Regardless of age, for a child, a father is always their superhero. They do what they can to protect their children at every step and achieve their long and short term goals. However, in the ups and downs of life, they often tend to neglect their own well-being and protection. One of these crucial aspects of their life, especially as they get older, is investing in a reliable health insurance plan.
In a COVID-19 chart fluctuation scenario, increased likelihood of age-related ailments and increased medical inflation, it’s time to gift your dad a solid health plan for this Father’s Day. But if your concern is that, due to his age, finding an appropriate health insurance plan for him will be difficult and making him a part of the floater family will be better, then there is good news for you. Fortunately, the Indian insurance market has several options aimed at the elderly and also those with pre-existing illnesses. So, with Father’s Day just around the corner, here’s a manual reasons to give your father an individual health insurance plan.
• Group health insurance is inadequate
Most people rely only on group health coverage to meet medical bills resulting from a need. However, in reality, the average sum insured in these policies ranges from Rs 3 to Rs 5 lakh, which is not enough amid rising inflation and uncertain circumstances, especially for the elderly. As you age, some restrictions may also come into play. Therefore, by providing a dedicated individual health insurance plan well in advance, you can secure your father’s well-being against various medical problems that could impact him in the near future. If you have a higher premium in mind, relate it to the likely medical expenses you might incur in the absence of such a policy.
• Pre-existing health cover
The current lifestyle, alarming pollution levels and age-related ailments have increased the likelihood that people will inevitably experience some form of health problem. Therefore, when purchasing a health insurance plan for your father, be aware that he may have pre-existing medical conditions. So, try to opt for a plan with the shortest waiting period; typically, it ranges from two to four years. Some plans may also have a shorter waiting period.
Also, look for those plans where a pre-insurance medical test is not required. For example, Star Health’s senior red carpet health insurance plan is between the ages of 60 and 75, with the minimum insured sum of Rs 1 lakh and a maximum of Rs 25 lakh. Additionally, it has a valid 50 percent co-pay clause for pre-existing illnesses and does not require a pre-medical test.
• Sum insured
The sum insured is the key component of any health insurance policy. To attribute, this amount is what the insurer will reimburse against the expenses incurred for medical assistance in one year of the policy. Any amount in excess of the sum insured will have to be paid out of your own pocket, so remember to opt for sufficient coverage, especially in metropolitan cities. You can consider a senior health insurance plan with a high insured sum from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh, depending on the limit, and accordingly opt for a top-up in case the policy runs out in a year.
• Tax benefits
The health insurance premium paid for the purchased medical insurance policy for parents is eligible for tax exemption under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. For example, a maximum deduction of Rs 25,000 may be claimed per year for himself and his family when purchasing a health policy. However, if you purchase and pay the health insurance premium for your father under the age of 60, your eligibility for the claim will extend to an additional deduction of Rs 50,000. In case he is over 60, you can apply for up to Rs 75,000. The government, in addition to this, is also offering a discount of Rs 5,000 on the cost of health checks for the whole family.
With the benefits of getting individual health insurance coverage for your elderly father, here are three things to think about before making your decision:
• Age – This is crucial as a policy should protect it from pre-existing diseases and health conditions. So, opt for a health plan with greater coverage. But you may have to pay a higher premium depending on your age; it increases with each year that a person ages.
• Medical history – Old age accompanies comorbidities. Therefore, it is essential to inform the insurance company about existing health conditions and to be informed about the conditions covered by the insurance company. This way you will be able to calculate a sufficient dividend.
• Geographic location – The costs of medical care vary by location. Your father’s coverage requirements would be higher if he lives in a metropolitan city than if he resides in a tier I, II or III city.
To top it off, you can’t protect your father from possible medical conditions, but you can definitely protect him by giving him a comprehensive, tailored health insurance plan that will protect him from astronomical medical bills. Plus, these plans are packed with valuable benefits like annual health checks, cashless care, hospital networks, etc. So, research and compare policies online before purchasing a reputable health plan that meets his needs. Also, find out about the exclusions, such as diseases diagnosed within 30 days of purchasing the policy, any treatment other than allopathy, cosmetic operations, dental procedures, etc.
By Amit Chhabra, Head, Health and Travel Insurance, Policybazaar.com
(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETHealthworld does not necessarily adhere to them. ETHealthworld.com will not be liable for any damage caused to any person / organization directly or indirectly.)