As India’s population ages, it’s crucial to address the barriers that prevent seniors from accessing health insurance. By doing so, we can help ensure seniors have access to the care they need to maintain their health and well-being.
Here are some factors that affect the cost of health insurance for seniors and the potential solutions to make insurance more accessible and affordable for this vulnerable population.
Age Of The Insured: “Health insurance premiums are typically higher for seniors as the risk of hospitalization and medical expenses increases with age,” says Siddharth Singhal, business head of health insurance, Policybazaar.com.
Type Of Plan Chosen: The premium cost may differ based on the kind of health insurance plan chosen. For example, a basic plan with limited coverage may cost less than a comprehensive plan with higher coverage.
Sum Insured: The premium cost may also depend on the coverage the insured requires. A higher sum insured may result in a higher premium.
Pre-Existing Conditions: Any pre-existing medical conditions may result in higher premium costs or restrictions on coverage.
Habits & Lifestyle: Certain habits, such as smoking or alcohol consumption, may increase the premium cost.
Add-Ons: Additional features such as OPD or medical expenses coverage may increase premium costs.
Waiting Period: Some health insurance plans may have waiting periods for coverage of specific illnesses or medical procedures. The length of the waiting period may affect the premium cost.
Co-Payment, Deductible, Or Room Rent Restrictions: “Some insurers may impose restrictions on the policy such as a co-payment, deductible, or room rent limit, which can affect the premium cost,” says Vivek Chaturvedi – Chief Marketing Officer and head of direct sales at Digit Insurance.
Cumulative Bonus: Some insurance providers offer a cumulative bonus for non-claim years, which can help increase coverage over time without increasing the premium cost.
It’s important for seniors to carefully consider their health insurance options and compare plans and premiums from different providers to find the best coverage at a reasonable cost.
In addition to the factors mentioned above, a few more factors can affect the cost of health insurance for seniors.
Geographic Location: The cost of health insurance may vary depending on the geographic location of the insured. In some states or regions, the cost of medical services may be higher, resulting in higher health insurance premiums.
Gender: Women tend to have higher healthcare expenses than men, which may result in higher health insurance premiums. Women generally require frequent medical checkups and are more likely to develop chronic illnesses.
Family Medical History: The family medical history of the insured can also affect the cost of health insurance. Suppose the insured has a family history of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. In that case, the insurance provider may consider them at a higher risk of developing these conditions, which may result in higher premiums.
Employer-Sponsored Plans: Some seniors may have access to health insurance through their employer, which may result in lower premiums. However, it’s essential to carefully consider the coverage and cost of these plans, as they may not provide the same level of coverage as individual health insurance plans.
Overall, the cost of health insurance for seniors can vary significantly depending on several factors. Therefore, seniors should carefully consider their options and work with a reputable insurance provider to find the best coverage at a reasonable cost. It’s also important to regularly review health insurance plans to ensure that they continue to meet the insured’s needs and budget.