After you get married, you not only get a companion, you also get another family. Just like your parents, your spouse’s parents also become a part of your family. As you ensure that your parents are covered under a valid health insurance plan, what do you think about your in-laws’ coverage? Like your parents, your in-laws also need valid health insurance coverage, if they don’t have one. You, as a responsible and aware individual; can ensure that your in-laws are also covered under a comprehensive health insurance plan for their healthcare needs.
Here’s how you can do so –
When your in-laws have an existing coverage:
They might be insured under a group health insurance plan and/or have an independent health policy in their lives.
If they do, your first job is to review their coverage. If they only have a group health insurance scheme, they need an independent health plan which would not be contingent on them being a part of the group. The individual health plan would give them additional coverage, lifelong renewability, and the facility to customize the coverage benefits per their needs. So, in such a case, you need to help them buy an independent health insurance policy.
If, however, they have an independent health plan for themselves, with or without the group cover, you need to check the sufficiency of the existing plan. Check if the sum insured is optimal and if the coverage features are suitable.
If the current plan satisfies both these parameters, your in-laws would be sorted. However, if the current coverage falls short on any parameter, corrective measures would be needed. In such a case, there are two alternatives –
They can enhance the sum insured on the renewal of their existing policy. In such a case, they can enjoy higher coverage. However, the enhanced sum insured would have a fresh waiting period for pre-existing conditions as well as for specified illnesses.
They can port their existing plan to a better and more comprehensive alternative. In this case, you would have to help your in-laws compare and find the most suitable health plan with comprehensive coverage.
When your in-laws have not insured, at all:
If your in-laws have no health insurance coverage at all, either through a group plan or otherwise, they need a suitable policy as soon as possible.. You would, thus, have to understand their coverage needs and then find a suitable plan.
Including your in-laws under your family floater plan
Many family floater health insurance plans allow coverage for parents as well as in-laws. However, including either your parents or your in-laws in your family floater plan would not be prudent.
Here are some reasons why –
The premium would unnecessarily shoot up because floater plans determine the premium based on the age of the eldest member of the family. Since your parents and/or your in-laws would be the eldest, the premiums would be high.
Being older, your in-laws might make frequent claims in your health insurance floater plan. This would wipe out any no-claim bonus which you would have earned otherwise.
There would also be a co-payment clause if your in-laws are 61 or above when you include them under your plan. This co-payment would increase your out-of-pocket expenses.
So, though available, do not cover your in-laws under your floater policy. Opt for an independent plan for them.
Buying the right plan for your in-laws
When you are buying a new health plan for your in-laws, you can opt for a normal floater plan health insurance covering both your in-laws or you can opt for a senior citizen policy if your in-laws are senior citizens.
Compare the available plans in the market and choose one that offers –
- The desired coverage benefits
- Low waiting period for pre-existing conditions
- Lower coverage restrictions and sub-limits
- Higher sum insured levels
- Affordable premiums
- Network hospitals in cities where they frequently visit in order to avail cashless claims when needed
- Low co-payment as some plans have zonal co-pay based on the location of treatment. So, if you opt for a plan in any of the Tier 2 cities but get your treatment done in Tier 1 cities (typically considered more expensive) then zonal co-pay would be applicable.
Moreover, if they pay their health insurance premiums, they can claim a tax benefit under Section 80D up to Rs.25,000 (if they are below 60) or up to Rs.50,000 (if they are 60 and above). Alternatively, if you pay the premium for their plan, you can avail of this deduction in addition to the deduction that you claim for your family floater policy.
Secure your in-laws under the right health insurance plan so that in a medical emergency they can protect their savings and get access to quality healthcare.