Health Insurance for Parents -where to get comprehensive cover

health insurance for parents

Health Insurance for parents is equally important as it is to you. It carries more weightage due to the high probability of falling ill in that age. For finances sake, it is wise to transfer the risk of medical expenses to insurance company, due to the reasons like

  •          Increasing Medical expenses
  •          Low surplus left after saving for other important goals, thus not much for unforeseen medical expenses
  •          Increasing Life expectancy and deteriorating health

A person’s medical needs increase with age. With health related expenses increasing exponentially, any treatment could easily wipe out your parent’s savings kitty. Even if your parents are financially independent it is advisable to buy them a health insurance plan, which ensures that medical expenses should not impact their savings kitty much. It ensures that your parent’s health care is secured and they can enjoy their savings too. Don’t wait for any emergency as it may cost you huge

Though most of you are actually sensitized towards buying health insurance plans for parents but even then you find it difficult to buy any mediclaim with the reason of not finding a Suitable or BEST policy.

Many of corporate employees feel that they have added the name of their parents in the employer-provided coverage so there’s no need to buy a separate Health Insurance policy for Parents. But this is not wise to depend on the employer’s policy only. Reasons are same as for them not to depend on employer policy (Read: Ensure you are ensured).

This post is all about the various health insurance policies available in the market which you can buy for your parents. With coming up of standalone insurers, this health insurance segment is flooded with many innovative products. Which are quite similar with each other but some features may or may not suit your requirements.

Health insurance for Parents / Senior citizens – Some products.

If your parents have crossed 60 years of age then the options are bit limited with some restrictive features. However these days there are many heath insurance companies where there is no restrictio on the entry age, so anyone can buy anytime. Following companies has got special plans for Senior citizens

1.       Star Health Insurance – Star Senior citizen Red carpet plan.

2.       Bajaj Allianz General Insurance – SILVER Plan

3.       Apollo Munich Health Insurance –  Optima Senior

4.       National Insurance – Varishtha health Insurance.

5.       United India Insurance – Senior citizen plan

Health Insurance for parents  – Comparison 

(Updated on 14.03.2017)

health insurance for parents comparison

Check out detailed review of Bajaj Allianz Silver Policy here

As you can see that with the various options available for health Insurance policy for parents, you are bound to get confused. Below I have shared few pointers which will help you in selecting the suitable one.

1.       Always go with the policy with Maximum Renewal age. Though this is no longer applicable as all policies now days come with Lifetime renewal limit. 

2.       Work on your expenditure and buy the maximum possible coverage. Believe me; you just have to reduce your expenses by Rs 1500-2000 per month. (Read: How much health Insurance cover is enough)

3.       Check out for the First Year, Second year, special and permanent exclusions if any in the plan.

4.       If there’s any Pre-existing Illness, and you are more worried on that front then you should go with the plan with the least waiting period on Pre-existing illness, like select between Star/National/United.

5.       If Parents are fit and fine, with no pre-existing illness then select Policy with least compromises like as on room rent.This is because the total hospitalization expenses depends on the room rent only.(Read : Managing Hospitalisation cost)

6.       If Parents are diabetic then one should go with nationalised insurances like National/United, to get easy coverage. As they cover these cases with some extra premium/loading.

7. If the company doesn’t want to get the Pre-Insurance medical check up done, then make sure you read the declaration of medical condition form in detail before signing it.

Health insurance for Parents – Some other options

The options are limited in case your parents have crossed 60 years of age. But if you are acting proactively then it is wise to get them entry in this health insurance space before 60 years to take full benefit of health insurance plans that too without any co-payment, sub limits and with lifetime renewal.

There are plans with almost every health insurer now, like Religare health insurance, Apollo Munich Health insurance and Star health (Comprehensive).where if one takes entry before 60 years  i.e even at 59 years , he/she can enjoy  all the benefits even after crossing 60 years with continuos renewal.(Read : comparison and Review). Even though these plans doesn’t have any entry age restrictions but still it has co-payment clause if anyone takes entry after 61 years of age, so make sure you go through the policy wordings in detail.

You have other options from health insurance policies offered by nationalized banks to its account holders. There are some fantastic policies like as provided by Canara bank in tie-up with Apollo Munich health insurance; PNB Oriental Royal mediclaim policy and even the one offered by Bank of India with national Health Insurance.

Conclusion

If you are still waiting for a good a policy for health insurance for parents then this is the time to act. Your wait may cost you with some limits on the coverage. To get a comprehensive coverage get your parents Insured them right now. There are many health insurance plans which gives the continued, comprehensive coverage for lifetime if taken at appropriate stage and at right age.

Health insurance for parents is a wide topic and many times results into lot many confusion. New products keep coming which increases the confusion. So let me answer your queries in the comments section below. I believe more discussion may be of great help to you and me too with learning from your experiences.

 

100 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Manikaran,

    I’m confused between two policies for my mother who is 59 years old
    1. Apollo Munich Easy Health (5 lakh cover) + Apollo Munich Top Policy (Rs 5lakh) – Top up because the premium is low with a deductible of 5 lakh
    2. Religare Care (Above 5 lakh cover)

    From what I’ve heard you say is that Religare is a new company so servicing still not sure.
    So does it make sense to go for Apollo Easy Health – 5 Lakh cover + Apollo Munich Top up Policy of Rs 5lakh.

    I’m aware the top up will not work like Religare Care.
    e.g. being if I make a claim of 7 lakh then 5 lakh will be contributed from Easy Health and 2 lakh from Apollo Top up policy
    and in Religare 7 lakh from Religare Care plan.

    But now if I want to make another claim of 2 lakhs, it will not be possible in Apollo, even though my top up of 3 lakh is left because the deductible is 5 lakh.
    And this is where Religare Care will come into the picture.

    So Manikaran you will suggest Apollo because we have some history to go by right..

    Thanks,

    Ravi

    • Ravi, i would advise you to understand the difference between Top up and super surplus policy. Top up is what you have gone through in apollo, super surplus is what united and HDFC is offering.
      Also rather than apollo easy health , you should go with Apollo optima restore . I hope this will solve the issue of having a decent sum assured.

    • Dear Ravi ji,

      Whenever a person wants to insure their parents , these are the 2 major deciding factors.

      1. Renewal premium at later age . (As there are huge jumps in premium after the age of 60, 65 and 70 )
      2. Whats actual (basic) Sum Insured in case of a critical illness , where costs are huge these days and what will happen for a prolonged illness.

      In such a case, A basic product of 5 lac and a super top is best Combo.

      What do you suggest , Manikaran ji ?

      • Hi Manikaran and Sumit,

        The plans for which I’m thinking of going are
        1. Apollo Munich Easy Health Individual Standard (Four lakh cover) plus Apollo Munich Optima Plus (Five Lakh cover) with a deductible of 5 lakh.
        Or
        2. Religare Care (Five lakh cover)

        Apollo Optima Restore Premium is quite high if i compare it against combination of Easy Health Individual Standard and Optima Plus.

        Features of Religare Care are much better and premium is also low but it is new in the market.

        So the confusion.
        I’m aware that the premium will increase till 70 in Apollo.

        • Dear Ravi,

          Keeping in mind the statistics of health insurance claims for last 5 years, Major claims (Around 85%) are below the amount of Rs 1 lac.

          Manikaran ji , Pls correct me if I am wrong. In Financial planning, I believe its important that if we choose a long term path for an objective, we must be able to sustain it in case of worst financial scenario.

          Ravi ji, Your mother’s age is less than 60, so lots of options are available right now. You must choose a combo, which you can easily carry forward beyond age 80. Insurance companies charge very high premium after age 70 or 75.

          I hereby recommend to make a combo of a small policy of 4 lac Sum Insured and a simple Super top up/Top up of 4 lac deductible will do. Total Sum Insured must be 10 lac. Apollo and Religare are dedicated health insurance insurance companies and they don’t have any other product to back on. Their premium will be hiked every now and then. Where as HDFC and Icici are banking institutions, so there premium have always been steady.

          G0 for a steady company.
          Don’t choose a flashy product like Optima restore, whose premium is very high and it fails in case of a prolonged critical illness.
          Choose a product where annual checkup are available as our parents normally avoid them.
          Have extensive body check done for her every third year for heart and kidney.

          • Sumit, can u pls share the source of the statistics on health insurance claims. It would be an interesting read. But readers should not base there decision on selecting the sum assured for their policies on this data only.
            Yes, planning does mean that one should be able to handle all kind of scenarios with comfort (as far as possible). Worst scenarios do include the health issues which has the capacity to wash off all your finances on treatment costs only. That’s why adequate insurance coverage is must. I advise on as much you can afford. Now affordability itself is a subjective word, and unless one has a documented version of financial planning, one cannot ever define his affordability.
            Anyhow, I like your idea of getting into a combo…infact this is what Ravi is planning to do. But don’t you think that being Apollo/Religare/max etc. companies are only into health insurance space, this makes them more specialised in this area which is beneficial for the insured. I mean this will make the underwriting strong and if accepted you hve very less chances of claim rejection. Ofcourse customer services also play a big role in this. Also if I agree with you that premiums of icici and HDFC have been steady in the past…but they also have a feature of loading of Premium in case of a claim and this loading can go upto 200% of premium. I don’t know how one should do the cost benefit analysis in this kind of case.
            Annual health check ups are being provided by Max, religare and ICICI (may be)…Apollo offers this only after 3 years.
            Every policy has some advantages and limitations. So Better to settle down with above average insurer.

  2. Hi,
    I have had health insurance for my parents from ICICI Lombart for the past three years via my company. I may go for a job change now. The company rules mention that if I leave the company, the insurance will be cancelled and there will be no re-imbursement of the cancelled policy.
    Since the time has come to renew the policy, can I contact ICICI lombart and get the policy transferred via me instead of company ?

  3. If the matter with ICICI Lombart doesn’t work,I have thought of going for Religare individual plan of 4 lakhs each for both my parents ( mother – 65 yrs and father – 70 yrs ). I need your advice on whether I should go for individual plan of 4 lakhs each or a floater of 7 lakhs ?

    • Tarun, religare is a good policy. Hope you have made necessary comparison among other available options.
      But i would advise you to go with individual plan for each of them with SA Rs 5 lakh and above. Individual plan will increase the coverage and the benefits are on higher side when SA is above Rs 5 lakh.

      • Thanks a lot.

        How would you please recommend a policy for my mother. She is diabetic and has hypertention. She is 66 yrs old.

  4. Hi I am planning to take insurance for my parents . father 68yres and mother 58 years. i have narrowed down to Max bupa… Religare. and Apollo munich.. for my mother. and for father. i would like to go for Religare..apollomunic… but.. will want an advise..as to what plan will be better which wil have less involment of copay. for my fathers policy.

    • As your father is 68 years of age, there’s no escape from co pay in any policy. Apollo munich optima senior has co pay, even religare asks for copay where someone has taken the policy after 61 years of age. Max Bupa has a feature of co pay for all insured after 65 years of age.
      For your mother you should consider among apollo munich and religare as she is just 58 years and is eligible for entry into all policies.

  5. Hi,

    I have read through your write up and found it very helpful, i need to take a health plan for my parents & inlaws.
    My mother in law suffers from Diabetes, and my mother has gone suffered from cancer 4 years back, however she is normal now. I plan to evaluate National & United Insurance policies, whats your suggestion, also do you suggest i go through an agent to procure these policies or should i walk into a branch off, also would you be able to comment on the claim services offered by both these companies? I would also like to know any other recommendation that you can make.

    Both parents are senior citizen

    Regards
    Supriya

    • Supriya, Private insureres would normally be reluctant on accepting such cases with diabetes and cancer history. You better check with national insurer only. As you case may demand lot of search and service so better to go through an agent. The premium will not be different in case you go directly or through agent. But do disclose everything regarding the health history on the proposal form .

  6. Hi all of you iam very good to see this site it is very to choose insurance police to their parents. i too also.
    Still i need some clarifications that means whether above all companies supports Inpatient ,outpatient bills please any one could explain then it would help very lot.

    • Vasu, features varies from product to product. Where Inpatient treatment is covered in all the policies, but oupatient bills get rembursed in some specific products. You need to select among various policies as per your requirement.

  7. Hi

    Thank you for very informative post about health insurance for parents.

    My parents are 69 & 65. Dad has better health , Mom’s overall health is fine but she has hypertension and takes thyroid tablets. Along with them I am planning to take health insurance as well. I am single and 41 yrs.

    I have been reading your article and other insurance related ones since morning as i got a wake up call with my friend got hospitalized and expenses of 50K covered by ICICI Pru – I did not like this ULIP product though )

    Insurance, the riders, the critical illness, the top ups, etc is all bit confusing to me honestly. I am still trying to get myself trained.

    However, I have zeroed in Religare Health Care policy. It looks good for me as well my parents. There is one draw back of it being new entrant, but then every company is new at some point of time, I think we have to take chances and then IRDA does not allow just any ‘other’ company to enter into insurance market.

    Two queries please

    1) Should I go for 5 lac each for all three of us Individual or Floater . Premium for 5 lac each is going to kill me – I do not belong to elite class.. but then you have suggested that Individual works best. Please note, I sincerely do not want to claim from the word ‘go’.. we are all health conscious but for that ‘nasty big surprise’ somewhere down the lane, I thought of getting ourselves covered. So hopefully, we will have NO Claim bonus for some years.

    2) Any insurance buying is easy with click of button, but how to find out which company is the most culprit and they try to find out how to get some reason to reject the claim. I am worried that we pay premium through nose, medical emergency does not come with pre-planned date, so at that point of time, we are focused in getting the patient admitted and minimum insurance procedures of just intimating them.
    If you have some insights, it will helpful for layman like me .

    Thanks for your time in advance.

    Regards

    Vikas

  8. Vikas,

    Lets first analyse your demography , then we will consider the available options .

    Age 65 and 69.
    Mother :- Hypertensive and Thyroid (Pre existing disease)
    Dad :- Fitness level is better

    Any product , which you buy now has following crucial parameters.
    1. Premium (now and after age 70)
    2. Waiting periods
    3. Pre insurance Medical exams
    4. Sufficient Sum Insured.
    5. Companies, which allow entry at this age.

    Mother’s case
    At age 65 ( I assume she has not turned 66 now) , Apollo Munich , Max Bupa , Religare , future generali and Royal sundaram offers products , where 100% claim settled.

    A person with Hypertension as PED will not be issued policy by Apollo , royal and Future. Max is very costly and have 20% co pay after 65, so Religare is the on;y right choice. But it has 20% co pay if you take 5 lac Sum insured. So take a 4 lac cover for her.

    Father’s case
    At age 69 Religare and future generali offers products , where 100% claim settled.
    Try for 4 lac sum insured with religare or 5 lac with Future.

    Q Any insurance buying is easy with click of button
    A . unfortunately , for the above demography its not very issue to buy a policy.

    Q Which company is good or bad?
    A Insurance is a one sided contract , which a person has to accept. Advisor’s role is to explain you all hidden terms and conditions to you and facilitate you in case of claim. If you buy a product, its a legal contract. Nobody can cancel or issue a claim on his own. Its a process , which has to be follow.

    Last but not the least
    Company is not gud or bad , it the intermediary who may or may not be transparent.
    Its India , any company or agent or customer or a system can go rogue anytime.

  9. Hi,

    I am thinking of taking a health insurance policy for my dad and mom who are 63 and 57. I found Religare’s Senior Health Insurance plan to be having the least premium for 10 lakhs coverage for both of them under flaoter plan… Could anyone throw some light on the policy and whether its reliable to go with Religare….

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