is critical from the regulatory perspective.
The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) states that anyone under 65 can obtain health insurance. Individuals between the ages of 65 and 80 can purchase complete senior citizen health insurance policies. However, it is always recommended to purchase health insurance coverage at a young age because it provides you with more policy alternatives and benefits.
What is the Maximum Age for Purchasing Health Insurance?
Most regular health insurance plans cover people aged up to 65. Individuals over a certain age can purchase comprehensive senior citizen policies that cover a wide range of medical expenses.
The entrance age for these plans varies from one insurer to another. The upper age limit can be around 80 years. You may find some senior citizen health insurance policies available for purchase, regardless of your age.
However, validate this with the insurer before purchasing any plan.
Can We Purchase Health Insurance for Our Senior Parents?
Without a doubt! Most of us plan for our retirement by investing in various items, including adequate health insurance coverage, so that we are financially secure in a medical emergency. Many health insurance companies in India offer plans tailored exclusively for senior citizens to give them much-needed coverage.
You can get the best health insurance plan for your elderly parents based on their needs and budget. These plans are designed for people aged 60-65 and include perks.
However, you should purchase health insurance as soon as possible. This is because the premium of most insurance plans rises with the insured's age. As we age, our chances of becoming ill or acquiring disorders increase, increasing the frequency of health insurance claims for the insurer to honour.
Reasons to Avoid Delay Buying Health Insurance
Most insurance contracts provide decreasing payouts as the insured ages. Indeed, many insurers include additional terms such as a mandatory pre-policy checkup, co-payment clause, etc. This is why many experts advise getting health insurance at a young age. Let’s check the disadvantages of delaying your purchase of health insurance in detail.
Premium Becomes Expensive
Purchasing a policy later in life results in a higher premium. Because those over 50 are deemed high-risk, insurers demand higher prices. The premium for those in their 30s is far lower than those over 50. Many insurers will additionally offer the insured the option of a co-payment, which lowers the insured's premium rate. They will, however, make you pay a portion of the bill.
Insured for a Set Amount
Most health insurance providers in India limit the utmost amount you can claim in various instances. This is mainly due to any underlying health concerns or pre-existing conditions discovered by the insurer during a pre-policy checkup. Before purchasing coverage, anyone over the age of 50 needs to undergo a health examination. Seniors are also offered a smaller sum insured, with different sub-limits.
The advantages provided by your coverage diminish as you age, especially for senior citizens. Obtaining higher coverage and optional coverage is tough because you are more prone to developing health problems. Diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and other extremely prevalent illnesses make you a high-risk individual. Because the likelihood of filing a claim is higher in such instances, insurers lower benefits and coverage.
The Waiting Period Becomes a Challenge
Almost all health insurance policies have a waiting period that can last anywhere from a few months to years. Depending on the condition, this waiting period can last anywhere from 30 days to 2 years. Assume you require therapy for a pre-existing ailment for which you are insured. Even yet, most insurance policies have a 2- to 4-year waiting period.
While this period may vary, buying a plan at an older age when you are more likely to fall sick, having a waiting period can be a disadvantage. If you purchase a plan at a young age, the waiting period may not be a hindrance to you, assuming you don’t fall sick, which remains the case with most at that time. And as the waiting period is over, you can file a claim for the covered medical expenses should you fall sick.
Pre-existing diseases are the ones you were aware of or were being treated for when you got your coverage. The older a person gets, the more likely they may have such diseases. Unless a specific plan or supplementary coverage is obtained, most insurers do not cover pre-existing conditions before a specified waiting period, which can extend up to four years. Purchasing comprehensive health insurance sooner will protect you from such issues and limitations.
The chance of needing medical care increases with age. Insurers thus increase the premium to adjust for frequent payments they will likely make to the policyholder. So, buy the best comprehensive health insurance plan at the earliest. This will up your coverage and keep your premiums reasonable.
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