"The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude."

Well, Gabriel García Márquez was mostly right! He just missed out on the part about ‘staying financially non-dependent on anyone for your medical requirements and emergencies.’

[P.S. Now that we think of it Márquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ wasn’t probably based on inspiring senior citizens to acquire financial independence.]

Well, Márquez can, but we really can’t afford to miss out on talking about this, can we?

We are talking about Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policies that would definitely be a catalyst in smoothening out the imminent financial wrinkles on account of medical emergencies and treatments.

While our blog on health insurance for senior citizens already discusses the basic details of the plan, in this article, we are here to take a look at the best policies targeted at retirees.

What are the Best Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policies for 2024?

Medical insurance for senior citizens is a scattered genre of insurance products. Even the best insurance providers across the market are much too conscious of the high risks of payouts these plans and the policyholders pose.

They know how retirees often bring with them a medley of pre-existing diseases that might soon beckon serious complications leading to frequent hospitalizations, high claims, and expensive treatment regimes.

And hence, a majority of the insurers are reluctant to offer mediclaims for senior citizens. Those who do offer the policies pose some robust caps and restrictions, and only a handful offer plans that are acceptable enough for us to suggest these to potential policyholders.

Best Health Insurance Plan for Senior Citizens

  1. Care - Care Plus
  2. HDFC ERGO - mySuraksha
  3. Bajaj Allianz - Silver Health
  4. Niva Bupa (Max Bupa) - Health Companion
COVERAGE INR 3 lakhs - INR 25 lakhs INR 5 lakhs - INR 50 lakhs INR 50,000 - INR 5 lakhs INR 3 lakhs to INR 1 Crore
NO-CLAIM BONUS 50% to 200% 10% to 100% 10% to 50% 20% to 100%
UPPER AGE LIMIT 100 years 100 years 70 years No age restriction
Up to the sum insured

Up to the sum insured
(unless you are hospitalized in a non-network hospital. In this case, you will be paying 20% of the billed amount)

(you can choose to copay, however.)
(20% to 40%, may extend up to 100% for 1 illness or 150% for multiple illnesses)
ROOM RENT RESTRICTIONS Up to a single private AC room
(not a suite)
PRE AND POST-HOSPITALIZATION EXPENSES 60 and 90 days, respectively. (up to the sum insured) 60 and 180 days, respectively (up to the sum insured) Up to 3% of the hospital bill 30 and 60 days, respectively.
(up to 10% of the sum insured)

(up to the sum insured)
(Up to the sum insured)
WAITING PERIOD ON PRE-EXISTING AILMENTS 3 years 3 years 1 year (however, you will be copaying 50% of the billed amount in that case) 3 years
RESTORATION Unlimited restoration 100% restoration (once a year) Partial Restoration
(only after 4 years of availing of the policy)

(from 2nd policy year)

Why are Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policies Important?

Senior citizens, retirees, or people in their Golden Years - whatever you call them, form the wisest strata of our society. Unfortunately enough, they are also the ones susceptible to most ailments. While they are the ones financially prepped (over RDs and FDs) with carefully saved funds, they are also the ones who have missed out on taking mediclaims.

True, their life savings can probably meet the medical bills, but why should they exhaust their retirement fund when they can have access to an extensive fund to cover their medical requirements?

Moreover, with health insurance for senior citizens, the importance goes far beyond just access to funds -

  1. Stops medical bills from eating away your life’s savings in a single go. It would be much better to opt for health insurance plans for senior citizens that require you to pay premiums over shorter financial outflows at regular intervals.
  2. Home treatments are well-funded. The comfort of being treated from your home, being surrounded by your near and dear ones, while having access to premium healthcare providers and being funded in whole by your insurer - that’s what you are looking at if you opt for a plan from the best health insurance providers in India.
  3. Funding to meet the increased medical inflation across the years. The last decade witnessed a considerable spike in medical expenses and treatment charges. Unfortunately enough, the next decade wouldn’t be any different. Considering the imminent financial strain that you might be exposed to over medical requirements, it’s best to find funding that won’t dig a hole in your life’s savings, especially when you are in your retirement years with no substantial source of income.
  4. Major support during unstable income years. With your stable source of income now on the sidelines, you are probably banking on your savings or, at the most, your monthly pension to meet your monthly expenses but will fall short by miles when it comes to meeting the invoices for hospitalization or any surgeries. The best way would be to anticipate the unexpected yet imminent and stay financially secure with a mediclaim policy for senior citizens that offers adequate funding.
  5. Assurance of a stress-free hospitalization. During your Golden Years, you are already at risk for complications from pre-existing ailments. The last thing you need is added financial stress while on your way to the hospital. Health insurance is actually availed of to do away with this exact situation so that you can concentrate solely on the recovery process.
  6. Make sizeable claims for tax deductions. While senior citizen medical insurance plans do demand a higher premium, on account of your age crossing the 60 years threshold, you are now eligible to claim a higher tax deduction on your annual premium. Did you know this? Well, we can help you with tax claims across health insurance!

The plan looks all shiny and welcoming, doesn’t it? Well, that’s just on the surface. When we talk about senior citizen health insurance plans, the policyholders are leaning towards critical ailments or are already carrying some pre-existing conditions. This suggests higher risks of payouts, and hence, insurers are not exactly enthusiastic about offering these plans.  Hence, there are multiple restrictions and terms and conditions across the underwritings of these policies, as have been imposed by the insurance providers.

This makes it crucial for you to consider a few things before you decide to avail of a senior citizen health insurance policy (one of them being if you should at all purchase it). Take a look at some such guidelines -

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Health Insurance Plan for the Retirees

  1. You might be looking at a high premium for low coverage since you, a senior citizen as a policyholder, pose a higher risk of payout for the insurance provider. We say you take a look into the senior citizen health insurance premium calculator, opt for a policy that you find suitable, and bank on the ones that suit your financial capability the best.
  2. Expect a copayment option on your plan (except for the best mediclaim policy for senior citizens mentioned above) as a safeguard that might lower your premium. However, copayment is really not a feature that you should pursue. Know why we are saying this from our blog on copayment in health insurance plans.
  3. Be careful with disease-wise sub-limits in your policy. As senior citizens, you are more susceptible to illnesses with complications. A cap on disease treatments will only complicate the situation creating an unnecessary financial burden.
  4. Opt for a plan with no room rent restrictions. Room rent restrictions in health insurance might seem a nominal concern. But, be careful to avoid any robust caps because room rent restrictions have a strong impact on the share of bills that will be covered by your insurer. Take a look at how this happens - Room Rent Restrictions in Health Insurance Plans.
  5. Try to find a substitute for a health insurance scheme for senior citizens. All said and done, we would still suggest that you opt out of mediclaim for senior citizens. The high premium, the low coverage, the copayment, the disease-wise sub-limits - it just seems like a lot of financial compromises to have access to nominal coverage.

As alternates, we suggest -

  • Group plans with your alumni or any similar bracket.
  • Corporate plans, wherein you can include your parents, thus covering the exorbitant medical expenditure for senior citizen parents, rather than spending it all out of your pocket.
  • Super Top-Ups Plans come with a pretty high coverage against a low deductible and low premium.

6.  Don’t go hunting for a plan with all features. Unfortunate as it is, in case you do avail of a senior citizen insurance policy, you will need to compromise your expectations regarding the offered perks. After careful analysis, we found not a single plan that offers it all for policyholders. Insurers are reluctant to delve into a plan with such high risks, and hence, the restrictions and caps on features are unavoidable.

We say you choose features that you feel are mandatory as per your requirements and then settle for a plan after comparing the top 3 plans via our Health Insurance comparison tool.