Looking at the increasing costs of medical treatments, buying medical insurance for our parents is no more a choice, it has become a necessity. As our parents age, they become more susceptible to health issues and diseases and that’s when it gets difficult to get them insured. Age matters when it comes to getting the coverage you want for your parents. The younger they are, the more health insurance claim benefits they can opt for. So, make sure that your parents are insured latest by the time they touch 50. 

Here are the reasons why it is important to buy health insurance for parents early on:

1. High Premium & Longer Waiting Period 

At an older age, the chances that our parents would have a disease is higher. It’s not uncommon for our population to have heath related problems, like high-blood pressure, heart issues, diabetes, thyroid problems, etc and the longer you wait to get insurance for your parents, the higher the chances are they might develop some condition. In such a case their premium will be very high as they would be considered to have a pre-existing disease. 

In this case, the other issue is that there will be longer waiting period for pre-existing diseases. 

2. Mandatory Co-pay Feature 

The co-pay feature in a policy implies that the policyholder pays a certain percentage of the total expenses out of their own pocket. And in most policies, the co-pay feature is mandatory for people above the age of 60. And this makes the out-of-pocket expense higher.

3. Risk of Entry Denial

Most insurance companies do not allow the insurance entry of people above the age of 65. The reason is that the risk of most diseases in senior citizens is very high compared to others. 

4. Expensive Insurance

The cost of the insurance is directly proportional to age. This means that the cost of the premium increases significantly for older parents. And with an increased premium cost, you end up losing out on many other benefits. A couple of them are:

• Insufficient room rent limit –For senior citizens, the room rent cap is often not fair as per the high cost of the monthly premium. And if you choose a room of higher category than what is specified in the policy, you will end up bearing the proportionate deduction in your claim settlement. Hence, you will not be able to maximise your claim settlement amount.

• Increase in co-pay percentage –Insurance plans for senior citizens usually have a higher co-pay percentage.This means that you will have to pay a significant percentage of the total expense on your own. 

Keeping all these factors in mind, it is clear that medical insurance for parents should be bought early on. As they age, the medical policy would limit the benefits. And if you end up making a poor policy decision, the insurance may not have a significant importance. 

Here are the 3 most important tips that should be kept in mind when buying medical insurance for parents: 

If you decide to buy insurance for parents when they are not that old, you can expect at least 3 to 4 claim-free years. And if the no-claim bonus is higher, you will be able to enjoy a higher sum insured. 

1. Ensure that there’s Adequate Sum Insured

Parents, after a certain age, start falling sick very often.This will require you to file more claims and recover more expenses comparatively. Hence, the sum insured for parents should be higher. 

2. Look for Policies with Higher No-Claim Bonus

If you decide to buy insurance for parents when they are not that old, you can expect at least 3 to 4 claim-free years. And if the no-claim bonus is higher, you will be able to enjoy a higher sum insured. 

3. Check the Room Rent Limit

As discussed above, medical insurance policies apply an upper limit on the room rent. So, you will have to face the proportionate deduction in claim settlement. So, before buying the policy, check if you are comfortable with the room category specified for your elderly parents. Because despite having a policy, you will be left with a dent in your pocket if you are anyway going to choose a more expensive room. 

Buying medical insurance for parents is a critical decision that should be made seriously so that you can claim the maximum amount and recover the treatment cost. So, in addition to understanding insurance, understand how you can claim the benefits.

About the author:

Anuj Jindal co-founded SureClaim.in to fix the broken claim experience of insurance customers. He believes technology can play a major role in empowering customers. His understanding is shaped by his decade long stint in healthcare and health-tech companies