When parents age: How insurance can take care of their health?
While feeling nostalgic, I am writing about those people who have made it feasible for us to get where we are today. These are those people who toiled away their youth and worked hard. Those make sure that they left no stone unturned to fulfill our dreams. They made ‘our’ dreams ‘their life goals’.
It is on these stooped shoulders that we stood to touch the sky of success and reach an incredible height.
But we often don’t realize that behind the evergreen smile on their face, they are growing old. For any child, it’s never easy to watch parents aging. When your father struggles to climb a staircase or wrinkles start finding their place in your mother’s hands. You have a sudden realization that they are growing old. As painful as it might be, we need to be ready to help them.
They had picked you up on their shoulders or walked with you 20 miles. To make you understand the benefits of physical exercise. But now this is the time when they might find it difficult even to take a small step ahead. It is the time when they might not be able to lift the suitcase. Or when they might fall ill frequently. Sadly, your parents could be okay one day. But suddenly the next day, they need round-the-clock health care.
As a child, it is your responsibility to take care of your parents’ health. or at least, make provisions that they do not face any financial crunch if any medical emergency strikes.
Due to the rising healthcare costs, a sudden illness can leave you physically, mentally and financially battered. Many people think that their corporate health insurance is good enough to cover unforeseen healthcare expenditure. However, medical inflation is rising at an unprecedented rate of 12-15% per annum. And the average coverage offered by employers is mainly in the range of Rs 3 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs. Furthermore, many employers are either withdrawing parental coverage or putting restrictions like co-payment. In case you want to cover your senior citizen parents as well. It leads to two big questions:
Q.1 Is the amount sufficient to protect you from hefty medical expenses?
Q.2 What will happen if the claim amount is much larger than your health insurance policy coverage?
If your senior citizen parents are dependent on you for their medical needs. The corporate health insurance cover will not be sufficient.
Why should you buy individual health insurance policies?
Given this scenario, it is essential to buy separate health insurance policies for your parents. It’s best to buy different covers for your parents. As the chances of claims are much higher during old age. Leaving potentially little or no protection for other family members.
If your parents are simultaneously covered by your corporate health cover an individual policy. They will not hit the pre-existing wall. Almost every insurer covers pre-existing ailments after a waiting period of say 2 or 4 years of continuous coverage. Since group policies do not have the waiting period clause. They come in handy when the waiting period clause of your independent system is active.
Further, individual health insurance policies come with a lifetime renewability option. It means, once you buy the plan, you get the coverage throughout your life. This is one of the main benefits of having individual health insurance, which is missing in the case of corporate health cover, which ceases to exist once you leave the job.
Enhance health cover with a super top-up policy
The other situation can be when you have a family floater health insurance, but you have exhausted the entire cover or intend to increase the coverage keeping in mind the rising medical needs of your senior citizen parents. While full-fledged health insurance independent of your corporate health insurance is preferable, such covers may prove costly and not fit within your budget. In such a situation, the super top-up cover comes to your rescue.
Instead of buying an entirely new health insurance plan for senior members of the family and paying a higher premium amount for that, you should go for a super top-up policy. This policy will help you when a sudden hospitalization exhausts your initial coverage.
Further, the premium of a super top-up policy is lower than a new health insurance policy, and you can buy it even if you don’t have any health insurance policy. The maximum coverage available under the policy is usually higher than that of individual health insurance policies for senior citizens. It is a more economical way of increasing the coverage without incurring high costs.
Health insurance policy
For instance, let’s assume you have a health insurance policy that offers coverage up toRs 5 lakh and a super top-up cover of Rs 15 lakhs with a threshold limit of Rs 5 lakhs. In the case of a claim of Rs8 lakhs, your health insurance policy will cover you for Rs 5 lakhs and the remaining Rs 3 lakhs will be paid by your super top-up policy.
Further, super top-up policies work on the aggregate claim amount, and thus, cover multiple cases of hospitalization. It proves to be highly useful especially if you want to include two senior members of your family.
The super top-up plan acts as a money saver deal and helps to extend your existing health insurance coverage without paying hefty premiums. It ensures that you don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket while meeting the medical expenses of your parents or in-laws. So, buy a super top-up plan and give extra health protection to senior citizen members of your family.
Remember, your parents have been your support system throughout your life, and now, it’s your time to reciprocate the same love. By taking the above measures, you can let them enjoy the golden years of their life. After all, it is a beautiful way to say, “yes Dad/Mom, I love you, and I care for you.”