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Health Insurance after Retirement : Importance, Tips & Government Schemes

Team AckoDec 29, 2022

Retirement is an important phase of life, and it's necessary to have a wide-ranging health insurance policy in place to ensure financial security and peace of mind, especially at that age. For example, such a policy can ensure that you have the necessary resources to handle a medical emergency. In this article, we will shed light on the importance of having health insurance after your retirement. 

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Importance of health insurance in old age

It is essential to have health insurance in old age for several reasons. As a person ages, their body becomes more susceptible to illness and injury, and they may require more medical care. Health insurance can help cover the costs of this care, making it more affordable and accessible. Many older adults rely on fixed monthly incomes, such as pension, and may not have the financial resources to pay for medical care out of pocket. Health insurance can help alleviate this financial burden by covering a portion of the costs of medical care. 

Health insurance can provide access to preventive care, such as regular check-ups and screenings, which can help detect and manage health problems early on. This can improve health outcomes and help prevent more severe health problems down the road. Thus, it is important to have health insurance coverage in old age.

Top 3 reasons to have health insurance after retirement

Here are the top three reasons to have health insurance after retirement.

1. Handle unexpected health emergencies without dependencies

If you have health insurance after retirement, you should be able to handle unexpected health emergencies without worry. First, it's essential to familiarise yourself with your health insurance policy and understand what is covered and what is not. This will help you know what to expect regarding costs and coverage.

If you have an unexpected health emergency, you should seek out medical care as soon as possible. This may involve going to the emergency room or calling your primary-care doctor. In either case, bring your health insurance card with you so the medical staff can verify your coverage.

Once you have received medical treatment, you will likely receive a bill for the services provided. The hospital will typically send this bill to your health insurance company/Third-party Administrator (TPA), which will review it and determine what portion of the costs will be covered. Depending on your policy, you may be responsible for paying some of the expenses out of pocket, but your health insurance should cover most of the costs. Note that the process can vary from one insurer to another.

Overall, the key to handling unexpected health emergencies after retirement is having a good health insurance policy and knowing how to use it when needed. This will help ensure that you have access to the necessary medical care and can manage the cost of a medical emergency.

2. Combat rising medical costs

Health insurance can help you deal with rising medical costs. Here are some examples.

  • By covering a portion of your medical costs, health insurance can help reduce the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket for medical treatments and services. This can be especially helpful if you have a chronic condition requiring ongoing medical care or an unexpected health emergency.

  • Health insurance can provide access to preventive care, such as regular check-ups and screenings. These services can help detect health problems early when they are often more treatable and less expensive to manage.

3. Get peace of mind 

Health insurance can enable peace of mind in the following ways.

  • By knowing that you have health insurance, you can be confident of affording necessary medical care if you become ill or injured. This can give you peace of mind and help you focus on your health and well-being rather than worrying about the cost of medical care.

  • Health insurance can provide access to a network of doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers. This can make it easier to find and obtain the medical care you need and can give you peace of mind knowing that you have options for medical treatment.

  • Health insurance can provide coverage for a wide range of medical services, from routine check-ups to emergency care. This can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you are covered for various medical needs.

Tips for buying customised health insurance for old age in India

You can follow these tips to buy customised health insurance for old age in India.

  1. Research and compare different health insurance policies to find the one that fits your needs and budget. Look for policies that offer coverage for common health concerns for older people, such as chronic diseases and long-term care.

  2. Check the policy's inclusions to ensure it covers the necessary medical services. Consider factors such as the policy's sum insured, copayments, and waiting periods.

  3. Calculate the premiums and compare the costs of different policies to determine the most affordable option for you.

  4. Contact the insurance company or visit their website to get a quote and apply for the policy. You may need to provide personal and medical information, proof of income (pension or savings) and identity.

  5. After you have selected a policy and applied for it, you will need to pay the premium to activate your coverage. You may also need to undergo a Pre-Policy Medical Check-up to confirm your current medical condition.

After you have purchased insurance, keep a copy of your policy and any relevant documents, such as your policy number and insurance company's contact information in a safe and accessible place. Make sure to read and understand the policy's terms and conditions, and contact the insurance company if you have any questions or concerns.

Which government schemes offer health insurance to senior citizens in India?

In India, there are several government schemes that offer health insurance to senior citizens. Here is a list of such health schemes.

1.Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) is a government-run health insurance scheme that provides free coverage for medical treatments, including hospitalisation, surgeries, and medications. It is available to senior citizens who are below the poverty line and do not have access to other health insurance coverage.

2.Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS)

The Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS) is a government-backed health insurance scheme that provides coverage for medical expenses, including hospitalisation, surgeries, and medications. It is available to senior citizens who are aged 60 years or older and do not have access to other health insurance coverage.

3. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)

The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) is a government-run health insurance scheme that provides coverage for medical expenses, including hospitalisation, surgeries, and medications. It is available to senior citizens who are below the poverty line and do not have access to other health insurance coverage.

4. Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS)

The Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) is a government-run health insurance scheme that provides coverage for medical expenses, including hospitalisation, surgeries, and medications. It is available to senior citizens who are government employees, pensioners, and their dependents.

5. Employees' State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) The Employees' State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) is a government-run health insurance scheme that provides coverage for medical expenses, including hospitalisation, surgeries, and medications. It is available to senior citizens who are employees in the organised sector and their dependents.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common questions and answers about health insurance in general and health insurance for senior citizens.

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What are the eligibility criteria for senior citizen health insurance?

The eligibility criteria for senior citizen health insurance may vary depending on the specific policy and the insurance provider. Generally, senior citizen health insurance is available to individuals aged 60 years or older who do not have access to other health insurance coverage. Some policies may have additional eligibility criteria, such as income-related or residence-related requirements.

Are there any exclusions or limitations for senior citizen health insurance?

Yes, there may be exclusions or limitations for senior citizen health insurance in India. These may include pre-existing medical conditions, certain medical treatments or procedures, and certain types of medical expenses. It is important to carefully read the policy's terms and conditions and understand any exclusions or limitations before purchasing senior citizen health insurance.

How much does senior citizen health insurance cost?

The cost of senior citizen health insurance can vary depending on many factors, such as the individual's age, medical history, and the type and amount of coverage they seek. Generally, the premiums for senior citizen health insurance are higher than those for regular health insurance, as older individuals are more likely to have health issues and need medical care. 

Are there any tax benefits for senior citizen health insurance?

Yes, there are tax benefits for senior citizen health insurance in India. Under the Indian Income Tax Act, premiums paid for senior citizen health insurance are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80D. You can claim a tax deduction for the premiums you pay for your own and your spouse's health insurance.

Can I get dental and vision care coverage with senior citizen health insurance?

This depends on the specific senior citizen health insurance policy you are considering buying. Some policies may include coverage for dental and vision care as part of the overall coverage, while others may not. It is thus vital to read the policy's terms and conditions thoroughly and understand what is and is not covered before purchasing senior citizen health insurance.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes. 

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