How to buy health insurance for your parents
Posted by amrina alshaikh on January 7th, 2022
Our parents spend a better part of their lives ensuring that our needs are met and that our happiness is secured. Whether it is a new toy a child wants or a foreign university they wish to go to, parents can move heaven and Earth to put a smile on their child’s face.
Now that you have grown up and have income of your own, it is time to look after your parents’ needs the way they looked after yours. As they age, your parents will develop new illnesses and health concerns. Aging is a natural part of life and it brings with a host of new experiences and ailments. Treating these on time ensures your parents’ longevity and peace of mind.
Apart from encouraging them to keep themselves physically and mentally fit with regular exercise and interaction with the outside world, you must consider buying health insurance for them. It is one of the most important tools in your financial arsenal – treatment and hospitalisation costs are quite high and they rise exponentially every few years. Getting your parents treated can cost a lot of money, especially if there are repeated treatments and hospitalisation required.
Some factors to consider before buying health insurance for your parents
Do read this section carefully before buying a health plan for your parents:
- Though a lot of reputed insurance providers do offer health policies for senior citizens even above 65 years of age, including them in your family floater plan can increase the premium significantly. The premium amount goes up based on the age of the oldest parent. The insurance provider computes the age v/s health metrics for older family members before arriving at the premium amount.
- Another alternative is to buy your parents their own dedicated senior citizens health insurance plans. Do check the entry ages of the policy holders while studying the plan features. Some senior citizen plans allow entry age up to 80 years, too.
- Check the sum assured on the plan, as well as the mandatory inclusions and exclusions. Other factors to look for include policy tenure, pre- and post-hospitalisation costs inclusion, day care procedures, critical illness insurance, AYUSH treatments, co-payment clause, in-patient hospitalisation, etc.
- The most important consideration is whether pre-existing illnesses have a long waiting period for the parents’ plan. This is usually two to four years in most cases.
Why you should pay the premiums
You might initiate the plan purchase in your parents’ name and they might even pay the first premium on it. However, it helps if you pay the future premiums on the policy and keep an eye on new features, because:
- When retired, your parents may not have the means to pay their own health insurance premiums. There may be times when they are unable to pay the premium on time, resulting in a lapse of the policy. This is not ideal and it will mean that they are no longer covered by insurance. Avoid this situation altogether by paying the premiums yourself.
- Paying the premiums for your parents’ health insurance fetches you tax benefits. The benefit is extended under Sec 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. If you pay the premiums for yourself and your parents aged below 60 years, then the total deduction allowed is Rs 50,000. The deduction can go higher if your parents are aged over 60 years, depending on the applicable tax limits (these are reviewed from time to time).
- Your parents will breathe easier knowing that you are monitoring the policy payment dates and the premium amounts. Peace of mind is important for better health in the long run.
How to buy insurance for your parents
- Check out the best senior citizen health insurance plans in India. Also check if there is a critical illness insurance component to the plan you choose.
- Compare the premium amounts across like plans, by using an insurance premium calculator. This helps you arrive at the best premium payable for a good plan.
- The insurance provider you choose should have a high claim settlement record.
- Initiate the policy purchase online by filling out the proposal form and allowing the insurance provider to guide you through the purchase.