ET NOW Exclusive | Good news for senior citizens; IRDAI to issue guidelines to insurers for standard health insurance product

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ET NOW Exclusive | Good news for senior citizens; IRDAI to issue guidelines to insurers for standard health insurance product

ET NOW Exclusive | Good news for senior citizens; IRDAI to issue guidelines to insurers for standard health insurance product

Photo : iStock

Senior citizens have reason to cheer as the Insurance Regulatory Department of India (Irdai) will soon come up with guidelines for insurers, to offer standard health insurance products for those 60 years of age and above. The development comes as a relief for seniors who are either not sold health insurance products or are forced to pay exorbitantly high premiums by insurers.

Once the Irdai formulates the guidelines, insurance companies will have to offer the standard health insurance product to those most in need of the safety net given the soaring prices of healthcare in the country.

The Irdai-mandated standard health insurance offering will have a fixed waiting period and will exclusions, which means that certain treatments will not be covered.

Currently, 10 crore families are covered under the government flagship scheme Ayushman Bharat, which provides a cover of Rs 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization across public and private empanelled hospitals in India. However, the safety net is only available to below-poverty-line individuals, leaving out the ‘missing middle’, those who are not covered under any kind of health insurance. Senior citizens majorly comprise this missing middle given that only a handful of health insurance policies are available to this demographic and that too at steep premiums.

What is senior citizen health insurance

Senior Citizen Health Insurance is designed to provide coverage for medical expenses incurred by individuals who are 60 years or older. The plan includes a range of benefits such as preventive health check-ups and cashless hospitalization at network hospitals. It covers pre-existing conditions, critical illnesses, hospitalization expenses, pre and post hospitalization expenses, and even treatment for COVID-19.

Senior Citizen Health Insurance plans are specifically designed for individuals aged 60 and above since regular family health insurance plans usually provide coverage only up to the age of 65. Currently, it is next to impossible to get a health insurance for anyone aged 65 years or above.



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