My parents, aged 68 and 63, do not have any health insurance. My previous employer did cover parents under a group health insurance policy, but once I quit the organisation, that ceased. Will insurers cover my parents at this age? They haven't been hospitalised ever or diagnosed with any major illnesses. How much would the premium payable amount to?
Generally, the age at entry for health insurance policies is restricted at an average of 60 years. However, there are companies in the market which are liberal on the age at which one can enter a policy for the first time. Besides fewer coverage options in the higher age groups, one may also have to go through some self-funded medical tests. Pre-existing conditions are covered after a continuous renewal of two to four years, varying across insurance companies.
One can port from a group insurance policy to an individual retail policy but it has to be covered by the same insurer. However, if one wants to port to a new insurer, then one would need to contact the new insurer at least 45 days prior to the existing policy renewal date and fulfill the documentation formalities within the time frame defined.
I am 36 and have a health insurance cover for five years with the same insurer. There have been no claims. Recently, my mother was declared diabetic. My maternal grandfather, too, suffered from severe diabetes. Doctors think this could be hereditary. Should I inform my insurer about this? If I am diagnosed with diabetes in future, will the insurer cover the expenses?
If you are diagnosed with a medical condition during the term of your existing policy, it is not necessary that you pro-actively declare the same to your insurer. However, on renewal of the policy, if you are asked about your existing health status, you would need to disclose the details.
Pre-existing conditions are covered after a continuous renewal of four years and therefore, any condition you inherit or get diagnosed with should be so covered by your insurer. Any family medical history does not qualify as a pre-existing condition during application or renewal.
As for coverage norms for these, check with your existing insurer as these could vary across companies.
The writer is the MD and CEO of Tata AIG General Insurance.
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