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10 key factors to consider while buying a Health Insurance Policy for parents

Team AckoMay 13, 2024

Health insurance is beneficial irrespective of the age group. However, the need for it can be more for the elderly. This is because the human body becomes susceptible to several health-related challenges as it ages. The higher the age, the higher the chances of getting affected by diseases and getting hospitalized, leading to treatment-related medical expenses. You can ensure financial security by insuring your elderly parents with a comprehensive policy. Read ahead to know more about buying a health insurance policy for your parents.




Things to consider before buying a health insurance plan for parents

The following list will take you through various factors you should consider while buying a health insurance policy for your parents.

1. The reputation of the insurance company

The services of an insurance company must be prompt when it comes to health insurance for parents. A policyholder may not be present on the spot to complete the claim process for his/her parents, and this is where the reputation and promptness of the insurer matters. You want an insurer with a solid history of quick claims processing, transparent communication, and treating older customers fairly. Don't just go by ads - ask around, read reviews, and evaluate their specific responsiveness to mature claimants.

2. Coverage of the insurance policy

Health insurance plans for parents must be holistic as inadequate coverage may lead to additional expenses. It should offer basic features like less waiting period on pre-existing diseases, coverage for mental illness, coverage for age-related conditions, preventive healthcare benefits, etc. As parents age, health needs expand - from frequent monitoring to age-linked conditions to emotional support - so choose comprehensive plans over basic ones. Forking out on wider coverage now saves regret and panic later.

3. Location of network hospitals

One can avail of a cashless facility from a network hospital. Thus, it is necessary that you know the exact location of your insurer’s network hospital. This way, the best treatment can be received at a low cost. Plus, cashless claims allows you to experience a convenient and quick claim settlement process. It's sensible to map network hospitals in your parents' locality before purchasing since commuting far while unwell is impractical. Proximity matters during medical crises, and nearby cashless hospitals are a major advantage, especially in non-metro regions with fewer facilities.

4. Cost of the insurance policy

Usually, the cost of health insurance increases with age. Since parents' age can be on the higher side, look for an insurance company that provides feature-rich health plans at a lower cost. Yes, senior plans are pricier, but don't compromise on inclusions to save costs. Set a reasonable budget and evaluate all benefits carefully before picking economical plans. Your parents' health deserves adequate investment - there are still relatively affordable options with comprehensive perks.

Also, read: Family health plan

5. Exclusions

You need to bear the medical expenses not covered under Parents Health Insurance. Thus, it becomes crucial to understand the exact exclusions of the health plan. Always go through the policy document thoroughly. Scrutinize the fine print! Technical jargon hides exclusions and caps that insurers can exploit later. List all current meds, pre-existing conditions, etc., and explicitly clarify if they are covered comprehensively. Ask many questions. Refrain from blindly trusting brochures - verify paperwork factually reflects discussions.

6. Additional coverage benefits

Some health insurance plans can be customised with more coverage. Some examples of health insurance add-ons are Room Rent Waiver, Critical Illness Insurance, Outpatient Department (OPD) Cover, Hospital Cash Cover, or Personal Accident add-on. Riders offer scope to fill gaps in base policies to better suit individual needs. For elderly parents, features easing OPD expenses or paying cash for each hospitalization day provide financial relief. Critical illness riders also give lump sums to cover the treatment of major diseases. Analyse your parents' likely requirements before picking well-matched supplements.

7. Claim process

The claim process of an insurance company should be simple and hassle-free. Else, you will spend more time on claims than on focusing on your parents’ health. Choose an insurer with a straightforward, digital and transparent claim process. Complex documents and painful follow-ups are the last things anyone needs during medical emergencies. Opt for insurers with a history of empathetic communication and simplified help for mature claimants.

8. Value-added services

Health insurance value-added services have gained prominence in recent times. Benefits like teleconsultations, free health check-up, health monitoring services, etc, can help you to keep your parents in good health. Wellness perks that encourage preventive care are invaluable for the elderly. Telehealth provides effortless specialist access from home. Diagnostic deals aid affordable monitoring. Insurers offering these extras show heartening concern for policyholders’ holistic well-being.

9. Tax benefits

The premium paid to buy health insurance for parents is tax deductible as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act. Don’t forget premiums paid for parents over 60 years and dependent differently-abled siblings offer added tax savings under sections 80D and 80DD. Maintain paperwork to claim yearly benefits, putting extra money back in your hands.

10. Renewability

Insurers may cap the entry age of the insured to a certain limit. If you choose an insurance company that has low entry age criteria, then you may not be allowed to buy a policy for your parents. Be sure to check the renewability option before buying the policy. Take future renewability seriously - carefully examine age ceilings and renewal guarantees allowed explicitly in policy contracts before purchasing. Opt for insurers offering coverage well into senior years without unreasonable rate hikes. Continued enrollability ensures your parents are covered during the most vulnerable yet costliest health phases.

Also read: How to create ABHA card

Benefits of Having Health Insurance Policy for Parents 

Here are some key benefits of getting a health insurance policy for your parents:

  • Financial Protection - Health insurance provides financial protection against high medical costs. If your parents fall ill and need hospitalization or surgery, the medical bills can run into lakhs. Insurance covers these costs, so you don't have to worry about arranging for funds.

  • Cashless Treatment - Many policies provide cashless hospitalisation where the insurer directly pays the hospital. This avoids large out-of-pocket payments for treatment.

  • Coverage for Pre and Post-Hospitalisation - Most policies also cover medical expenses incurred before and after hospitalisation for a specified number of days. This includes diagnostics, medicines, follow-up visits, etc.  

  • Covers Critical Illnesses - Insurers offer dedicated critical illness plans that provide a lumpsum payout for diagnosing significant illnesses like cancer, stroke, heart attack, etc. This money can help manage treatment.

  • Tax Benefits - Your premium for your parent's health insurance qualifies for tax deductions under section 80D, up to ₹25,000 per year. This helps reduce your taxable income.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Listed below are common queries about buying health insurance for parents.


Can I buy an Individual Health Insurance Policy for my parents on their behalf?

Yes, you can purchase an individual plan for your parents by paying the premium on their behalf.

Is it possible to include parents in a Family Floater Plan?

Yes, it is possible to include parents in a Family Floater Health Insurance Plan, provided they meet the policy’s eligibility criteria, if any.

I want to include my parents in my company-offered insurance policy. Can it be done?

Inclusions of parents in a company-offered cover is a possibility. However, it will depend upon the type of Corporate Health Plan chosen by your employer. For example, ACKO’s Group Medical Cover allows the inclusion of parents in the cover.

Are these senior citizen policies costly compared to regular health plans?

Yes, premiums are higher due to the increased likelihood of falling ill with age. But many insurers offer affordable options, too, with essential coverage inclusions. Set realistic budgets and evaluate benefits carefully first.

My parents live in a small town with limited hospital options. Can policies still work for them?

Absolutely! Before purchasing, discuss cashless hospitals nearby so treatments remain accessible without travel hassles. Proximity of network coverage matters greatly.

How much tax benefits can I get on buying a policy for parents? Is there any limit per person?

You can claim deductions up to ₹25,000 per year on health insurance premiums paid for parents over 60 years under section 80D. Maintain associated paperwork for yearly tax savings!

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