10 things you must have in a Health Insurance policy for your Parents

A healthy body and mind are, by far, the most critical entity every human being needs. Without a healthy body, everything else is literally impossible. Thus safeguarding our personal and family’s health must be a top priority.
But this becomes increasingly trickier as our family members get older. Our parents, who would be pushing to their late 50s, would often have lifestyle diseases, weakening bone strength and other general ailments. The frequency of these ailments would increase as they grow older. Giving them the right medical care becomes paramount and also a source of financial worry
Health insurance
The solution to this predicament is in getting the right health insurance policy. A health insurance policy will reduce the financial stress over medical bills while also ensuring that you do not compromise on your parent’s health. 
How can you pick the right policy for your parents that will ensure that you get the maximum benefit out of the premium you pay? 
Here are 10 factors that must be included if you are looking for a health insurance policy in India.
1. High Sum-Insured amount – Sum insured is the amount provided by the insurer to the policyholder to cover for the hospitalisation charges. Choose a policy that offers a higher sum insured for a nominal premium amount. Since hospitalisation and medical expenses would be higher for older people, it is best to opt for such an option. This would drastically lower the total medical costs that you will have to bear.
2. Domiciliary Care – Domiciliary care means providing professional medical care within your home. In some instances where senior citizens are confined to their beds, it is better to take care of them in their homes rather than admitting them to a hospital for an extended period. The domiciliary cover will handle the expenses related to such home-care facilities.
3. Critical illness Hospitalization Benefit – Senior citizens are more predisposed towards critical illnesses like cancer, kidney failure, heart attacks, etc. This can take a significant toll on them. 
Without timely proper treatments, it can deal a heavier blow in the long run. Thus critical illness hospitalization benefit should be a must-have option in your insurance policy.
4. Low waiting period – Insurance companies have a waiting period before you can file a claim. When you purchase a plan, you must declare any pre-existing illnesses. After buying the policy, you will not be able to claim the amount right-away for medical expenses related to these pre-existing illnesses. 
There will be a period known as the waiting period, and only after this period can you claim the amount. Choose the policy that provides the lowest waiting period so that you will not have to keep paying for medical expenses from your hand for a longer period.
5. Pandemic coverage – Coronavirus has caused a lot of mayhem around the world. Senior citizens are one among the most vulnerable groups of people susceptible to COVID-19. 
Taking this as a forewarning to the future pandemics that may occur, it is safe to invest in Digit’s health insurance that covers Coronavirus and other pandemics too. This will create a sense of security that even if you get contracted with the virus, you can still get the right medical treatment and get cured.
6. Alternative treatment cover – Apart from Allopathic treatments, having the luxury of alternative forms of treatments is also a great way to ensure that you are not leaving any stones unturned when it comes to providing wholesome medical care for your parents. 
Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy are other alternative treatments that we can turn to if Allopathy doesn’t work. Choose the policy that would cover these forms of treatments too.
7. No Age-based co-payment – Certain insurance companies have mandatory co-payment clause in their policies. In co-payment, you will have to bear a part of the medical expenses. This would result in a lower premium. However, medical bills can unpredictably skyrocket. 
Having to pay those bills from your own pocket for the benefit of a lower premium is not worth the risk. While choosing the insurance policy, avoid opting for a company that enforces the co-payment method.
8. Additional sum-insured benefit – If you exhaust your sum insured amount, your insurer must provide the option to refill it. Most insurance companies would charge you for the refill, whereas certain companies would refill it free of cost for specific hospitalisation scenarios like critical illnesses and accidental hospitalisation. 
However, some insurers do not provide this benefit. It is safer to opt for the former kind because we cannot predict what series of misfortunes can befall upon us in one year. It is best to embrace that possibility and prepare for it.
9. Cumulative Bonus reward – Often, you might feel that the health insurance policy you have chosen for your parents is collecting dust because of your parent’s good health. Instead of cancelling the policy, choose one that gives attractive Cumulative Bonus reward. 
Cumulative Bonus is offered by insurers for the years that you haven’t filed a claim. This usually materialises as a discount in premium amount or a higher sum-insured. A good Cumulative Bonus reward can balance the premium paid against the unclaimed insurance policy. This way, you will still get to reap the benefit of the policy during the time of need.
10. Cashless facility – Insurance companies have come up with an innovative way of claiming the policy through Cashless facility. Here, if you are getting treated in a hospital that has a tie-up with the insurer, they will directly pay the bills on your behalf. 
Otherwise, you will have to go through the tedious process of getting the bills, verifying them, submitting it to the insurer, waiting for the claim to be accepted and finally getting the amount reimbursed. You will also need to have money in-hand in the first place to pay for the bills. Cashless facility removes all these hiccups in medical expenses.
Now that you have a deeper understanding of what constitutes a good health insurance policy for your parents, first, evaluate what you expect out of the policy. Then do thorough online research for insurance plans
Read through their terms and conditions and compare them with the points mentioned above. This way, you can land on the right policy for your parents.

About the writer: I am, Arya, a content writer with a penchant for transforming boring and difficult subjects into enjoyable content in layman’s terms. Drop me an e-mail at arya.neelan@gmail.com if you are struggling with your jargons.

Denny Jones

Hey there, I'm Denny Jones, a seasoned financial writer with over a decade of experience. I'm passionate about simplifying finance and empowering readers to achieve financial freedom. My articles offer practical advice and insights to help you navigate investing, budgeting, and personal finance with confidence. Let's unlock your financial potential together!

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