Health insurance is the latest buzzword in insurance circles and is seeing a sharp increase in sales as well as awareness. With the incidences of lifestyle diseases on the rise in an increasingly sedentary workforce and stress levels rising with each salary hike, health insurance is the need of the hour. Add the burgeoning cost of quality healthcare to the mix and you’re presented with a situation where health insurance is needed to keep you afloat financially.
While most working professionals have woken up the need to have a health insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment, the general trend is to discontinue these policies at retirement. With the steep premiums and without a monthly pay-check, it becomes difficult to maintain a lifestyle as well as keep contributing to the pension fund.
So health insurance is left out in the cold as most of us enter our ‘golden years’. But could that be the biggest mistake we make?
Need for Health Insurance after Retirement:
As we get older, medical check-ups become more frequent and the cost of our lifestyle catches up with most of us. With stressors from past jobs and the higher risk from disease and illness due to natural factors, most of us are exposed to the risk of health complications as we age. Covering the cost of these illnesses or trips to the hospital can be a serious drain on resources, especially for those living on savings or a pension.
To illustrate with an example, the cost of heart surgery is around Rs.2 lakh at present. Given inflation and other allied costs, it could be as much as double the cost in 20 years’ time, which is when the current workforce would retire. Unless working professionals have built up savings to prepare for this eventuality, they would have to dip into investments or borrow to undergo such life-saving and necessary procedures.
Thus, getting health insurance as we age is necessary in order to ensure healthcare costs do not swallow your retirement nest egg.
Health Insurance Plans for Senior Citizens:
Having a health insurance plan as a senior citizen enables you to put aside a sum of money periodically towards the future medical expenses without having to shell out a large sum of money at once. With a wide range of policies and coverage offered in the market today, individuals are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a health insurance policy.
Choosing a health insurance plan especially suited for a life after retirement is also a good idea, as such plans will take into account the advancement in age as well as the possible situations which would require cover at such a stage in life.
Benefits of Senior Citizen Health Insurance:
As individuals age, the chances of them contracting certain illnesses and being susceptible to some diseases increases. Having a health insurance plan that covers these very illnesses would go a long way in easing the financial strain on the individual in the event they contract such an illness or have to undergo a particular procedure.
Health insurance also provides coverage for post-operative care such as medical tests and medication for certain conditions. In this way, the individual ends up saving on these expenses as well, which amount to quite a high number when put together.
With the health insurance sector introducing plan that have no maximum entry age limit, it becomes easier for individuals to choose a health insurance plan at a later stage in life and make premium payments only for illnesses and procedures that could occur then.
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.