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Good health is the greatest blessing for every human being. It is one of the important factors that pave way for a happy life because healthy body nourishes healthy mind. Free from any sort of health issue, individual have the freedom to concentrate on various aspects of life. In old age people are more prone to health related illnesses. Parents toil to bring us up and it is our duty to stand by them and support them in their days of need. No wonder, it is required for old age people to get themselves covered under the canopy of health insurance. And, when we are grown up, it is us who have to take care of our parents’ health, which is the major of all issues in life.
Health insurance for parents is the provision to take care of this need. Under the shelter of insurance policy, people can enjoy quality medical treatments even during the later years of life. This becomes even more important given the rising cost of medical treatments in India in the last few years. So, take care of parents’ health by buying health insurance policy, to give them secured and stress-free life post- retirement.
There are two important factors that ensure healthcare remains at the top of priority list, especially if we’ve old-aged parents to take care of. The question is why healthcare planning decisions are important?
As mentioned above, rising cost of treatments due to medical inflation in India is one of the common factors. Secondly, the growing age or rising expectancy of life and sedentary lifestyle, which is also the storehouse of common ailments like diabetes, osteoporosis among women, ensures health risks may befall people irrespective of their age.  
Undoubtedly, with the number of illnesses risk ratio moving higher, it is important to plan for health and medical expenses beforehand. It needs to be understood that it is not always the planned treatment that cause hospitalization. Contrarily, healthcare expenses and hospitalisation generally occurs in times of medical exigency, which often comes unannounced. So, it can be said that unplanned hospitalisation is often the result of unanticipated events/reasons. Due to these unexpected incidents, a proper need for healthcare will be generated and this is expected to put a financial burden on the individual because of their emergency nature.
In the present day scenario, diabetes is one of the most common illnesses that have been attacking the senior citizens population. While it severely affects most of the organs in the body, it is also the storehouse of numerous critical diseases. Cardiac arrest is another common life-threatening condition that affects the older people. Unsurprisingly, this condition requires regular monitoring of food habits of people. While being overweight and obese are two other problems present in the lives of old people, cancer, lung-problems, influenza and pneumonia are amongst the top few causes responsible for the death for senior citizens in the recent years.
Understandably, health insurance is a must for senior citizens to have since onset of old age means most of them has no source of stable income or savings to face the big burden of hospitalization- planned and emergency both. With proper healthcare and insurance planning, a person can easily avail best health services in all over the India. This will help senior citizens enjoy and boost their confidence and happily spend the heydays of their lives without worrying about their future liabilities.
This is where health insurance comes handy. It is the only and best tool that can provide a helping hand while facing health related challenges. It gives financial coverage and takes away the burden of healthcare expenses from the insured.

Health insurance works like a reminder that press the resounding notes that life must be lived to the fullest. It offers best medical services and treatments nearly against all health problems or issues, however expensive they are. It is thus, important to understand and choose the right amount of coverage rather than suffering due to the issue of under-insurance at the time of claim.

 This also gives a huge mental relief allowing the individual to concentrate on healthcare needs of one’s parents. No wonder, with peace of mind, one can take wise decisions.

In this regard, health insurance providers have made it easier for all. Today Indian health insurance market has immense variety to offer. Insurance providers have made provision for people of all ages and income level. Myriad of policies are available to help you pick the one that is best fit. The factors that will have an impact on the nature of health insurance policy you buy are –age and present health status of your parents.
It might also be possible that your parents are working and might be covered under a group health insurance plan. However, what will happen when they will retire? When they retire, they will definitely miss a few of the important benefits — including their employer-sponsored group health insurance plan. And then they may decide to look and buy a replacement health plan. Well, this is not a wise option, if you know health plans comes with their set of waiting periods.
Most of you might have even considered a senior citizen health insurance policy or health insurance for parents only to find that your parents are no longer an accepted risk for the health insurance provider. Secondly, you must be worried about how the premiums, which is likely to be on higher side when it comes to senior citizen health insurance, will fit into your fixed-income budget. To ensure best coverage to senior citizens, there is an option like health insurance for parents. HDFC Ergo Health Insurance Ltd. (formerly Apollo Munich Health Insurance) provides you numerous ways to help you take care for your parents’ health and related expenses. You can buy our Easy Health Individual health insurance plan for your parents. It provides a broad coverage and would surely satisfy all their healthcare needs. We, at HDFC Ergo Health (formerly Apollo Munich) understand your needs in terms of health. To satisfy all kinds of healthcare needs, varied medical care products have been introduced. 
For your parents there is an option like Easy Health Plan that ensures coverage of complete family. Dependent parents are even covered under Easy Health Family Plan. A small premium amount that you pay for yourself provides coverage to your parents as well. At the cost of single you can entitle even you parents to insurance benefits without any need to compromise with the quality of treatment.
Personal Accidental plan guards an insured against all the health-related risks that may arise during emergency or an accident

Health insurance for parents is equally important, when they are travelling. So, if your parents are planning to have a trip either inside the country or abroad, it is important to understand that their health should be insured. Our Easy Travel Plan is well-thought travel insurance policy that is designed to provide cover to all the health-related issues that one might face in a foreign land at the time of travelling.
In addition to all these options, there is yet another plan with the name of HDFC Ergo Health (formerly Apollo Munich) Optima Senior. It is a recently introduced plan exclusively made for senior citizens. Ideal for people of age 61 years or above, this plan gives comprehensive health coverage. Inclusive of long list of benefits, Optima Senior can very well fulfil the need of health insurance for parents. Under this health plan, you can guarantee the insurance coverage to your parents for whole life by availing the provision of 100% lifelong renewal. This plan can offer required coverage to your parents as well as to your grandparents if they don’t have an insurance coverage till now. With this insurance coverage you can provide them health security even during the later years of life. In this way, by introducing this option, medical care coverage has become easy and uncomplicated for all.
While these were the benefits of a health insurance policy for parents, learn how you can choose the best senior citizen health insurance plan.
  • Thoroughly research all the coverage options – This is an important step before you buy senior citizen health insurance because there are restrictions on what is being included under the plan and what are the exclusions. Make sure you are aware of the coverage offered before-hand; this could be a major deciding factor if policy is being bought for parents’ health insurance.
  •  Read policy document and all the terms and conditions – Most of us have the tendency to allow the agent to fill the proposal form when it comes to buying health insurance. This is something we must refrain from doing so.  Always make it a point to read the policy terms and conditions thoroughly, especially the inclusions/exclusions for senior citizen health plan. This reduces the chances of any misunderstandings that may crop up in future at the time of filing and approval of claim. 
  • Check the enlisted/empanelled doctors and specialists – Look for the list of specialists/doctors who are enlisted with the health insurance provider you’re about to choose. Also, it is important to see and find out if the list has medical specialist available in your area or the one that your parents visit. 
  • Compare health plans – Always make it a point to compare different health insurance plans and choose the best possible coverage available. This is something that must be done if you’re looking to buy health insurance for parents. 
  • Disclose all pre-existing conditions – When you fill a proposal form, it is important to always disclose the details regarding the pre-existing diseases, if any. Importantly, this also includes things like high blood pressure as well as diabetes. This is also important to disclose because most health plan cover pre-existing disease after about a waiting-period, which generally varies from 1-4years from insurer to insurer. And this will have a huge impact on the Sum Insured option available to the senior citizens.  
  • Submit all necessary documents – It is required that while buying a health policy, you submit all the necessary documents, medical reports before your proposal form undergoes medical under-writing. However, the insurance company will itself seek for the necessary documents if the policy is to be bought for senior citizens. 
  • Fulfil the required medical tests – This is an important step when a proposal form goes for under-writing. One should know that medical tests would be a mandatory pre-requisite in case of senior citizen health insurance. And if any medical tests are required to be carried out, ask your agent or insurer as to where and how they will be carried out. You must also ask the agent who will bear the cost of these medical tests.   
  • Seek feedback from your peers – Always make it a point to seek advice and feedback from family and friends who have purchased a health insurance plan in the past. This is because they will share the right experience and word of mouth is the most preferred source of getting the feedback about any product or service. Check who has brought the health plan that you intend to buy and clearly ask them to share their satisfaction or dissatisfaction level with the plan and service they have had bought or paid for. 
  • Let your proposal be accepted by the insurer – It is important that you wait till your proposal is accepted by the insurer before you make the payment for premium amount. The proposal form for parents’ health insurance may involve necessary formalities- like medical tests, before it is approved by the insurer. 
  • Renew the policy well-in-time – It is important to renew your parents’ health insurance policy to take advantage of life-long health care coverage. After all, you may not want to put your parents at the risk of no-coverage due to policy lapse. No policy renewal will mean that all the coverage benefits accrued and waiting-period passed has to begin again, which may pose immense risk of non-coverage.
  •  Enjoy tax benefit - Moreover, pay reasonable premium and enjoy tax benefits, as per the section 80(D) of the Income Tax Act. Read how to save tax through health insurance. Deductions allowed under section 80D -  Premium paid towards parents health policy is tax deductible up to Rs 25,000 and if your parents are senior citizens (60 years and above), maximum deduction allowed is upto Rs 30,000.
When it comes to health it is important for all to ensure right move. A mere ignorance in terms of health can affect the life in the longer run. It is thus imperative to give it a serious thought and take a wise decision that can help live a stress-free life as far as health is related. So it wouldn’t be wrong to say that a proper financial health planning is all that is required to take care of medical expenses. That is to say that in order to help a parent recover from illness or to curb its way from turning into a critical one, there is a need to take appropriate measures before time slips out of hand.
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