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Insurance Article

Retired people need health insurance. Here’s why

May 21 2019

A health insurance policy at retirement will make sure rising medical bills don’t eat into your retirement corpus

Retirement is often the point of a new phase in life. With no professional responsibilities tethering you to a post anymore, you have all the time in the world to indulge in activities that you didn’t have the time for for while you were still working. It is obvious that you would want to take that trip that you’ve been waiting for, soak in the sun with your partner since you wouldn’t have deadlines to meet and promises to keep.

For all the newfound vigour in life that retirement can bring, it also means a depletion of active sources of income; you wouldn’t have monthly salaries being credited to your bank account anymore. Moreover, age renders one increasingly vulnerable to diseases and other degenerative health issues. This might force you to dedicate a bigger part of your finances to resolving these health conditions, lest you have a comprehensive health insurance policy to take care of them.

Sample the following piece of statistics:

Almost 47% of Indians, beyond the age of 60, suffer from at least one chronic disorder such as diabetes, asthma, angina, arthritis or depression, for that matter.

This should point at the significance of a pragmatic shift in the way individuals beyond 60 lead their lives after having retired from work. A vital step in that direction is investing in a health insurance policy that offers security in times of dire medical emergencies.

The rest of the article focuses on why the need for a health insurance policy is an absolute once you have retired:

1.Provides coverage against mounting healthcare expenditure

Medical expenses are steadily on the rise and it can exhaust your retirement savings in no time. Inflation in the healthcare sector is projected to hover around the 15% mark every year; and this is only expected to rise further. Additionally, should you want to get treated at a private healthcare facility, know that it would entail a bigger outlay – something that can adversely bear on your retirement corpus. That being said, a health insurance policy can prevent this from happening, by way of offering you adequate coverage should medical intervention be necessary.

Hospitalization expenses, doctors’ fees, nursing and ambulance charges, cost of medicines and diagnostic tests should necessarily feature in a comprehensive health insurance plan.

2.Throws in a financial safety net during medical emergencies

Retirement can also be seen as an indicator of your age; after all, chances are you’d retire on having turned 60. The incidences of diseases and other health vulnerabilities catching up to you are only expected to increase beyond a certain point in time. However, should you have already invested in a comprehensive health insurance plan or a Mediclaim policy, for that matter, chances are you will not have to think hard during times of such urgency.

More importantly, leading insurance providers offer a lump sum intended for covering ancillary expenses - such as dialysis, chemotherapy – that might come up over the normal course of treatment. In addition, pre and post-hospitalization expenses, and pre-existing medical conditions (after having waited out the minimum period) are a part of policy coverage as well.

In essence, your retirement corpus could fall shy of sustaining your lifestyle, after having taken care of ever-increasing medical bills. In circumstances such as these, a health insurance plan is almost like a supplementary source of income, one that can address all your health related concerns post retirement.

3.Offers cashless solutions amounting to increased convenience

Most health insurance policies offer cashless hospitalization across network hospitals, in case the patient has been admitted for more than 24 hours. With this facility, major expenses are directly settled between the healthcare provider and insurer.

In addition to cashless hospitalization, another benefit of opting for a health insurance plan is the free annual health check-up that you’d be eligible for. This is more useful than what it appears to be on the surface. That’s because health check-ups, while not mandatory when young, should ideally become a regular feature once you cross the 45/50-year mark. Besides the usual benefits, a health plan makes way for these vital diagnosis and examinations without you having to shell out anything from your pocket.

4.Has a provision to include family members

Consider there has been a new addition to your family; a health insurance plan will then extend the necessary coverage. You’d be able to include other family members in the same plan – as and when you want – only by paying a nominally higher premium and intimating your health insurance provider of the development.

This way, you can avail increased coverage for your dependents at a fractionally higher premium. This makes sure you don’t have to erode your retirement corpus and savings pool, thereby fortifying your financial footing.

Moreover, some insurers offer in-built policy discount, should you end up buying more than one type of insurance product from them.

5.Offers tax benefits with a higher sum assured

Undoubtedly one of the more important reasons to invest in a health insurance policy for retirees is the fact that premiums paid on them qualify for income tax exemptions under Section 80D of the IT Act, 1961.

Importantly, insurers acknowledge the fact that one’s critical healthcare needs - after having retired - would be more vis-à-vis his/her younger, professionally active counterparts. That’s exactly why purchasing a health cover at 60 would attach a significantly higher sum assured.

6.Offers peace of mind

After having shouldered a lion’s share of responsibilities, both familial and professional, you’d now obviously want to put your feet up and bask in the glory of life that has been nothing short of eventful, yet frenetic at the same time.

Should you purchase a health insurance policy early in your life, you are likely to worry less over your financial independence after having retired. And one of the major reasons for this is that you’d have to pay significantly lower premiums, in case you opt for health cover while you’re still young and active. That’s because insurers consider you to be a less-risky prospect while you’re on the younger side of 60.

A good reason to buy health insurance early? We say YES!
ICICI Lombard also provides health insurance plans like Family Health Insurance, Health BoosterPersonal Accident InsuranceArogya Sanjeevani PolicyCorona Kavach Policy which offers people with the much needed financial backup during any medical emergencies.

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