Choosing the best health insurance for parents


Choosing the Best Health Insurance for Parents


After a life dedicated to a career or caring for the family, during your golden years, you deserve to be indulged.  Your life should be all about pursuing a more relaxed daily routine with enjoyable hobbies and rejuvenating vacations from time to time. In the event that you need medical treatment, it should be a comforting, nurturing experience, without any concerns about affordability.  Having health insurance makes that possible.

Missed the bus?

In their younger days, a number of people tend to commit the oversight of not purchasing their own health insurance policy since they are insured by their employer. This culminates in a situation where, after they retire, they do not have health insurance cover, when they need it the most.

Fortunately, the IRDAI has instructed insurance companies to permit the purchase a new senior citizen health insurance plan up to the age of at least 65 years. It also insists that if a senior citizen’s health insurance proposal is rejected, the company is bound to offer valid reasons for the rejection in writing. Further, the insurance sector regulator has advised that an insurance company cannot decline renewal of any senior citizen health insurance scheme except in on the grounds of misrepresentation, moral hazard or fraud. It has also insisted on certain allowances for senior citizens, such as the option to alter their TPS anywhere feasible.

Making the right choice

Against this backdrop, almost every company in the health insurance industry has a policy crafted for senior citizens. So, how do you decide what policy is best for you?

Here are nine factors that you should pay attention to while purchasing senior citizen health insurance…

1. Coverage: Ideally, the higher the coverage you opt for, the better. However, there is a direct correlation between the premium that you have to pay and the coverage that you receive. However, some companies will offer to cover more than the basic hospitalisation and pre-and post- hospitalisation expenses. They offer you a consumable allowance, allowance for a companion, domiciliary hospitalization, dialysis cover and other add-ons.  So, ensure that you get the best value for your money.

2. Flexibility: Some policies allow you to recharge the sum insured, upto 100% of the original SI if the amount gets exhausted.  At a different level, some companies allow you to purchase a policy for tenure of 1-3 years. Look for such options that build useful flexibility into your plan.

3. Co-Payments: Senior Citizen health insurance policies usually have a co-payment clause. This means that the insured has to bare a portion of the claim amount (as specified in the policy). While IRDAI has stipulated that at least 50% of the pre-insurance medical investigation cost must be reimbursed to the senior citizen, look for a policy that gives you the best deal.

4. Maximum Age to Renew: This differs from issuer to issuer but there are companies that offer ‘Lifelong renewal’. When you choose an insurer, look for such options.

5. Pre-existing illnesses and waiting periods – This may be the most important factor to consider since most companies have a waiting period before they cover pre-existing illnesses and some do not cover them at all. Naturally, the lower the waiting period the better and in case you do have pre-existing illnesses, as defined in the policy, ideally they should be covered, at least eventually.

6. Simple Claim Process – This factor is relevant, irrespective of what age you are. Make sure you understand how the claim process works, in advance, so that you do not lose time or effort following up on a claim.

7. Day-care procedures:  A lot of medical policies for parents do not pay for Day-care procedures. To claim the insurance, hospitalisation is compulsory for 24 hours. Due to modernisation today, there are a lot of procedures which do not require any hospitalisation. Hence, it is wiser to opt for a policy that covers the highest amount of daycare procedures.

8. Network Hospitals:  While an emergency at any age requires immediate medical assistance, its importance is even more for senior citizens. It only warrants for a person to check how wide an insurer’s network hospital strength is. It is advised to go for an insurer that covers the highest number of hospitals across a wide range of cities.

9. Comprehensiveness of Coverage: At a progressed age it is common for an individual to undergo series of diagnostic tests & routine check-ups that involve doctor consultation costs etc. To support this Health Insurance policy must cover expenses incurred before hospitalization as well. These are called Pre-Hospitalization expenses.

It is to be noted that since Health Insurance plans for senior citizens tend to be expensive, experts recommend individuals who are looking for a health insurance for themselves & their parents to take separate policies. 

What a Health Insurance for Parents Does Not Cover

  • Diseases contracted or diagnosis within 30 days of receiving the health insurance policy for parents
  • Any sort of non-allopathic treatment
  • Expenses occurring for self-inflicted injuries
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Expenses occurring for the treatment of drug abuse
  • Expenses for general dental treatment, lenses and spectacles, unless needed due to an accident
  • Injuries occurring as a result of war, etc.
  • Medical expenses for the treatment of AIDS

Benefits and Features of Religare Health Insurance Plan – Care Freedom

Religare Health Insurance’s plan ‘Care Freedom’ is a suitable solution for senior citizens since the product can be availed without any pre-policy medical check-ups & has no upper-age limit for enrollment that means even if an individual is 100 Years old – they can apply. Furthermore, ‘Care Freedom’ unlike other products in the market offers a very short wait-period of just 2 years. This is very helpful and relevant since people at progressed age usually suffer from some of the other illness & hence they have to wait for a lesser time as compared to other products available in the market.

Other details of Care Freedom – 

Entry Age

Adult – 18 years, Upper limit on entry age- None. Child – 90 days, Upper limit of on entry age- 24 years.


Individual / Family Floater for up till 6 family members.

Policy Period

1, 2 and 3 year options.


Lifetime renewability.

Sum Assured

Option 1: Rs.3,00,000    Option 2: Rs.5,00,000 Sum Assured.


  • Minimum age of entry is 18 years for adults and 90 days for children.
  • This health insurance plan for senior citizens offer life-long renewability
  • All policy aspirants no matter what their age is are eligible to enjoy this insurance policy without having to go for a medical screening. No medical pre-policy check-up (for plan 1) is required to avail of this health insurance plan for parents.
  • All members of this plan are eligible to receive coverage for their annual health check-up
  • Cashless hospitalisation across 8000+ Network Hospitals
  • Sum Insured will get recharged automatically if the medical coverage limit is exhausted due to any claim made
  • In case of any pre-existing disease, there will be a waiting period of just 2 years


Why Religare Health Insurance

Religare Health Insurance (RHI), the health insurance arm of Religare Enterprises Limited (REL), is a specialized Health Insurer offering health insurance services to employees of corporates, individual customers and for financial inclusion as well. With RHI’s operating philosophy being based on the principal tenet of ‘consumer-centricity’, the company has consistently invested in the effective application of technology to deliver excellence in customer servicing, product innovation and value-for-money services. Religare Health Insurance currently offers products in the retail segment for Health Insurance, Critical Illness, Personal Accident, Top-up Coverage, International Travel Insurance and Maternity along with Group Health Insurance and Group Personal Accident Insurance for corporates.

The organization has been adjudged the ‘Best Health Insurance Company’ at the ABP News-BFSI Awards & ‘Claims Service Leader of the Year – Insurance India Summit & Awards. Religare Health Insurance has also received the ‘Editor’s Choice Award for Best Product Innovation’ at Finnoviti and was conferred the ‘Best Medical Insurance Product Award’ at The FICCI Healthcare Awards.

Health care costs have been rising considerably by 15-18% every year!  A complex yet very common medical procedure like a heart surgery that costs around Rs. 4.5 lakhs today will cost more than Rs. 10 lakhs after five years. Taking care of your parent’s medical needs by paying a small premium will surely prove to be beneficial at the time of any emergency that may arise without a previous warning. Medical insurance for parents over 50 years assures them the best of treatments without spending the family’s hard earned savings.

Health insurance plans for parents is extremely helpful especially when you are working abroad because it will aid your parents to get the right kind of medical attention even in your physical absence. If you are a financially independent adult taking care of parents who have retired from their jobs, you must consider getting a special medical insurance for parents above 60 years.


1. What is the maximum age to stay on parents health insurance?

There is no upper limit of age when it comes to availing health insurance for parents as an adult.

2. Can you claim a parent as a dependent on health insurance?

Parents who are aged 65 years or above, may be deemed ineligible for a dependent status on the health insurance plan.

3. Is there any mediclaim policy for senior citizens in India?

Various IRDA approved general insurance providers also offer health insurance for senior citizens in this country who have a niche and customised products to offers to this special segment in our society.