Health insurance for senior citizens or parents is a must, considering the rate at which the medical expenses are rising every year. On an average, the medical costs are rising around 15% every year. Interesting fact is, Indians pay around 75% of their medical expenses from their own pocket.

In last few years, I have seen many companies (employers) stopped offering health insurance coverage for employee’s parents. So, irrespective of whether your employer offers or not it is advisable to buy health insurance for your Senior Citizen parents.

Why health insurance for Parents?

The medical costs are increasing more than the average inflation rate.
Parents may have limited income or unstable income after their retirement
Parents may be financially dependent on their heirs
They are easily prone to illnesses or accidents. There might be sudden requirement of financial help.
Their employer’s health insurance policy might be ceased to exist after retirement.
If you are living with dependent parents who are aged above 60 years then buy individual health insurance plans instead of family floater plan. In family floater plans, the age of the oldest family member is considered in determining the premium rates.

Terms to watch out for in a Senior Citizen’s Health Insurance Plans:

Co-payment clause: Co-payment means the policyholder will bear a specified percentage of the claim amount. For example, in an 80%-20% clause, the policyholder will bear 20% of the cost and the remaining amount (80%) can be claimed.
Sub-limit: Health insurance companies may specify limits for certain illnesses or treatments. For ex: the policyholder can claim only Rs 20,000 for a cataract operation but the policy sum assured might be Rs3 Lakhs.The policies without sub-limits are better but charge high premiums.
Pre-existing diseases: You need to check if the existing diseases are covered by the policy. In some policies all the existing diseases may be covered and in some the policy holder has to wait for few years before making a claim.
Waiting Period: The policy holder has to wait for certain period of time (in most of the cases it is 30 days) before claiming any expenses.
Alternative Treatments: Some policies also cover alternative treatments such as homeopathic, ayurvedic etc.,