Buying Health Insurance For Parents- What To Look Out For

Buying a health insurance plan for your parents is a great idea as medical costs are raising daily. You should consider several factors including no-claim bonus, renewal limit, waiting period, coverage, perks offered by a plan, etc.
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As children, our parents saved and went without to ensure we had the best of everything in life. Now, as adults, making sure they spend their twilight years in comfort is a way we can give back for all their sacrifice and hard work. While ensuring they want for nothing materially is one way of showing our appreciation for all our parents did for us, there are a number of other ways too.

As our parents get older, they are more prone to illnesses. With medical costs ever rising, even a minor ailment can result in a significant drain on one’s finances, especially when living off pensions or retirement savings.

To ensure your parents don’t have to worry about hospital bills and to give you peace of mind and ensure you are ready to take health insurance for parents that they will receive the best medical treatment, consider investing in health insurance.

Health insurance Policy Coverage:

Assuming you already have a health insurance policy covering yourself and your family, you might want to add your parents to this policy as well. Known as family floater policies, they offer a number of benefits and perks to the policyholders. However, given your parents’ advanced age, adding them to a family floater policy would only result in higher premiums.

Getting a separate health insurance policy for them would be a better idea as this policy would cater exclusively to their needs. This would prevent you from paying for procedures that your immediate family does not require (under the family floater) and ensure that your parents have adequate protection under their policy.

Waiting Period:

Most health insurance policies have a compulsory waiting period for pre-existing medical conditions. This is to ensure that the policyholder has not purchased the policy to cover planned treatment for the condition, which would result in the insurer suffering a loss.

When it comes to senior citizens, this is especially important as the waiting period could be around 2-3 years, during which time any procedure linked to the pre-existing medical condition will not be covered. Thus, when buying health insurance for your parents, it is important to keep this mind to avoid the unpleasant surprise of being presented with a whopping bill following treatment in spite of being insured.

Renewal Limit:

When we buy a health insurance policy for ourselves, there is generally a maximum or exit age limit for the policy. Exit policies are generally around 75-80 years, after which renewal of the policy is not permitted. To ensure that your parents continue to receive coverage, always look at the age limit on the policy. For example, if your parents are around 70 years of the age at the time of purchasing the policy and the maximum entry age for the policy is 75 years, consider looking at other options since the policy will not be renewable once they cross the age limit.

No Claim Bonus:

Health insurance policies have a No Claim Bonus (NCB) clause, which reduces the premium amount payable if there are no claims for a particular period. A number of health insurance providers allow for an increase in the Sum Assured instead of a reduction of the premium amount payable if there are no claims during the specified period.

In the case of old parents, their medical needs will only increase as they get older, resulting in medical costs also increasing. In such a case, choosing to extend the Sum Assured amount as a perk of the NCB is a better idea than paying a lower premium amount.

Getting a health insurance policy for your parents is a prudent and effective way to ensure that their medical bills are taken care of without too much of a strain on their finances. To ensure that the policy is not too much of a strain on your finances, consider buying a for them as soon as possible to avoid paying a higher premium at a later date.

GST rate of 18% applicable for all financial services effective July 1, 2017.

Disclaimer: Premiums may vary depending upon factors like age, location and prevailing taxes/GST.

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