It is no secret that as one grows older, one becomes more vulnerable to health issues. As per one report, it is estimated that almost 70% of senior citizens (individuals over 60 years of age) in India have some chronic illness or the other, with around 23% of people in this age group having multiple morbidity conditions 
. Statistics like these, as well as anecdotal evidence, put the need for strong health infrastructure and solid financial planning in the foreground.
The importance of a well-structured health insurance policy
for senior citizens cannot be underestimated. When a medical emergency strikes, the financial compensation from a health insurance policy can be of great help. It can relieve the elderly patient and their loved ones of having to arrange for large sums of money.
Despite the obvious benefits of health insurance, especially for senior citizens, many people hesitate from buying a good policy. One of the main reasons is the persistence of myths about such plans. We look at some common myths and bring the reality behind the myths so that you can make a better decision.
Myth #1 - Health insurance plans do not cover senior citizens
- One of the main reasons people do not buy health insurance for senior citizens
is that they believe senior citizens are not covered by such plans in the first place. This is not true at all. Health insurance providers understand that elderly people may require more attention towards their health. They are also more likely to suffer from health conditions due to the weakening of the immune system.
Even if the insured senior citizen has a pre-existing illness, it would be prudent to go through the waiting period, and then receive coverage rather than not opt for a health insurance policy
at all. In fact, you can even opt for the pre-existing illness cover, which provides coverage for pre-existing conditions after just 1-year waiting period. *
Myth #2 - Family health insurance is sufficient for the senior members of the family
- There are multiple reasons why the senior members of the family should have their separate health insurance plan rather than be covered under a family health insurance policy. The likelihood of a claim being raised is higher when the plan covers senior citizens since hospital visits are common with them. Thus, the other family members covered under the plan are at a disadvantage as the sum assured gets depleted soon.
Plus, the limited nature of a family plan may mean that senior citizens may not get the coverage they want. A separate health insurance policy
intended for senior citizens only may be a wiser choice. *
Myth #3 - Health insurance for senior citizens is expensive
- Yes, the premiums for health insurance increase as one grows older. This is because the health insurance company takes on more risks when covering older people. While age is an important factor in determining premiums, there are other factors at play, too, such as lifestyle, health conditions, occupation, and so on. If a person fares better with these criteria, they could get a relatively lower premium as well.
Moreover, a high premium should not be an excuse to leave the senior members of your family without health insurance coverage. To get an idea of the premium estimate in this situation, you can use a health insurance premium calculator
Myth #4 - The senior citizens in my family do not need health insurance because they are healthy
- It is indeed a great thing if the senior citizens in your family are healthy even after they are above the age of 60 years. However, there is no saying when an unfortunate medical emergency might strike. Without a health insurance plan, one is bereft of financial protection that can be of significant help during such an emergency.
A good health insurance policy
can provide coverage for more than just hospitalisation expenses. It also offers free annual health check-ups so that the person can get their illnesses diagnosed at an earlier stage and avail treatment at the earliest. *
Myth #5 - Senior citizens may have difficulty raising health insurance claims
- This may have been true in the past when claim settlement processes were carried out completely offline and could be quite cumbersome. However, these days, the claim settlement process is quite easy. In the event that the senior citizen has to raise the claim themselves, they may be able to do it easily if they have a general idea of the procedure.
Furthermore, cashless treatment has eased the process even more. All that the individual would have to do is reach out to the insurer, fill up a form, and provide the relevant documents. The bills would be settled between the insurer and the hospital. Thus, the hassle of raising a claim on the health insurance policy is reduced significantly.
One should not let common misconceptions stop themselves and their loved ones from receiving the health insurance coverage that they deserve and need. Now that you know what
the truth is
behind these health insurance
misconceptions, we hope you buy the right plan so that you receive the right aid when you need it. *
* Standard T&C Apply
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.