Retirement should ideally give people the time and means to do what they want to do without any financial worries. However, for this, you need to plan for your retirement in advance.
Planning a retirement health insurance plan is an important part of retirement planning which should not be ignored. After your retirement, your life continues and it is necessary to ensure that you do not face any financial trouble especially when it comes to medical emergencies. Medical illnesses generally increase in older ages and thus, it is very important to have a health insurance plan in those times to cover the medical expenses.
Planning for Retirement Health Insurance
Being covered under a health insurance plan even after your retirement is equally necessary as having one while you are employed. If you are covered under a group health insurance policy brought by your employer, you get the coverage only till you are employed. But after your retirement, the employer’s group health insurance cover will expire or cease. What would you do in such cases?
There are two scenarios which you can face -
1. Existing Health Insurance Plan- If you already have an independent health insurance plan, then you can renew it lifelong and enjoy coverage as there is no maximum coverage ceasing age in health insurance plans.
However, you should keep in mind the following -
- Check the sum insured- As the benefit of the employer’s group health insurance plan ceases after your retirement, your overall health insurance coverage would be impacted. If your existing sum insured is limited, you should ensure its sufficiency as you would need considerable coverage in older ages.
If the sum insured of the existing plan is not sufficient, you can increase its coverage at the time of renewal. You would have to pay an extra premium to increase the coverage. However, if there is an issue of affordability you can also opt for a top-up or super top-up plan for higher coverage at lower premiums. These plans would enhance the coverage without being too heavy on your pockets.
- Remember to renew your health plan on time- On time renewal helps you to enjoy lifelong coverage under the same policy. If you do not renew on time, you might have to buy a new health plan and, given your age, there would be coverage restrictions and high waiting periods. This can be avoided if you renew your health policy on time every year even after retirement.
2. Buying an additional Health Insurance plan- If you had been dependent solely on your group insurance to date. It is time to reconsider. This is because your group insurance plan might not provide coverage after retirement. Also, the coverage requirement would rise, and you will have limited options for coverage after retirement.
So, now, you can opt for an individual health insurance plan for yourself or a family floater health insurance plan with your family as soon as possible. There are two options for buying a new policy.
First, if you have a few years to retire, you can plan to buy an individual indemnity plan or a family floater plan. However, if you have already reached your retirement, you can opt for a senior citizen plan. Also, indemnity health plans have lifelong renewability coverage benefits. So, you can choose to cover yourself forever, even post your retirement!
Ideally, you should opt for a health plan at the earliest, and here is why:
- Sufficient sum insured-
Having a health insurance plan with a low sum insured will not suffice to meet your medical emergencies fully. You should have sufficient sum insured so that there would be no out of pocket expenses at the time of medical emergencies. As there might be affordability issues after your retirement, you can opt to increase your sum insured of the health insurance plan by adding a top-up or a super top-up policy, which offers higher coverage benefits at a lower premium cost.
- Premiums might be higher-
The higher risk is associated with older ages as you are more likely to get ill and need frequent medical attention. If you buy a health insurance plan at an older age, the premiums would be higher.
- There will be coverage restrictions-
Buying a health insurance plan at a later age might be restrictive in the coverage that it provides. The health insurance companies might put restrictions in terms of waiting periods for pre-existing conditions, cost of medical expenses, sub-limits on hospitalisation expenses, etc.
- There may be a co-pay clause at the time of claim-
With an increase in age, the risk of medical emergencies also increases. therefore, a co-payment clause at the time of medical claims. Under this clause, a part of the medical bill would be paid by you while the insurance company would pay the rest. To minimize your out-of-pocket expenses, opt for a policy with a low co-payment percentage or ratio
Healthcare costs in India are increasing steadily with each passing year. The need for adequate health insurance cover is, therefore, attaining importance not just during an individual’s working life but even after retirement. Planning a retirement health insurance plan necessarily involves ensuring comprehensive health insurance coverage so that you are able to afford quality healthcare even after retirement.