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Premium for health insurance coverage will increase with age

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I have to buy health insurance for my parents who are 53 and 60 years old. But when I saw the premiums and reviews of the policies, I got confused about which one to select. Some insurance companies are charging just ₹10,000-15,000 for a coverage of ₹5 lakh, while others are charging ₹30,000-40,000.

Is there any reliable source where I can compare various health insurance plans?

—Sreenivasa Guptha

It is likely that you are referring to two different sets of health insurance plans. A few insurers offer a special senior citizen health insurance plan apart from their regular health insurance plans.

The senior citizen plans generally have a sum assured of up to ₹5 lakh. These plans can offer lower premiums compared to regular plans.

However, these may carry a few sub-limits, including capping on a few ailments such as cataract. It may also have a co-payment either on all claims or on pre-existing diseases or for non-network hospital claims.

Generally, the issuance of a senior citizen plan is easier compared to the regular plans, especially if the policyholder has pre-existing conditions.

When considering health insurance, you should look for a sum assured equal to one’s annual income with a minimum coverage of ₹10 lakh.

One more reason for you to consider an early purchase is that some regular plans apply a co-pay if the entry age of the policyholder is more than 60.

However, do note that the premium for health insurance plans will increase with age and are subject to revision at renewal.

You can refer to the Mint SecureNow Mediclaim rating to get a comprehensive assessment of all regular health insurance products offered by various insurers.

Is there any difference between Mediclaim and a health insurance policy?

—Rajesh

The standard health insurance plan is colloquially known as Mediclaim. The Mediclaim plan or the standard health insurance plan reimburses the cost of hospitalization up to a particular limit of sum assured. There are several other kinds of health insurance plans. Examples include critical illness plans, top-up health insurance and hospital cash plans.

Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and managing director, SecureNow.in.

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