Nearing 60? Make Sure Your Health Plans Include the Basics

Nearing 60? Make Sure Your Health Plans Include the Basics

As more and more people approach their golden years, prioritising healthcare expenses often comes at 

the cost of using retirement funds. Many seniors, previously covered by group health insurance, now seek different coverage options to suit their healthcare needs.

This is because while group policies offer decent support, relying on them can be disastrous at times of uncertainty. Since the 60s come with a set of health challenges, including chronic illnesses, hypertension, mental illnesses, etc., you need comprehensive coverage. It is essential to ensure your health plans cover basic old age and mental health issues and help you balance problems in old age. 

Considering all this, buying a dedicated healthcare policy covering all your healthcare needs in the blink of an eye is better. Usually, it is advisable to opt for senior citizen health insurance plans that cover physical problems and  mental disorders in old age. Let’s look into it in detail. 

Health Insurance is Crucial in your Retirement

The most appropriate age to purchase a health insurance plan is your 20s. However, it doesn't mean you cannot opt for a plan when nearing 60. Yet again, you should know that your options for easy coverage will decrease. Here’s how: 

1. If you purchase a health insurance policy in your 20s:

  • Your premiums will be feasible 
  • You can get the best coverage 
  • You can opt for additional covers like maternity insurance

2. If you purchase a health insurance policy in your 30s:

  • You will have to purchase a family health policy 
  • You will have to buy add-ons to cover illnesses 
  • The chances of raising claims increase
  • Premiums get higher

3. If you purchase a health insurance policy in your 40s and 50s:

  • You will need a plan that offers more coverage 
  • You can have PEDs and develop even more like high BP, diabetes, etc., and your insurance may not cover them 
  • It would be best if you opted for a policy that covers critical illnesses 
  • Premiums get higher

4. If you purchase a health insurance policy after turning 60:

  • Expect to pay hefty premiums 
  • You will need everything listed above in the 40s and 50s age group list
  • You may require continuous treatment and hospitalisation 
  • Basic or group health policies will not provide enough coverage for you
  • You may need multiple claims a year 

Buying Health Insurance in Your 50s and 60s

If you plan to buy health insurance in your 50s and 60s, you may prefer a senior citizen health insurance plan instead of a standard one. 

Although these plans come with quite a high sum insured and have double premiums, they provide comprehensive coverage that caters to your healthcare needs at this age. Besides, here are a few things that you need to consider before buying your health insurance policy.

Your Group Insurance Will no Longer be Valid

People in their 50s and 60s need to think beyond group insurance because these policies will cease to exist once they retire from the corporations or organisations. Once you hit retirement age, you may no longer be covered by these group insurances. 

Furthermore, older people may have different healthcare needs and risk profiles than younger people. This necessitates opting for a customised insurance plan instead of a group one.

Analyse Your Needs as They Differ From Other Age Groups

As stated earlier, you need to understand that your needs might differ from those of other age groups. In other words, as you get older, you may become more vulnerable to certain chronic illnesses or health disorders that need specialised medical attention and care.

Moreover, health insurance policies for seniors offer customised coverage options. By analysing your needs, you can select a plan that provides comprehensive coverage for prescription drugs, preventive care, pre-existing conditions, and common health conditions in the elderly.

Opt for Critical Illness Plans

Critical illnesses include different medical conditions like kidney failure, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and paralysis.  The medical expenses associated with these illnesses are higher than the costs of treating other health disorders. 

Seniors are also prone to catching several other critical illnesses like Alzheimer's disease. It is thus vital to purchase a senior health insurance plan that covers critical illnesses and common health conditions in the elderly. 

Opt for Specific Plans That Cater to Seniors

Once again, purchasing a specific plan that aligns with your healthcare needs is important. An ideal plan that caters to the health insurance needs of seniors will include: 

  • In-patient Care: Insurance covers inpatient expenses only if you stay in the hospital for 24 hours or longer.
  • Daycare Treatments: These include procedures that last less than a day and are carried out under local or general anaesthesia.
  • Pre and Post-hospitalisation: The insurance will pay the pre and post-hospitalisation costs.
  • Domiciliary Charges: Under this, you can receive coverage for treatment at home if your condition is too severe to be hospitalised or if beds are unavailable.

It is important to note that there will be some conditions and treatments that the policy will not cover. Make sure you go through the inclusions and exclusions thoroughly. 

Read Between the Lines and Understand Health Insurance Concepts

This is the most important stage. Before finalising your plan, carefully review the policy documents and terms and conditions appropriately. Understand the policy terms like: 

  • Pre-existing Illnesses: Make sure you include accurate information while filling out the health insurance form. This includes disclosing pre-existing diseases as well as lifestyle choices like smoking and alcohol use (if any). If you fail to disclose the necessary information, the insurance provider can deny your claim due to a breach. 
  • Waiting Period: If you are already in your 50s and 60s, there is a possibility that you have certain diseases. In such cases, the waiting time may be over before some illnesses are covered by health insurance. You may not get immediate coverage. 

Depending on the pre-existing condition, the waiting period for different providers can range from one year to four years. Hence, make sure you contact an insurance provider that offers a plan with the shortest waiting period.

  • Sub-limits: Sub-limits are particular limits or caps within your overall coverage. These are specific amounts that the insurance provider will pay for certain types of medical treatments. 

For example, if there is a sub-limit for room rent, the insurance will only cover costs up to that limit for your room. If your room costs more, you must pay out of pocket. 

  • Co-pay: Senior health insurance plans mostly have a co-payment clause. Under this, the rules mandate that you pay a predetermined portion of the claim amount. 

Therefore, you must choose a plan without a co-payment condition. If you still want to opt for a plan with this clause, choose the structure with the lowest amount.

Your Tax Benefits Will be Higher

Section 80D of the Income Tax Act 1961 lets you save money on taxes by deducting the amount you spend on health insurance premiums. Until you are under 60, you are eligible for tax deductions up to ₹25,000 per year on health insurance premiums. However, if you’re 60 or older, the tax benefits increase and you can save up to ₹50,000 per year. 

Invest in the Right plan for Old Age People's Problems: Care Senior

Investing in a specialised plan that offers coverage to your age group is always better. Owing to this, the Care Senior plan provides a safe financial cushion as you reach 60. It is a comprehensive coverage for senior citizens to help them cover all their old age and mental health treatment expenses.  

Plan Highlights of Care Senior

  1. It does not require a pre-policy checkup for seniors
  2. It covers the expense of getting a second opinion from a different healthcare specialist for a certain disease
  3. It comes with an affordable premium that does not break the bank
  4. Offers coverage for more than 540 daycare treatments 
  5. When you purchase the Care Senior plan, you will get coverage for the following: 
  • Room Rent
  • Annual Health Checkup
  • In-patient Hospitalisation
  • Second Opinion
  • Day Care Costs
  • Ambulance Cover
  • Pre-hospitalisation 
  • Post-hospitalisation 
  • Organ Donor
  • Domiciliary Hospitalisation
  • Daily Allowance
  • No Claim Bonus
  • Automatic Recharge
  • Alternate Treatment 
  • ICU Charges

Please note that the coverage may depend on the sum you choose to be insured.

Let's Wrap It Up

While getting health insurance in your early years is important, it is never too late to opt for one. However, buying a health insurance plan that covers the treatment expenses of old age people‘s problems does not come without many considerations. 

Apart from the factors listed above, checking the insurance coverage's benefits is essential. Ideal senior health insurance coverage will include many benefits preventing out-of-pocket payments.

Insurance plans not only help treat common health conditions in the elderly without breaking the bank, but they also protect your retirement funds. Remember that health insurance is the best present you can give yourself at this age. Thus, be sure to select the finest one!

>> Also Read: Importance of Buying Health Insurance for Senior Citizens

Disclaimers: All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

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