Why Individual Health Insurance Is A Must Buy Over corporate Health Insurance

Avinash was feeling bit relieved and at the same time tensed to go to his office for the last time before his retirement. Finally, the time had come to say goodbye to the office which he joined at the age of 25 years. After receiving warm retirement party, he came back in the evening with a heavy heart that now from the next day; he wouldn’t be going to office. In the night, he felt some uneasiness and was taken to hospital where after a series of tests, doctors found blockage in arteries, for which he was immediately operated upon. The sudden hospitalization gave him setback ofnearlyRs 5 lakhs. Suddenly, the reality struck him— He is no longer covered under corporate health cover and he doesn’t have a separate mediclaim insurance policy now.

Medical Expenses Chart

Sadly, this is the common scenario in today’s times. Many of us avoid buying health insurance , simply because we are covered under the corporate health plan. Most also feel that as they are healthy, they should avoid spending their money on health insurance, forgetting the fact that healthcare inflation is rising at an alarming rate. As per the report of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), the average medical expenditure per hospitalized person if treated in private hospitals was around four times than in public hospitals during 2014.

It is imperative to understand that most of the corporate health insurance policies offer coverage on the basis of the employee’sseniority and scale of salary. The same may discontinue or reduce after retirement. Also, the time you change or lose your job, you will not be covered under the corporate health insurance and there is no guarantee that the new employer will also offer you insurance.

It is strongly recommended to have your medical insurance plan over and above any policy that may cover you during employment and continues to offer coverage after retirement also. In this way, you can ensure that you don’t need to dip into savings to meet medical expenses.

Health insurance for senior citizens

As it is common to realise that we will not always be in the pink of health, it is also essential to take health insurance for senior citizens to save on out of pocket medical expenditure.

Many young people are worried about their parent’s healthcare requirements, especially when their parents cross the age of 60. Some corporate health policies cover parents of employees also but not all are fortunate to get this opportunity. Also, employer health coverage may not be sufficient to deal with medical expenses associated with old age. In the last few years, there has been a rise in life expectancy, thanks to the advancement in the medical field. With inflation, however, advances in medical treatment have further pushed the treatment costs.

Medical Expenses

To ensure the best medical coverage for your parents, it makes sense to buy a health insurance for senior citizens. Though health insurance policies for senior citizens are not as comprehensive as mediclaim policies for young people, it is a must buy as health deteriorates with time and the need of medical care increases. There are various comprehensive insurance plans available in the market, which offer coverage to senior citizens also.

Considering the rising medical costs in the country, it makes complete sense to go for a separate health insurance for senior citizens.

Factors to consider before buying health insurance policy in India

  • • Check the coverage: A health insurance policy is supposed to cover risks or expenses arising out of health issue, like sickness, critical illness or accident. For instance, if you are hospitalized, does your mediclaim policy cover the entire room costs or put a capping on room rent? Similarly, does the insurer cover day care procedures? Or, what are the pre and post hospitalization expenses which are covered by the insurance policy?These are some of thefactorsthat need tobe considered before buying a health insurance policy.
  • • Know the waiting period: A waiting period is a time during which the insurer doesn’t offer coverage. A policyholder needs to exhaust this waiting period before the policy kicks in. While most of the insurance policies have a waiting period of 30 days for ailments, what needs to be understood is the waiting period applicable on pre-existing ailments. Most of the insurers have a waiting period of 3 to 4 years for pre-existing ailments.
  • • Learn about exclusions: While it is important to know what is included, it is equally important to understand what is not included. The most common exclusions are injuries caused due to war, attempt to suicide as well as injury caused by self while under the influence of alcohol. It is better to know exclusions beforehand to avoid the situation when the insurer rejects a claim simply because it falls under the exclusion list.
  • • Check co-payment: Co-payment is the fixed percentage of the total medical bill that has to be paid by the policyholder. In the case of health insurance for a senior citizen, co-payment can go as high as 40%. Go for a policy that comes with a low co-payment clause.

Apart from the above points, here are two important points which should be considered while choosing a health insurance for senior citizen:

  • • Choose the policy that comes with a lifetime renewability feature
  • • Choose a policy that has low waiting period for pre-existing ailments and critical illnesses

When medical inflation is hovering around 15%, buying a health insurance is an extremely crucial step which you should take towards protecting the health of yours and your loved ones. So instead of relying only on corporate health insurance, it is important to back it up with a comprehensive health insurance plan. Also, whether you are choosing an individualmediclaim or a health insurance for senior citizen parents, always prioritize your requirements well ahead of time in order to get the best coverage.It is about the health of your family, and you can’t take any chance!

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