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Hurdles While Buying Health Insurance For Your Parents

‘God cannot be everywhere. That’s why we have parents.’ So goes the famous saying. And, as we grow up, we tend to have this deep feeling of gratitude towards our parents. You might be wondering what you can do to express your gratitude towards your parents. Don’t you think getting health insurance for your parents would be a better option than most others?

But, first things first, Let’s be very clear: There will be hurdles on the way. Let’s look at the hurdles and ways to mitigate them one by one.

Assessing if they have enough Health Insurance

Convincing one’s parents about anything new can be a little tiring. You have decided to explain the advantages of buying health insurance to your parents. Let’s do it step by step:

  1. Check if they have any existing health insurance. 
  2. If yes, ask them: How much cover do they have? 
  3. Then consider if it is enough to cater to their current medical expenses? 
  4. Also, is it enough to cover medical expenses for their foreseeable future?

If the answer is yes then, excellent! 

However, there are chances that they might not have any cover. In such a case, explain to them the need of buying health insurance. 

Things to consider while buying Health Insurance

1. Co-payment 

This is one of the most important factors you need to consider while buying health insurance for parents. A few health insurance policies have a co-payment clause. 

Co-payment means that you will have to pay for part of the expenses. The policy will cover the rest. For example, Some policies may have a 20% co-payment clause. 

Consider a hospitalisation expense of ₹10 Lakhs. Here, you will have to pay ₹2 lakhs. The policy will cover the rest, i.e. ₹8 Lakhs. Some policies do not have this clause. You need to pick the ones with no co-payment or the least co-payment.

2. Health Insurance Coverage

Next comes the coverage aspect. The good news is that there are a lot of good insurance policies for parents today. 

First, let’s understand what health insurance covers.

  • Hospitalisation Expenses

Health insurance covers all the expenses that are incurred during the hospitalisation of the insured person.

  • Pre- Hospitalisation Expenses

Pre-hospitalisation refers to any consultations, tests or procedures related to the hospitalisation before the actual hospitalisation.

  • Post- Hospitalisation Expenses

Post-hospitalisation refers to any consultations, tests or procedures related to the hospitalisation after the actual hospitalisation.

  • Daycare Procedures

Procedures like cataract operations which do not require hospitalisation for 14 hours, are also covered.

  • Major Surgeries

Most health insurance policies cover major surgical procedures like heart surgery or knee replacement surgery.  

3. Other Factors to Consider

It would help if you kept the following factors in mind while evaluating policies.

  • Pre-existing Conditions

Any diseases or conditions that the insured person already has are called pre-existing conditions. 

A lot of policies have a waiting period of around 2-4 years for these conditions. What it means is that these conditions will only be covered after the waiting period. Make sure you check the waiting period on the policies under consideration. 

  • Appropriate Sum Insured Amount

Sum insured amount of a policy is the higher limit of what it will pay for hospitalisation.

Considering their age, your parents have a higher probability of hospitalisation than you. Their hospitalisation needs also may be more frequent than yours. If you consider this, it is better to opt for a higher sum insured amount.

  • Coverage of Diseases and Health Conditions

Look carefully at what diseases and conditions are covered in the policies. Your parents will also need coverage for critical illnesses. It would be best if you chose a policy that covers maximum diseases and conditions.

  • Network Hospitals

Go through the list of network hospitals for the policies. You should shortlist policies that have good quality and reputed network hospitals. Also, look for policies that have more network hospitals near your parent’s residence.  

  • Insurance Premium

Compare the premiums that the policies are asking for. It would help if you were looking for a good policy with good cover and the least premium.

  • Inclusions and Exclusions

Health insurance policies cover hospitalisation, which involves a lot of related provisions. These may be ambulance expenses, oxygen expenses etc. Look carefully at what is included and what is excluded. You are looking for a policy with the most inclusions and the least exclusions.   

  • Entry Age

Look carefully at the entry age of the policies. It should cover your parent’s age. 

  • Renewability Age

Also, check the renewability age of the policies. You should opt for policies with lifelong renewability. 

  • Lower Premium for lower Age

A health insurance premium is lower for the lower age of the insured person. 

Whew, that was quite a long list of hurdles! 

Indeed, quite a long one, wasn’t it? But we have gone past it and mitigated each hurdle one by one. 

Now that we have done it: Isn’t it a great feeling to be able to provide health insurance to your parents? 

Buy it sooner to avail of lower premiums.


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