A senior citizen health insurance plan has low waiting period for pre-existing ailments, generally two years or less
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I am 65-years-old and have some health issues, including diabetes. Recently, I got admitted to the hospital as my oxygen level got too low. Six months back, I had recovered from covid-19. Now, I want to buy health insurance. Is there any plan which can provide me benefit after a 30-day waiting period?
—Name withheld on request
You should opt for a senior citizen health insurance plan. Such plans have low waiting period for pre-existing ailments, generally two years or less. Conditions such as hypertension or diabetes would be considered as pre-existing and not covered for the waiting period. Only hospitalizations not related to a pre-existing condition or diseases not specifically excluded will be covered after 30 days.
Corona Kavach could also be a good supplementary plan to buy. That would provide coverage for covid and any related complications. These insurances are not actively promoted so you may have to specifically ask for these.
My son is 8-years-old and has had nephrotic syndrome for 2.5 years. Will he get health insurance?
It is possible to get health insurance for your son. While the presence of a major health condition reduces the chance of issuance of a health policy, it does not deny you one.
In such a case, an insurer could choose to underwrite the policy in several ways. First, the insurer may specify ‘nephrotic syndrome’ as a pre-existing ailment and exclude it for the specific waiting period, between 2 and 4 years.
Second, the insurer may want to issue the policy with a certain loading on standard premium, and exclude the ailment as a pre-existing disease, and cover after 2 to 4 years. Third, the insurer could permanently exclude some illnesses, and then issue the policy. This would allow you to claim for all other ailments except the specific named exclusion.
Irdai (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) allows only certain diseases to be permanently excluded. Chronic kidney disease is one such exclusion. The chances of getting a policy issued is higher if you apply with one of the larger insurers. Given their size, their ability to accommodate deviations from standard risk is more.
Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and managing director, SecureNow.in.