Advances in technology have not only made life easier in many ways, but it has also prolonged human mortality. The last few years have witnessed an interesting trend wherein insurance of elderly parents or senior citizens has been on the rise in India. This has been highlighted further by the government in this year’s budget, where it has earmarked Rs 1 lakh per family and for senior citizens in the age group of 60 years and above an additional sum of Rs 30,000 has also been allocated.. This scheme is applicable for those below the poverty line.
During the Budget speech, Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley said, "Catastrophic health events are the single most important cause of unforeseen out-of-pocket expenditure which pushes lakhs of households below the poverty line every year. Serious illness of family members causes severe stress on the financial circumstances of poor and economically weak families, shaking the foundation of their economic security."
While the government is attempting to bridge the gap between senior citizens and escalating healthcare costs, it is wise to buy a healthcare policy for your parents which will secure them in their sunset years. Though the insurance sector is replete with choices, a standalone policy which will hold off expenses in the long run is the best bet, in the present scenario. It offers more flexibility in choosing the sum insured and larger covers when compared to riders which are clubbed with other policies.
In today's time, escalated medical costs, advancing age can be very cumbersome factors when dealing with the ailment of a parent. Add to these, facts like group insurances cover expenses within an ambit of only Rs two to three lakh or a co-payment clause in group cover where you may have to co-pay the premium along with your company, unforeseen expenses, decrease in surplus money with passage of time, you can definitely burn a hole in your pocket. So, a good health insurance policy for senior citizens or your parents is a must.
Most companies offer coverage to parents/ senior citizens aged between 60-80 years, in India. But it's a good idea to buy a policy earlier if you can. Here is a list which can help you in selecting the right policy as per your need:
• Always opt for a policy with a higher sum assured. It will work in your favour.
• It's a good idea to choose a policy which offers maximum renewal age. It saves time and a lot of effort.
• Take a stock of your budget and choose a policy that gives your parents maximum coverage in terms of critical illness and also accommodates pre-existing diseases.
• Some policies cover pre-existing diseases within 1 year. You should opt for the one with least waiting period.
Your biggest denominator should be choosing a policy with an extensive coverage of critical ailments because that will be your biggest safety net.
Always evaluate your future goals and then zero into a policy. While choosing an insurance policy, it is always a good idea to read the fine print carefully and compare similar policies for premium, benefits, disadvantages and sops, so that you can pick the one that suits your needs the best. Buying insurance online is always a good bet because it saves time, is cost effective and is a transparent option.