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Does the Upper Age Limit Apply When Buying Health Insurance?

By Juhi Walia
25 August 2022, 11:15 AM

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.

Fewer Advantages

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

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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1. When should a person purchase health insurance?

If you can afford it, you should get health insurance as soon as you reach the age of 18.

2. Why do senior citizens need health insurance?

When a person reaches the age of 60, they are more likely to develop health problems. Some may suffer from minor illnesses, while others may suffer from severe illnesses, resulting in large medical bills for the elderly. To alleviate this unanticipated financial load, senior citizens must obtain health insurance.

3. What should senior citizens look for when purchasing health insurance?

If you are purchasing a health insurance plan for your parent who also has a chronic ailment, he/she will need to undergo medical screening tests. The premium rise and waiting period clause are obvious in that case. Compare various senior citizen health insurance plans that offer a relatively good premium deal and minimised waiting period restrictions.

4. Can we get health insurance after 70?

Yes, senior citizen health insurance plans can be bought as late as one becomes 80 years old.

5. What are the advantages of buying senior citizen health insurance in India?

Cashless treatment, medical expense coverage, a large sum insured range, tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, a no-claim bonus, coverage for in-patient hospitalisation, pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization expenses, daycare expenses, pre-existing diseases are some benefits of senior citizen health insurance.

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