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Should Seniors Consider These 5 Government Health Insurance Policies?

Senior citizens can opt for government-backed health insurance plans if they cannot afford products provided by private insurance companies.

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Outlook Money
December 20, 2023
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As people age, healthcare costs simultaneously increase. Some people rely on health insurance policies to foot medical bills, while others dig into retirement savings. If you don’t have a health plan, these bills will eat into your savings, and your finances may become unstable. Let us get to know more about these Government Health Insurance Policies.

Some diseases, like arthritis, diabetes, etc., may require long-term care, and the cost could be low. But if you contract serious diseases like cancer, which requires lengthy hospitalization and caring, the costs could skyrocket, and your life may take a 360-degree turn for worse.

These expenses can be a significant part of your budget in old age. So, buying a health policy makes sense. Once you decide that, the next big challenge is to select a plan.

Nowadays, many private companies offer health insurance plans, but you could also opt for a government medi-claim policy if you cannot afford private insurers.

Also Read: 5 Pension And Investment Schemes For Senior Citizens Backed By Government

Here are some government-backed health insurance policies to explore:

National Varishtha Mediclaim Policy: It is available for people aged 60-80. The policy can be renewed annually till the subscriber reaches 90. The policy covers eight specific critical illnesses, like cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart stroke, etc., for medicines, organ transplants, blood, oxygen, diagnosis, consultation or professional aid, etc. The subscriber gets Rs 1 lakh for common diseases and hospitalization; for critical illness, they receive Rs 2 lakh. Additionally, the policy offers tax benefits of up to Rs 15,000 under 80D of the Income-tax Act.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY): PMJAY or Ayushman Bharat Scheme provides healthcare to senior citizens, women, and children below the poverty line (BPL) category nationwide. It includes a cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family for secondary and tertiary care at public and private hospitals. The transactions are cashless. The Ayushman Bharat Scheme covers three days of pre-hospitalisation and 15 days of post-hospitalisation care; the plan kicks in from day one for critical illnesses.

Health of Privileged Elders (HOPE): A government scheme extended to people above 60. It provides insurance of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for specified diseases. The policy mandates a 20 percent co-payment on the claim amount. It offers discounts on premiums for opting for voluntary co-payment. It is also a cashless facility executed through a third-party administrator. It covers all treatments like homeopathy, Ayurveda, yoga, neuropathy, and unani, besides allopathy. Online doctor consultations are held via Zoom calls or Google Meets.

United India Healthcare Insurance: This scheme is offered by the government-owned United India Insurance Company. Those aged 61-80 can apply for the policy. It provides insurance coverage from Rs 1-3 lakhs. It covers expenses for hospitalizations of more than 24 hours; however, the domiciliary hospitalization costs are covered only after three days. It offers a family discount of 5 percent to the subscriber and the immediate family members.

New India Assurance Mediclaim Policy: This scheme covers people over 60 and provides a 10 percent family discount if the spouse is also covered. It gives Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh for Ayurveda, Unani, and homeopathy treatments requiring hospitalization, provided that it is a government institution. Pre-existing conditions like diabetes, hypertension, etc., are covered only after 18 months of continuous insurance.

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