The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority has asked insurers to extend the entry age for health insurance to 65 years. While this is a good move, today, very few insurers allow senior citizens to buy health covers as there is no entry age norm. According to data provided by industry players, eight of the 23 general insurance companies provide health insurance covers to those above 60. Of these, most allow renewals for a lifetime.
While purchasing a health insurance policy, those above 60 have to pay a higher premium as the age versus health risk metrics are higher. As your age increases, the risk exposure of insurance companies also rises and to maintain a balance, these firms insert some built-in buffers in the form of higher charge.But experts say these should not serve as deterrents for senior citizens shopping for health plans.
Those in the higher age bracket should take individual cover of a minimum of Rs 5 lakh and a younger family could go for a family floater plan, that is, where the policy proposer is young (up to 40 years) as the premium is decided based on the family proposer’s age. Another problem is the co-payment clause that many of these policies have. For instance, Max Bupa asks for sharing 20 per cent of the claim for those above 65 and National Insurance asks for 20 per cent for pre-existing diseases and 10 per cent for other claims. Similarly, pay attention to room and ICU rent restrictions such as National Insurance and Star Health apply a one and two per cent restriction, respectively.