Insurance: Are you a retiree? Five tips for buying a health plan

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Senior citizens need to check the rules for waiting period for cover of existing diseases and co-payment charges when selecting a health insurance plan.


There are many employees of public sector undertakings, commercial banks, and private sector companies who solely rely on group mediclaim or office provided mediclaim throughout their life. When they get retired from their respective jobs, they end up having very low or no insurance cover from their organisations which may not help meet their hospitalisation expenses during post-retirement phase.

With technology advancement and innovation in the medical sector, the cost of healthcare is increasing every year. Expenses on healthcare also increase with age. Therefore the need for health insurance coverage is equally important even after retirement.

There are many good health insurance plans available in the market, specially designed for senior citizens. Let’s understand which plan will suit a retiree best. These are the factors to keep in mind while choosing health insurance:
Waiting period for pre-existing illness cover

Some insurers cover pre-existing illness and some do not. Check for this before purchasing a policy. The waiting period can be 24 months to 48 months. Choose those plans which cover your pre-existing diseases after a shorter waiting period.

Co-payment share

Co-payment is the fixed amount which a policyholder pays from his own pocket for the covered services. Almost all plans available in the market for senior citizens come with co-payment clause. You can choose a plan which allows you to pay a lower percentage for pre-existing and other claims. You can also choose to waive-off this co-payment by opting for additional payment of premium.

Disease-wise capping

Claim amount on certain critical illness are capped irrespective of the sum assured on the policy. To avoid any rejection of claims, make sure to read the document carefully and list of critical illness cover.

Room/ICU limits

Many insurance companies put caps on room and ICU limits and the policyholder has to pay beyond the given limits. Choose those insurance policies which cover your full in-patient treatment (Room rent plus nursing expenses).

Long-term payment and other discounts

Many insurance companies provide discounts on upfront premiums on maximum policy terms. The maximum policy term can range up to 3 years. You can also avail of family discounts and discounts upon submitting test reports in a defined period given by the insurer.

For peace of mind after retirement, buy health insurance so that your hard-earned savings are utilised for maintaining your lifestyle and not for paying hefty hospital bills. Apart from the above-mentioned factors, senior citizens can also consider road ambulance coverage and free annual medical check-up while choosing the right health plan.

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