Indian culture is rooted in strong family structures and cultures. Most Indians may follow a bit of western culture but still, respect and place their families on priority. Even during old age, Indian children take pride in being able to provide for and take care of their parents.
However, with rising expenses in livelihood, many citizens in India find it difficult to manage the medical expenses of their parents. Since the country is very protective of their elderly, the government offers a number of health schemes for the senior citizens of India.
Even though many private insurance agencies offer health insurance packages for the senior citizens, they usually come with a bunch of clauses that might be troublesome. The government’s health plans are people oriented and aim at providing enough financial help to the elderly during the time of their sickness.
In this article, we will be discussing the various health insurance for seniors by the Indian government. We will also shed some light on the pension schemes for senior citizens available in India.
- Why Should I Take Health Insurance for Senior Citizens?
- Senior Citizen Health Insurance Schemes in India:
- World Elderly Day 2018:
Why Should I Take Health Insurance for Senior Citizens?
Having a health insurance for your parents or close senior citizens is essential because of the rising prices of medical services that you need to avail. Government Health Insurance plans will help you obtain Mediclaims for senior citizens that can really help you during the period of hospitalization.
The financial burden of availing medical services without insurance may sometimes become really heavy on your shoulders, so it is better that you buy insurance and be prepared for anything. Moreover, older people want their loved ones close to them during their time of sickness, and without insurance, you will have to run around to arrange sudden cash. This results in restricting your parents or loved ones from your company.
Senior Citizen Health Insurance Schemes in India:
There are mainly four public sector insurance companies in India through which government health insurance schemes are managed namely:-
The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd.
The New India Assurance Co Ltd.
United India Insurance Company
National Insurance Company Ltd
1) Varistha Mediclaim Policy:
The Varistha Mediclaim Policy for senior citizens in India is a health insurance plan designed to make the life of senior citizens easier. Anyone who is between the ages of 60-80 can obtain the insurance and the policy period is for a year. The policy gets activated 30 days after enrolment. The policy has many benefits as it covers a wide range of diseases and also provides coverage for pre and post hospitalisation period.
The insurance provides a cover of Rs 1,00,000 for hospitalization and Rs 2,00,000 for critical illnesses. The plan also covers organ transplants up to a specified amount. Varistha Mediclaim Policy also provides you with the opportunity to use cumulative bonuses and coverage for the price of health check-ups done during the non-claim period.
It also covers emergency ambulance services for up to Rs 1000. This Mediclaim policy is offered by the National Insurance Company Ltd, the company allows policy renewal until the insured citizen reaches an age of 90.
The claim covers for critical illness such as coronary artery surgery, strokes, renal failure, and even cancer. The claim also allows you an opportunity to cover for conditions such as paralysis and blindness on an extra premium.
2. Health of Privileged Elders (Hope):
The health of Privileged Elders (Hope) scheme offered by Oriental Insurance is a comprehensive health insurance plan covering individuals above the age of 60. This health insurance plan for senior citizens has optional covers ranging from 1 to 5 lakhs. The insurance plan only covers specific diseases and also asks for a compulsory co-payment of 20% of the claim amount.
The Hope plan gives 100 per cent coverage for accidental injuries which can be very helpful during the event of an accident. The plan also covers for major illnesses such as Chronic Renal Failure, knee replacement, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Please ensure that you go through the list of diseases that are covered under the scheme and the percentage of cover it provides.
Related Read: Health Insurance for Chronic Diseases
The scheme also offers cashless TPA service for any amount up to a lakh. The scheme also provides cover for medical equipment and services that are offered at the hospital. This health insurance scheme for senior citizens is ideal if your requirement matches with the coverage provided. The scheme also provides additional benefits such as coverage for ambulance charges.
3. New India Senior Citizen Mediclaim Policy:
New India Senior Citizens Mediclaim Policy by the New India Assurance Co. Ltd., offers insurance coverage up to Rs 1,50,000. This health insurance plan is available for citizens ageing between 60-80 years. If not broken the plan can be extended to the individual’s spouse for up to 90 years of age.
There are many benefits to this senior citizen policy as it provides pre and post hospitalisation coverage along with ambulance charges. One of the main highlights of the plan is the 10 per cent discount you can avail of your spouse’s premium. If there are no claims in a year the assured sum will go up by 5 per cent and will keep rising up to 30 per cent without incidents. The Mediclaim covers you for treatments and conditions such as a Hernia, Arthroscopy, Appendectomy, and much more specialised treatments.
This Mediclaim plan for senior citizens in India is quite unique as it allows wide customization, you can remove and add diseases to the base plan and also provides you with great features such as complimentary health check-ups and no claim bonuses. New India Assurance in a public sector company backed by the Indian government and can be trusted completely.
4. United India Senior Citizens Health Insurance:
This health insurance scheme for senior citizens in India is available for individuals between the age group of 61 to 80. One of the key features of this insurance plan is the coverage it provides for domiciliary hospitalization. The insurance plan also covers ICU expenses and for specialized treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and dialysis.
Since there is a higher chance for cancer to metastasize during this age, the coverage for chemo and radiotherapy acts as a boon to many patients. The coverage for dialysis is also very useful as it is a recurring treatment that you cannot avoid until an organ transplant is done.
The maximum limit of the policy is Rs 3,00,000 and requires a co-payment on the premium. The insurance scheme provides post hospitalization coverage for up to 60 days post-treatment. This insurance plan will require 4 years waiting period to obtain coverage for pre-existing conditions.
These are some of the best health insurance schemes for senior citizens offered by the government of India through public sector companies.
5. Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Scheme (AB-NHPS):
In a recent turn of events, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the worlds largest government-funded health care plan for Indian citizens under urban and rural poor category. The plan is set to cover medical expenses for about 10 crore people in India that include senior citizens too.
The scheme is active since 25th of September 2018, commemorating the birthday of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. The scheme is set to target the urban and rural poor according to the deprivation charts under the SECC statistics. While the rural poor is selected based on the housing and standard of life, urban poor is classified based on occupational categories ranging from manual labors to rag pickers.
The plan right now is active for all government and government impanelled hospitals and provides pre and post hospitalization coverage too. To make the hospitalisation processes smooth and hassle-free, the government will assign an “Ayushman Mitra” personnel at each hospital. The plan is set to revolutionise the health sector in India, thus reducing the gap between medical services offered for the rich and poor.
The scheme is now called the PM-JAY scheme (PM – Jan Arogya Yojana) and was pilot tested in the city of Ranchi. The eligibility verification was one of the main concerns regarding the execution of the scheme, thankfully digital India has churned up QR code verification to determine the demographics and the eligibility of the patient.
The PM-JAY scheme is mainly focussed on the health care of women, children and the elderly and we hope the PM’s efforts to build a healthier India bears fruit.
World Elderly Day 2018:
Every year on the 1st of October the world celebrates world elderly day. This special day was first celebrated in 1991 after its establishment by the United Nations in the year 1990. The aim of world elderly day is to increase awareness about the problems faced by old people all around the world. There are many issues faced by old people around the world including depression faced due to extreme loneliness which leads them away from society.
The world elderly day is commemorated every year with a theme and this year it aims to bring the world focus towards older people who have worked as the champions for the human right movements in the past. There are many veterans in India who have worked relentlessly to gain the basic rights we so casually enjoy today. There are stories of hardships and loss these men and women suffered to give us the privilege we have today.
So, for this World Elderly Day, make sure you spend some time with the elders in your family or your society, listen to their stories and address their concerns. Also, make sure they are well provided and have enough health and financial security to live their days in peace.
It’s also important to ensure that the senior citizens you know are insured for any issues they might face in the future. I hope this article about senior citizens insurance schemes by the government has been helpful to you or your parents.
Vice President Wants Ayushman Bharat Insurance to Cover the Elderly:
– 12th Oct 2018
The Vice President of India presented the Vayoshreshtha Samman Awards 2018, on the day of International Elderly. On this day, the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu tipped his hat to the elderly rights activists and claimed that instead of calling people “old” or their care homes as “old age homes”, we should refer to the geriatric population as “Senior Citizens” and their care homes should be renamed to “Homes for Elderly and Senior Citizens” as the word old, inspires a negative prejudice against elderly and denies them agency to express their youth.
The Vice President also discussed the problem of nuclear homes and how more and more elderly are now living independently and without any financial support from their children. The Vice President pointed out that with increasing out of pocket medical expenses, the elderly are left to fend for themselves, he further suggested that government healthcare schemes like Ayushman Bharat should be extended to the elderly to help them pay for their medical expense.