What is Senior Citizen Health Insurance?

Old age brings with it deteriorating health, physical challenges and financial limitations. Hence it is essential to have adequate health insurance to take care of medical expenses in the ‘golden years’. Senior citizen health insurance plans offer a much-needed solution to our senior citizens or people aged 60 years or more. A health insurance cover to those over 65 years of age, these plans have come as a boon to a large percentage of India’s seniors.

Why is Senior Citizen Health Insurance necessary in India?

With advancements in medical sciences, the average life expectancy in India has increased to over 70 years. But the retirement age has remained constant. Hence, as one gets older, there is less and less money available to take care of regular expenses. On top of it, medical costs are rising. So, if one falls ill, the family budget goes for a toss. If one has health insurance, these expenses are taken care of.

Most insurance companies offer regular health insurance plans where parents can be covered. But these plans allow a maximum entry age of 65 years. However, health insurance for seniors allows entry age till almost 80 years. These plans offer special benefits and have exclusive features targeted solely at senior citizens. In India, there is a large population of senior citizens who are either not covered by any health insurance policy or are inadequately covered. Senior citizen health insurance is an answer to all these issues.

Exclusions In Senior Citizen’s Health Insurance

Some common exclusions in senior citizen health policy are:

  • Any claim arising within 30 days of purchase of senior citizen health insurance plans unless they occur due to injury or accident.
  • Joint replacements are covered only after a specified time period.
  • Some policies cover pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, asthma, but only when the policy has been in force continuously for a specified period.
  • Cosmetic surgery/dental treatments except in case of accidents, burns or cancer.
  • Drug addiction/AIDS/HIV/Sexually transmitted diseases/self-injury/suicide attempt.

Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policies offered by various companies

Health Insurance Company Coverage Waiting Period Sum Insured Range (in Rs) Entry age range (years)
Apollo Munich - Optima Senior Domiciliary, day care, hospitalisation, pre and post hospitalisation, ambulance, donor expenses, 30 days for all, 3 years for pre-existing, 2 years for certain ailments 5 Lakh 61 and above
Bajaj Allianz - Silver Health Domiciliary, day care, hospitalisation, pre and post hospitalisation, ambulance, health check-ups 30 days for all, 1 year for pre-existing and certain other ailments, 4 years for joint replacement 50,000 – 5 Lakh 46 - 70
Religare - Care Freedom Domiciliary, day care, hospitalisation, pre and post hospitalisation, ambulance, health check-ups, companion benefit, dialysis 30 days for all, 2 years for pre-existing and certain other ailments 3 – 10 Lakh 46 and above
Star Health - Senior Citizens Red Carpet Hospitalisation, pre and post hospitalisation, ambulance, specific day care, 30 days for all, 1 year for pre-existing, 2 years for certain other ailments, 4 years for joint replacement 1 – 10 Lakh 60 -75
Tata AIG - MediSenior Domiciliary, day care, hospitalisation, pre and post hospitalisation, ambulance, health check-ups, organ donor 30 days for all, 2 years for certain other ailments, 4 years for pre-existing 2 – 5 Lakh 61 and above
New India Assurance - Senior citizen Mediclaim Domiciliary, day care, hospitalisation, pre and post hospitalisation, ambulance, AYUSH, health check-ups, organ donor 30 days for all, 1.5/4 years for certain other ailments, 4 years for pre-existing 1 - 1.5 Lakh 60 - 80
Oriental Insurance – HOPE Hospitalisation, pre and post hospitalisation, ambulance, domiciliary, day care, health check-ups 30 days for all, 2 years for pre-existing and certain other ailments 1 – 5 Lakh 60 and above
National insurance - Varishtha Mediclaim Hospitalisation, pre and post hospitalisation, ambulance, domiciliary, day care, health check-ups, organ donor 30 days for all, 1 year for pre-existing and certain ailments 1 – 2 Lakh 60 - 80

Tax benefits

Premium paid for senior citizen health insurance is eligible for benefits under section 80D of Income Tax, up to a maximum of Rs 30,000 per year. There is also an additional rebate of Rs 5,000 for preventive health check-up each year.

Benefits of senior citizen health insurance plans

  • Annual health check-ups, free-look period, easy renewal and reload options are included.
  • Pre-existing diseases are covered after shorter waiting periods.
  • These plans are renewable throughout lifetime.
  • Most plans allow a high entry age of around 80 years.

Choosing the best senior citizen health insurance plan

There are many senior citizen plans in the market. So how do you choose the best senior citizen health insurance plan? Here are a few checkpoints to make it easy for you.

  • Understand the lifestyle and medical history of the seniors to decide the type of cover needed.
  • Consider the covers offered for various diseases and ailments, sub limits, requirements of medical tests, if any.
  • Check the waiting period for pre-existing conditions.
  • Check the allowable entry age
  • Location and network of hospitals – Good hospitals closer home will make it easier.
  • Premium and Sum insured.
  • Co-payment – Insurers stipulate co-payment for senior citizen health plans, where the insured person pays a share (normally 10%-20%) of the claim amount. Lower co-payment is better.

Compare all available senior citizen health plans for these criteria before deciding. Or just come to Turtlemint. We make it quick, easy and convenient for you.

Lastly, read the fine print. Make use of the free look period. And clarify all doubts, no matter how small.

Why Choose Turtlemint?

In the twilight years of life, it is extremely important to opt for a health insurance plan that will take care of all your medical needs. Turtlemint helps you do this quickly, simply and conveniently.

  • Compare all plans from the top insurance companies in India with one click and find the best senior citizen health insurance plan in India. Check all details and calculate the premium to take an informed decision.
  • Contact our experts to resolve all your queries through online chat or telephonic discussions
  • Get 24/7 claims assistance
  • Once you have finalised on a policy, you can download all relevant documents, buy the policy and renew it, all at one place!

FAQs

You can buy senior citizen’s health insurance online or offline. For offline purchases, you can go to a bank or an insurance company’s branch office near you. For online, you can either directly go to the company’s website or go to an insurance aggregator’s website (like Turtlemint), compare the different available products and make the best choice.


Senior Citizen’s Health Insurance policy can be renewed either online and offline. Online is faster and easier.


You need to be above 60 years of age to buy Senior Citizen’s plan.


The maximum age for renewal varies with the insurance companies. It varies between 69-90 for most companies. A few companies have no upper age limit.


You are eligible for a tax exemption of up to Rs 30,000 under section 80D of Income Tax Act. You can also avail additional exemption of Rs 5000 for annual health check-ups.


Insurance companies tie up with hospitals to provide cashless hospitalization to people who have bought policies from them. These hospitals are called network hospitals.


Pre-existing diseases are the chronic diseases that you have before buying a health insurance policy.


As per Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), people over 60 can purchase a new senior citizen’s health insurance policy. If any company rejects a proposal, it has to give the reason in writing. Renewal proposals also cannot be rejected without a valid reason. Half of the medical investigation costs before buying a policy also has to be paid by the insurance company.


Once you buy a policy, there is a certain period before which you can’t make any claims. This is called the waiting period. However, in case of accidents you can make a claim within the waiting period.

The free-look period is the period immediately after buying a health insurance policy. During this time, you can return the policy and get a refund. Generally, this is around 15 days for most companies.


Most insurers insist on a co-payment for senior citizen’s health insurance policies. This is a percentage of the total treatment cost and the policy holder has to pay this amount.