Reasons to gift your father an individual health insurance policy, this Father’s Day, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Reasons to gift your father an individual health insurance policy, this Father's DayBy Amit Chhabra

Regardless of age, for a child, a father is always their superhero. They go the extra mile to protect their kids at every step and fulfill their long and short-term goals. However, in the ups and downs of life, they often tend to overlook their own well-being and protection. One such crucial aspect of their life, especially as they age, is investing in a reliable health insurance plan.

Amid the scenario of fluctuating COVID-19 graph, increased probability of age-related ailments, and rising medical inflation, it’s time to gift your father a robust health plan this Father’s Day. But, if your concern is that, owing to his age, finding an appropriate health insurance plan for him will be challenging, and making him a part of family floaters will be better, then there is good news for you. Fortunately, the Indian insurance market has several options targeted at senior citizens and even those with pre-existing diseases. So, with Father’s Day around the corner, here is a handbook on reasons to gift your father an individual health insurance plan.

• Group health insurance is inadequate

Most people rely only on their group health cover to meet medical expenses arising out of an exigency. However, in reality, the average sum assured in these policies ranges from Rs 3 to Rs 5 lakhs, which is not enough amid rising inflation and these uncertain circumstances, especially for the elderly. As age progresses, certain restrictions might also come into play. So, by providing a dedicated individual health insurance plan well in advance, you can ensure your father’s well-being against various medical issues that may impact him in the near future. If a higher premium is on your mind, correlate it to the probable medical expenses you might incur in the absence of such a policy.

• Pre-existing Disease Cover

The current lifestyle, alarming pollution levels, and age-related ailments have heightened the likelihood of people inevitably experiencing some form of health issue. Therefore, when purchasing a health insurance plan for your dad, bear in mind that he may have pre-existing medical conditions. Thus, try and opt for a plan with the shortest waiting period; typically, it ranges between two to four years. Some plans may have a lower waiting period as well.

Also, look for those plans where a pre-insurance medical test is not required. For instance, Star Health’s Senior Citizen Red Carpet Health Insurance Plan is for ages 60-75 years, with the minimum sum insured being Rs 1 lakh and a maximum of up to Rs 25 lakhs. Furthermore, it has a worthwhile co-pay clause of 50 per cent for pre-existing diseases and does not ask for a pre-medical test.

• Sum insured

Sum insured is the key component of any health insurance policy. To ascribe, this amount is what the insurer will reimburse you against the expenditures incurred for medical care in a policy year. Any amount exceeding the sum insured will need to be paid from your pocket, so remember to opt for sufficient coverage, especially in metro cities. You can consider a senior citizen health insurance plan with a high sum insured of Rs 25 lakhs to Rs 30 lakhs, depending on the limit, and correspondingly opt for a top-up in case the policy gets exhausted during a year.

• Tax Benefits

The health insurance premium paid towards the medical insurance policy bought for the parents is eligible for tax exemption under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. For example, you can claim a maximum deduction of Rs 25,000 per year for self and family on buying a health insurance policy. However, if you purchase and pay the health insurance premium for your father aged below 60 years, your claim eligibility will extend to an additional deduction of Rs 50,000. In the case he is over 60 years old, you can claim up to Rs 75,000. The government, over and above this, also offers a rebate of Rs 5,000 on expenditure on health check-ups for the entire family.

With the advantages of getting individual health insurance coverage for your elderly father, here are three things to think about before making your decision:

• Age – This is critical as a policy should shelter him from pre-existing medical ailments and health conditions. So, opt for a health plan with higher coverage. But, you may have to pay a higher premium depending on your age; it increases with every year a person ages.
• Medical history – Old age accompaniments comorbidities. Hence, it is essential to inform the insurance firm about the existing illnesses and be informed about the conditions covered by the insurance firm. This way, you will be able to calculate a sufficient dividend.
• Geographical location – Medical treatment costs differ with location. Your father’s coverage requirements would be higher if he lives in a metropolitan city than if he resides in tier I, II, or III towns.

To conclude, you can’t shield your dad from possible medical conditions, but you can certainly protect him by gifting him a comprehensive tailor-made health insurance plan that will protect him from astronomical medical expenses. Furthermore, these plans come packed with valuable benefits such as annual health check-ups, cashless treatment, hospital networks, etc. So, search and compare online policies before purchasing a reliable health plan that will cover his requirements. Also, learn about the exclusions, such as diseases diagnosed within 30 days after buying the policy, any other treatment than allopathy, cosmetic operation, dental procedure, etc

By Amit Chhabra, Head, Health and Travel Insurance, Policybazaar.com

(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETHealthworld does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETHealthworld.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person / organization directly or indirectly.)