Senior Citizens are the most prone to illnesses. No matter how healthy a life you have led in your youth, after a point of time, you are most likely to be susceptible to some illness later on – diabetes, hyperlipidaemia, or maybe even heart disease.

If you’re young and haven't yet purchased a health insurance policy, now is the time to do so. You can always feel free to contact our IRDAI-certified insurance advisors for honest, spam-free advice. And if you’re an older person or looking for a policy for your parents, this guide will help you make an informed decision.

Best Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policies

Policy

Age Limit

Domiciliary/Home-care Treatments

AYUSH Treatments

Co-Payment

Loading Charges

HDFC ERGO Optima Secure

18-99 years old

Yes

Yes

No

May be imposed

Care Supreme

18-99 years old

Yes

Yes

No

No

Aditya Birla Activ One

18 - No upper age limit

Yes

Yes

10% at non-network hospitals

May be imposed

What are Senior Citizens’ Health Insurance Policies?

Senior citizen health insurance policies are specifically designed to cater to the unique healthcare needs of older individuals, usually if you’re over 60. These policies provide superior coverage specifically for senior citizens and sometimes even offer benefits that were not provided earlier.

Nowadays, good health insurance policies that were not offered to older citizens are being offered to them. For instance, HDFC ERGO Optima Secure – one of the top policies in the industry – recently increased the age limit from 65 to 99. This trend among insurers is beneficial for senior citizens as it extends the benefits of top policies to older individuals, too.

Apart from this, there are several other considerations for purchasing a policy for senior citizens. Let’s explore some of them below.

Why should you purchase a Senior Citizens’ Health Insurance Plan?

At Ditto Insurance, we believe that insurance is a right, not a luxury. This means every individual, young or old, must have a health insurance policy. However, regarding insurance for senior citizens or older people in general, there are some unique advantages and disadvantages and we have discussed some of them here.

  1. Advantages of Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policies

     a. Protection of retirement corpus – Senior citizens often rely on their retirement savings for livelihood, and a medical emergency can quickly deplete these savings. A good health insurance policy will ensure that medical expenses are covered, they protect your retirement corpus and give you peace of mind.

     b. Access to superior healthcare – With the rising cost of healthcare, having a good health insurance plan increases your access to superior healthcare facilities without financial strain.

    c. AYUSH treatments – Many senior citizen health insurance plans cover AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy) treatments. Older citizens usually prefer these alternative treatments, which can be particularly beneficial for chronic conditions and overall wellness.

    d. Homecare & Domiciliary Treatments –  In case the policyholder has difficulty in mobility, domiciliary and homecare treatments are a significant advantage. These policies cover treatments taken at home under medical supervision, ensuring continuous care without the need to be admitted to a hospital.

2. Disadvantages of Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policies

    a. Higher premiums for a relatively lower coverage – Due to the increased health risks associated with ageing, the premiums for senior citizen health insurance policies are generally higher than regular health insurance plans.

    b. Not all pre-existing diseases may be covered – Although many plans cover pre-existing diseases, they often have specific conditions and long waiting periods. Some pre-existing conditions may not be covered at all, which can be a significant drawback for seniors.

    c. Waiting periods – Senior citizen health insurance policies usually have waiting periods for specific illnesses and pre-existing conditions. This means that you may not be able to claim benefits immediately after purchasing the policy, unless it is an accident or does not come under the PED or specific illness waiting list.

    d. Loading Charges – Due to the higher risk profile, insurers may impose additional charges on senior citizen policies. These are called loading charges and can make the policy more expensive over time.

Best Health Insurance Plans for Senior Citizens

  1. HDFC ERGO Optima Secure – Optima Secure is HDFC ERGO's flagship health insurance policy, now extended to cover individuals up to 99 years old. It offers comprehensive coverage, including pre- and post-hospitalization expenses for 60 and 180 days, respectively. The policy also covers AYUSH treatments and does not require any copayments. One unique feature is the 2X coverage from day one, doubling your coverage without an increase in premiums.

Drawbacks: Slightly more expensive compared to its peers.

 2. Care SupremeCare Supreme is known for its affordability and comprehensive coverage, making it suitable for people up to 99 years old. This policy includes daycare procedures, AYUSH treatments, and domiciliary treatments. It also offers air ambulance coverage up to ₹5 lakhs per year and a no-claim bonus of 50% up to 100%. With an add-on, you can increase it up to 500%.

Drawbacks: The main drawbacks of this policy are the insurer’s slightly higher complaint ratio and a longer waiting period for pre-existing diseases.

  3. Aditya Birla Activ One – Aditya Birla Activ One is a feature-rich policy with a high cover amount of up to ₹6 crore. It includes several wellness benefits, daycare procedures, and AYUSH treatments. The policy also offers health returns and unlimited automatic restoration.

Drawbacks: It has room rent restrictions for sums insured below ₹5 lakhs and clawback on no-claim bonuses. Aditya Birla is a relatively new entrant in the market, and while its current complaint volume is slightly higher, its promising trajectory suggests improvement in the future.

Conclusion

Senior citizen health insurance plans offer coverage to meet the healthcare needs of older adults. While these plans come with higher premiums and potential limitations, the access they provide to superior healthcare makes them a worthwhile investment.

If you're unsure which plan suits your needs best, consider booking a call with Ditto’s IRDAI-certified insurance advisors for honest and unbiased advice.