Healthcare remains a significant concern for many, particularly the elderly where most people start experiencing health issues. We often prefer to use private hospitals over government facilities due to convenience, cleanliness and facilities. The cost of healthcare, particularly in private hospitals, can be substantial. This emphasises the importance of health insurance. While the government is implementing various healthcare and insurance schemes, they are more focused on the underprivileged. As individuals age, health-related challenges naturally increase.
Tax Advantages of Health Insurance
In India, people can avail of health insurance tax benefits under Section 80D of The Income Tax Act, of 1961. These benefits can be claimed by the senior citizen themselves, or their children if they are paying for the health insurance of their senior citizen parents.
Section 80D offers tax deductions on health insurance premiums of up to a maximum limit of ₹ 50,000 in a financial year for persons above 60 years of age. Further, you can also claim a tax deduction of ₹ 5,000 per annum on preventive healthcare for your family.
Key Considerations for Health Insurance
When it comes to senior citizens, a few crucial factors should be evaluated when selecting a health insurance policy:
- Pre-existing Conditions: Evaluate each provider’s limitations concerning pre-existing illnesses.
- Cashless Hospitalisation: Verify if this option is available. In case you are using a hospital, which does not allow this facility for your insurance company, you may have to settle the bill before leaving the hospital and claim separately from your insurance company.
- Room Expenses: Confirm coverage for room charges. Typically there is a limit to the daily rate of room charges applicable based on the sum assured. Taking room for a higher tariff will result in a reduction of the claim amount.
- Day Care Expenses: Check whether these costs are covered when necessary. These are useful for coverage of expenses like chemotherapy, dialysis etc. which are done post-hospitalisation.
- Ambulance Charges: Determine if ambulance fees are included.
- Health insurance plan with OPD cover: read our article to know more.
- Home support post-hospitalisation: normally, during the recuperation period, some medical support is required even after discharge. This may include, follow-up consultations, tests, medicines, equipment and support like a nurse or physiotherapist at home. A lot of insurance policies today offer 30 to 90 days of support costs post-discharge as well. These can add up to a significant cost.
These factors significantly influence your choice of health insurance policy. Pose relevant questions, address doubts, and compare offerings from various insurance providers before making your decision.
While buying the policy, please be careful to disclose details of your health condition truthfully in the application form. Any discrepancy, found later can make you ineligible for the claims.
Managing expenses that are not covered under health insurance
Seniors above the age of 65 spend rupees 5000 per head every month on medicines. Looking for ways to reduce recurring medical expenses that are not covered by your health insurance?
Samarth brings an exclusive privilege plan for seniors across India, which will not only help you get managed healthcare support by catering to your special requirements such as discounts on medicines, special equipment needed, or quality healthcare at home. Seniors can also avail free expert advice on health, money, and legal matters or consult our empaneled advisors.
Install the Samarth privilege app to know more today. You can count on us to help you with your most important needs!