The demand for senior citizens' health policies has registered a growth of 20-25% in 2014-15. The average health insurance cover bought by people above 60 years of age, has also increased gradually from `2-3 lakhs to `4-5 lakhs within a couple of years.
This rise in demand for senior citizen's health policies can be attributed to the shrinkage of corporate parental cover, better awareness, co-pay option to cover diseases, and children looking at health cover as a part of their parent's financial security.
Several corporates have withdrawn parental coverage and left employees searching for a comprehensive parental insurance cover. Healthcare insurance products with co-pay are suited for senior citizens between 60 to 80 years. Here, the insured has to pay say 10-25% of the claim amount, along with the premium, for covering certain conditions like hypertension and diabetes that are generally not covered in regular policies.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has stated the minimum entry age as 65 for this segment. Now, insurers cannot reject renewal requests throughout the insured's lifetime. However, renewal requests can be rejected on the grounds of fraud and misrepresentation. IRDAI has also directed insurers to create Grievance Redressal Cells to cater to complaints lodged by senior citizens.