Aging is a natural thing, but it demands careful personal financial planning. Ensure that your medical, financial and lifestyle needs will be satisfied after you retire.
Different people take to this transformation differently. Many start eating healthy; go for regular work outs and take precautions for managing their stress level. But healthy aging requires thinking beyond to the medical, financial and family issues that one may face during old age.
Your Personal Security Plan
We tend to take many important decisions in the later decades of our lives, owing to the belief that we become mature at this age. Reality says, taking some time analyse the issues ahead, and planning accordingly can make your most sensitive phase of live enjoyable for both – you and your family. In this article, we’ve listed certain areas to consider in this regard:
Saving for old age is imperative. You need enough money to live on. The main concern will be how to protect your hard-earned money. You can utilise on some investment plans which will give you handsome returns on your retirement. Plan your money accordingly. Some also plan about what should happen to their money after their death, by making will or trust document that spells out their wishes.
Old age needs more care than younger age does. Healthcare treatments costs are exceeding the limits these days. To avoid hefty medical bills that could wipe out your life-time savings one needs health insurance. The best part is that Indian insurers have introduced the senior citizen health insurance plan, keeping the needs of senior citizens in mind.
The premium is comparatively lesser and it covers you for hospitalisation expenses, pre and post hospitalisation etc. Possibilities that your current plan may not be sufficient in your old age and you will require to buy a special plan that considers your condition.
However, to get the maximum benefits from your senior citizen plan, consider the below factors at the time of buying:
Pre-Policy Medical Check Up:
A pre-policy medical check-up might seem tiresome. But it is mandatory to get one’s health condition evaluated by the insurer before issuing a policy. This way you can avoid surprises at the time of claim settlement. However, some insurance companies don’t require a health check-up before. In such case, one should disclose the pre-existing medical history at the time of purchasing health insurance.
Premium should not be the primary concern at the time of choosing a senior citizen health insurance plan. While you need to take care of your budget and choose a plan that your pocket allows, ensure you know how much of it you can claim during an emergency. Remember, health insurance with lower premiums may have restrictions and exclusions or might not cover you for whatever you actually need. Here’s why you should compare the policies. We guess you would not mind paying slightly a higher premium if getting an extensive cover.
It is one of the most important factors in choosing a medical insurance, especially for senior citizens. Sub-limits are some limitations that the insurers put on room rent and specific illness or treatments. For instance, health insurance policies come with some limitations for treatments such as angiography, cataract operations, stone removal, hernia, gall bladder, ENT etc. This way insurance companies limit their expenditure to a certain percentage of the policy amount, binding the insured to pay the additional expenses beyond that limit. It is recommended to avoid a policy with sub-limits, as these additional expenses can be expensive for the insured.
Co-payments are the way to reduce insurance premium. This option allows the insured to share a certain percentage of the payment, ranging from 10% to 30% and reduce the premium for the same amount. However, it is advisable to avoid co-payment while buying a senior citizen health insurance plan. While the premiums may be a little higher, the funds required for co-payment at the time of claim can be quite substantial.
Getting diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, cardiac problems is rather common in old age. We already know, most of the health insurance plans come with a waiting period for a pre-existing illness, which is not ideal for senior citizens. At this phase of life, you can’t predict when a health emergency could arise. If you opt for a health insurance plan with a waiting period and in case the insured is hospitalised and needs a claim to avoid the hefty bills. The insurer will have a solid reason to reject the claim on the ground that the compulsory waiting period has not been served yet. Thus, it is wise to invest in a plan with no or limited waiting period for pre-existing illnesses. Also, health insurers apply waiting period for health conditions such as piles, knee replacement, cataract etc. Always check the policy wordings and clauses to ensure the same so that you don’t face any disappointment later.
Ensure that the listed hospitals in your policy are accessible to you and at par in terms of your expectation. Getting healthcare services from network hospitals is beneficial as the insured person can use cashless services where the medical expenses will be settled by the insurance company or TPA (Third Party Administrators) directly by coordinating with the hospital authority.
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The Bottom Line!
So, if you’re planning to buy a senior citizen health insurance plan for your parents or planning for your own retirement days as well, do consider these pointers. Always take advice from someone who already has been using a plan. It is also beneficial to buy family health insurance to cover the entire family in a single plan rather going for separate one for each member. It is cost-effective also.
But the only problem is that you should not include your elderly parents in a floater plan – reason is that it pushes up the premium. So, it is better having a separate plan, designed by keeping the necessities of a senior citizen in mind and secure the old age. Finding the right plan may seem daunting for the first time, but having a special plan will benefit in a long run!