Health Insurance for Parents
What if I told you that there is a time machine in London that can rewind time and take you back to your past, or by the end of this century, the entire world will be destroyed? And, after 6 p.m., your eyes will automatically get closed if you are sitting in the office!
Don’t give me that angry look after reading all these lines! I know you will not believe me and consider these as myths.But, when you can’t believe on my wordings without any substantial proof, then why you easily believe in myths associated with health insurance for parents?
Yes, there are various myths or beliefs associated with senior citizen health insurance policies,which according to me are due to sheer ignorance. So, this time, I will spill the beans on some myths which are associated with health insurance for parents:
Myth 1: My corporate health plan is enough for parents
Reality: Though, it is good that your employer is covering your parents, you can’t guarantee the continuation of the coverage in the future as well. As premiums of group health policies are rising at an unprecedented rate, many employers are transferring the premium risk to employees or discontinuing their health cover. So, it’s not a right decision to solely depend only on a corporate health plan for the healthcare needs of your parents.
Myth 2: There are no health insurance policies available for my senior citizen parents
Reality: It is true that mediclaim policies for senior citizens are not available easily,and those arenot as comprehensive as a mediclaim policy for someone who has not crossed the mark of 60, but plans for senior citizens are still available. Most of the public-sector health insurers are offering mediclaim cover for people between the age group of 60 and 80 years. It means, you can approach a good health insurance company to buy comprehensive healthcoverage policies for your senior citizen parents. Some comprehensive health insurance plans offer a lifetime renewal facility, which means, there is no upper age limit to the policy. You can renew it and stay protected from medical expenditure.
Myth 3: Since my parents have certain ailments, they will not get a mediclaim cover
Reality: Though, insurance companies become wary if an applicant has a pre-existing ailment, it is not true that the insurer will reject the application on that ground. Insurance companies evaluate health conditions, declarations and check medical-history, and then take a decision, that can vary from one case to another. If diseases are not terminal or critical, the chances are high that the insurer will issue a policy.
Myth 4: If pre-existing diseasesare not covered, what is the use of taking health insurance?
Reality: It is true that health insurance companies in India do not cover pre-existing ailments, but this exclusion is not permanent. The coverage is available after a waiting period of say two orfour years.
Myth 5: Getting health insurance for senior citizens is a difficult task
Reality: If you have given complete details about your parent’s health and have clearly understood the exclusion and waiting period under the policy, you will not face difficulty in getting your claims settled.
Myth 6: I am an NRI and can’t buy health insurance for parents
Reality: An NRI can buy health insurance for parents living in India and pay premiums while being overseas via credit card or SWIFT transfer through a foreign bank account. It is feasible to make a payment through non-resident external (NRE), non-resident ordinary (NRO) or foreign currency non-residential (FCNR) account as well.
Tread with caution
Usually, complications which arise at the time of purchasing a health insurance or during claimsare associated with the medical history of the policyholder. As your parents, might innocently forget to mention one or two ailments at the time of filling the insurance form, it is important that you take stock of their actual health condition, especially if you are staying away fromyour parents, and make the right declaration accordingly.
Insurance companies can also insist on medical tests that can include blood pressure, ECG, liver function test, kidney function test, etc. In case the medical test is rejected or you have doubts regarding the medical evaluations, get the medical test conducted at another reputed lab. In case the results are favourable, inform the insurance company who may either rely on your report or ask you to go for another test before taking the final call.
Although your parents might be in a pink of health today, age does catch up eventually, and with that the chances of falling ill also increase. With healthcare expenses going upward, having a health insurance policy for parents makes complete sense.
And, if someone dissuades you from buying a mediclaim policy for parents, don’t believe them.As you would not believe if I say, “Donald Trump is the most intelligent, smartest, and wonderful president the USA has ever got”, then why believe in any random statement made about health policies!