The world that we live in completely changed on 31stDecember 2019. This was the fateful day when the first-ever case of COVID-19 was reported. Since then, this deadly virus has infected over 150 million people and resulted in 3.3 million deaths[i]. This pandemic shined a light on a fact that was known but generally ignored, i.e. medical emergencies can occur without any warning. This makes it essential to have a backup plan for emergencies in the form of mediclaim or health insurance.
The COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted the susceptibility of older people to health complications. Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that older people are more vulnerable to being infected with COVID-19 due to decreased immunity due to their age[ii].
Given the current situation, it is natural for us to worry about our parents. Hence, it is necessary to buy mediclaim for parents to safeguard against medical emergencies and the ongoing pandemic.
How to Buy Mediclaim for Parents
It is common to think that purchasing a mediclaim policy involves a lot of waiting, paperwork, formalities, etc. However, in today’s time, it is as simple as purchasing items from an e-commerce platform.
You just need to visit the insurance provider’s website, choose the mediclaim policy for parents, fill in your parent’s personal details, medical history, select the sum insured, set the premium, and click buy! In just a few clicks, you have purchased a mediclaim policy for your parents.
However, you must consider several key points regarding mediclaim for parents before you purchase it.
What to Consider When Buying Mediclaim for Parents?
- Co-Payment Clause
Some mediclaim insurance plans come with a co-payment clause. According to this clause, the policyholder has to pay a certain percentage of the medical expenses. This can result in significant out-of-pocket expenditures for you. Hence, try choosing a plan that has a low co-payment. It would be even better if you buy a plan that does not have this clause inserted.
- Pre-existing Illness Cover
Generally, mediclaim policies do not include a cover for pre-existing illnesses. However, some policies cover it, but that comes with a waiting period. Thus, look for policies that have a short waiting period for pre-existing illnesses. Opting for a short waiting period in this category might increase your premium; nevertheless, it makes sense to do so.
- Sub-limit on Treatments
Some insurance providers set a certain sub-limit on specified treatments. In some cases, they even add a sub-limit clause on the room rent. It refers to a specified monetary cap placed by the insurance providers on predetermined categories. Thus, when buying a mediclaim policy, ensure there are no sub-limit clauses. Even though this may result in a higher premium. You would not want a scenario wherein an expensive treatment has a sub-limit clause, and a percentage of the expenses are paid out of your pocket.
- COVID-19 Coverage
As mentioned, older people may be more vulnerable to COVID-19, especially if they have a history of certain illnesses. Hence, the mediclaim plan that you choose must include cover for COVID-19 related hospitalisation expenses.
Exclusions Under Mediclaim for Parents
When buying mediclaim for parents, it is equally important to know what is not covered under the mediclaim policy. Some general exclusions in this category are as follows:
- Surgery, accident, or diagnosis of the disease within 30 days of purchasing the policy.
- Treatment of congenital disabilities.
- Non-allopathic treatments like Ayurveda, Unani, and Naturopathy.
- Pre-existing illnesses as per the waiting period of the chosen policy.
- Expenses as a result of self-inflicted injuries (attempted suicide).
- Expenses as a result of drugs (drugs that have not been prescribed by practising medical practitioners), tobacco, narcotics, and alcohol.
- Hospitalisation or treatment expenses due to war, nuclear attacks, chemical sources, and biological warfare.
These are some of the common exclusions as part of mediclaim for parents. However, these vary depending on the insurance provider chosen.
Compare and Purchase Mediclaim for Parents
There is a simple solution if you are confused about which mediclaim policy to buy. You can access different insurer websites and compare the plans you feel should adequately cover your parents. Another aspect to focus on is the claim settlement ratio. Ensure you purchase a plan that does not have a low claim settlement ratio, as this may result in complications for you going forward.