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Retired persons must buy mediclaim, if they have not yet

There are some products offered by National, New India, Star Health and Bajaj, that can be considered as an option while purchasing one.

May 06, 2015 / 04:33 PM IST

Saroj Satapathy
Ideal Insurance

While at a clinic with my mother for her regular check up, I came across this elderly gentleman all alone probably awaiting his turn. Curiosity getting the better of me. I decided to indulge in a small conversation. I asked him what got him here and is he accompanied by someone, he said, “I suffered a heart attack a month ago and have come for my regular check up. My son has gone to the nearby chemist to get the medicines”. Being well aware and well informed I had made an informed decision for my mother by getting her insured. However, the situation here seemed otherwise.

As I awaited our turn, I saw the son approaching to fetch his father. Again when the prying me could not be contained I had to give up and I asked the son, “Haven’t you insured your father under a health insurance plan?” The son’s immediate response was, “No, who thought this could happen to him.”

I mean he was serious when he said - who thought this could happen to him. How can one not be prepared for the contingencies of life. The incident was almost forgotten, until today when I began writing this. The attitude “who thought this could happen to him”, needs to change. There is not a great difference between long term savings and insurance needs for the senior citizen in our country, as both works for them as a financial stability. Most of the senior citizens generally at the age of 60 and above suffer or are very likely to suffer certain health issues. Thus, it is important that they have some sort of savings or insurance plan to fall back on. The rising cost of health care and absence of any high standard wellness plan only makes it vital to have a good insurance plan for the later stages of life.

Due to an increased exposure to information via various media, today people are aware of the value of their lives, their health and the needs of their family. Still, there is a need to educate them about the importance of a health insurance policy and life insurance policy. It is important to take a ‘sound’ health insurance policy at a young age to counter the challenges at the later stage of life. 

While we agree that it is a wise decision to have one's policies in place at an early stage of life to reap the benefits later, there is a need of medical insurance for senior citizens who are not insured yet. The basic benefit of hospitalisation cover should be available to senior citizens. Most of the senior citizens are exposed to health and critical illness thanks to the life style diseases. A robust health policy can take care of such high expenses and a critical illness. People who are in mid age group as well as approaching senior citizen bracket must look for a good health insurance plan with the right coverage and sum assured. A continued life policy with critical illness rider can help them and their dependants to a great extent.

There are some products offered by National, New India, Star Health and Bajaj, that can be considered as an option while purchasing.  Like the Senior Citizen Mediclaim policy offered by New India can be a good option. The policy offers a tax benefit under section 80D of IT Act, the holder has two options for sum insured, INR 1 Lakh and INR 1.5 Lakh. Another recommended policy is by Start Health - Senior Citizens Red Carpet Health Insurance Policy. The policy can be taken by any person between the ages of 60 to 75. The sum insured is per individual member covered. The benefit here is that the policy has no pre-acceptance medical screening.

It is advisable to get the products available for senior citizen in market vetted by your advisor before buying the same. 

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