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A comprehensive health insurance policy is a must to have for every individual in today’s date, especially when the rate of life-threatening diseases, as well as medical costs, are increasing at an alarming rate. Moreover, if you have elderly parents at home who are at higher risk of falling sick frequently, it becomes even more important to have a health insurance policy in your financial portfolio.   

However, buying a health insurance policy for your parents is not an easy affair. Not only are they costly but also, it is tricky to find a comprehensive health plan for elderly persons with good coverage. Since old people are more prone to fall sick and subject to rapid health deterioration with every passing year, insurers charge higher premiums. Thus, while buying a health insurance policy for your parents you need to more wary in order to get maximum coverage at a relatively lower premium.

Here are a few tips to choose the best health cover for your parents:  

HEALTH INSURANCE

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  • Buy a policy before your parents attain 55 yearsAs told earlier, the premium for health insurance plans always increases with age. The earlier you start; the lower premium will have to pay. Hence, if you start early you can expect to get a policy at a relatively lower premium. The best strategy to follow in this respect is to consider buying a policy for your parents before they turn 55. Moreover, insurance companies come up with several terms and conditions while offering a policy for customers who are above 60 years. Thus, buy a health plan for your parents as early as possible to get the maximum coverage at a lower premium with other add-ons.    
  • Look for policies that cover pre-existing diseases: Most of the insurance companies in India either don’t cover pre-existing diseases or have very strict terms and conditions. Usually, the waiting period in such cases ranges from 1 to 4 years and the policyholder is charged with higher premium. Hence, be vigilant and check the waiting period in advance. Ensure that the policy you are buying covers all or most of the pre-existing health issues of your parents. However, there are certain insurance companies which even though charge a higher premium for covering people with pre-existing diseases provide better coverage. It is suggested that you should go for such plans to ensure the best health care coverage for your parents.
  • Vouch for insurers who don’t ask for pre-medical testsThere are certain health insurance policy providers who not ask the buyer to go through a medical test before offering a policy. Consider purchasing a policy for your parents from such an insurer. The reason being, after going through a medical test if your parents are diagnosed with any minor to major disease, your insurer might exclude some diseases or even deny providing an insurance cover.  Also, make sure that the policy offers yearly free medical checkup with 1-2 full body check-up every year. Pre and post hospitalisation cost should also be covered under the policy as your parents might need that quite often.
  • Check the co-pay clause before making a policy purchaseWhile purchasing a health insurance health cover for your parents you should be very careful about the co-pay clause. It is an arrangement where the policyholder needs to pay a certain portion of the total treatment cost, while the insurance company pays the remaining amount. Thus, it is important that you check your co-payment percentage before buying a policy. If required pay a high premium against your policy to keep the co-pay percentage as less as possible.   
  • Consider buying individual health covers for your parents: Many people consider buying a family insurance policy for their parents instead of an individual insurance cover. However, it is not advisable to opt for a family insurance cover if you have elderly parents in your family. With growing age, the health complications of your parents might increase, and the family cover will not be enough to meet their cover against unexpected medical emergencies expenses. Since they tend to fall ill quite frequently due to their reducing immunity level, they need extensive coverage which a family health policy can’t offer. Considering this aspect, it is better to buy individual health insurance plans for your parents. 
  • Go through online reviews and check the claim settlement ratio: Before sealing the deal, make sure to check out the online reviews about the desired policy and the insurance company. Visit the official website of the concerned insurer and check the claim settlement ratio of the company. This will give you a clear idea about the number of insurance claims that have been settled by the company so far. Remember, the higher the ratio is, more trustworthy and reliable the company is.  

Even if your parents are enjoying good health condition at present, it is important to buy a health insurance plan for them to cover against unexpected medical emergencies. Don’t be in a hurry and take time to compare various policies before finalizing one. Avoid insurance policies that offer lower premium as these often offer less coverage with a long waiting period. Instead, try to find a policy that comes with extensive coverage, minimum exclusions, and fast claim settlement process. Even if you have to pay a higher premium; it will turn into a profitable deal in the future.

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