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Senior Couples: Is Family Floater Policy The Right Health Insurance Choice?

With rising healthcare costs, choosing the right health insurance policy becomes essential. For senior couples in India, the decision to opt for a family floater policy or an individual policy can be a crucial one.

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Meghna Maiti
April 18, 2023
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Our healthcare needs increase as we grow old. It’s rather common for senior citizens to face health-related issues, and often, these issues require medical attention. Therefore, a senior couple must plan for their health insurance requirements carefully.

One of the options that senior couples can consider is a family floater health policy. However, before buying one, it’s important to understand what a family floater policy is and its benefits.

A family floater policy is essentially a health insurance plan that covers the medical expenses of the entire family. It covers the policyholder, spouse, and dependent children under a single policy. It offers a comprehensive coverage for hospitalisation expenses, medical treatments, and even pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses.
According to experts, while seniors can always go for family floater policies, it might not be the best option for them.

Says Biresh Giri, executive vice president and appointed actuary, ACKO: “While a family floater policy is beneficial, it may not be ideal for senior citizens. This is because senior citizens tend to have more medical needs and may require specialised treatment and care, which may not be covered under a family floater health insurance plan. It is best to have a separate cover policy for senior citizens to avoid high expense treatment costs in the future. Individuals with corporate health policies should have parents/senior citizens added as dependents. Further, the family can opt for a top-up policy for them.”

Here are the reasons why a family floater health policy might not be the most suitable option for senior couples:

Limited Coverage: Family floater policies come with a fixed sum assured that gets shared among all the members covered under the policy. This means that if one family member exhausts the sum assured, there is no coverage left for the other members. For senior couples who usually have a higher risk of hospitalisation and require more medical attention, this limitation can pose a problem.

High Premium: Family floater policies have a higher premium as compared to individual policies. Senior couples may have to pay a higher premium to avail of comprehensive coverage, which can be a financial burden. Additionally, if one of the family members is older and has pre-existing medical conditions, the premium can go up even further.

Exclusions: Family floater policies come with several exclusions, which means that certain medical conditions may not be covered under the policy. For senior couples who are more likely to have pre-existing conditions, this can lead to unexpected medical expenses that are not covered under the policy.

Renewal Age Restrictions: Some family floater policies have a lower renewal age limit. This means that once the policyholder reaches the specified age limit, they will no longer be eligible for the policy. For

senior couples, this can pose a serious problem, as they may not be able to avail the benefits of the policy during their later years when they are likely to need it the most.

Co-Payment: Some family floater policies come with a co-payment clause, which means that the policyholder has to pay a certain percentage of the medical expenses out of their pocket. This can be a financial burden for senior couples who are already living on a fixed income.

While a family floater policy may seem like a convenient and cost-effective option, it may not be the best choice for senior couples in India. It’s important to evaluate the healthcare needs of the couple and choose a policy that provides comprehensive coverage at an affordable premium. Additionally, senior couples may consider individual health insurance policies that provide higher coverage and fewer limitations.

Says Siddharth Singhal, business head – health insurance, Policybazaar.com: “It is advisable to have a separate comprehensive health insurance plan for aged parents or senior citizens, which can ensure that they get relentless and high-quality treatment if need be. There are many health insurers, which have launched health insurance for senior citizens packed with features at pocket-friendly prices, specifically catering to their needs.”

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