Inflation! Price Hikes! We know what kind of nuisance it is! Our expenditures are always rising due to price hikes. Did you know that even in the medical field, inflation happens? In the past few decades, prices have been increasing in many sectors and industries. Commodities and services have become costlier than ever and continue to become costly. How can a senior citizen survive medical inflation? Senior citizens who relied solely on their employer’s group health insurance plans before retirement planning are now having no medical insurance at all.
Health insurance is an absolute necessity in the current era. More so with the rise of nuclear families where children insurance moves out of their parents home and move to other places in search of higher education and job prospects. Back in the day, older people and retired people depended on their kids for everything. Today, the situation has changed and older people have begun having a comfy lifestyle on their own even after retirement. This is good, but have they got their health insurance yet? Indians pay around 75% medical charges from their own pocket!
Since retirement is that stage in life when there is no stable or regular income, it would be hard to manage. Old people depend on their heirs financially and at the same time are more vulnerable to illnesses and accidents. It’s advised to purchase individual health insurance plans for each parent/grandparent rather than family floaters because family floaters determine premium rates based on the oldest personage.
For senior citizens, health insurance premiums have risen from 50% to 100% in the last five years. Since a number of older people choose health insurance compared to young ones, premiums have increased. With rising claims, insurers are left with no choice but to review their prices.
A health insurance should not be chosen on just one criterion such as the premium amount. Critical care, hospitalization expenses and network hospitals covered by the policy also play a major role in this. A low waiting period for illnesses that comes under the pre-defined time frame is what is required from the health insurance.
A senior citizen who wants to enhance his own cover doesn’t have many options to select from. He can either request his insurer to raise the sum insured or purchase a fresh senior citizen policy. A top-up medical plan will give a high cover at a low cost that is deductible.
Top up covers come in two variants, aggregate and catastrophic. The aggregate is considered a super top up and it does cover the insured when the base policy is exhausted by him/her any time of the year. If the person exhausts his entire sum in multiple hospitalizations, he can still use the super top-up plan in the policy year. For catastrophic top-ups, each hospitalization charges have to exceed 5 Lakh.
If you already have a health insurance policy, experts recommend not purchasing a fresh one. Despite a number of plans being there for senior citizens, there are a number of restrictions like mandatory co-pay of 20%, amount paid by the insurer for a specific disease and so on.
There are some more ways to beat inflation:-
1. Invest money for retirement and expenses one can anticipate after retirement
On the day you begin working/get your first paycheque, search for investment options and begin investing for retirement planning. Ideally, you have at least 3 decades to 4 decades until retirement! Sufficient time to set aside funds for retirement if invested regularly.
2. Ensure liquidity of investments
This also has to be done when you start earning. You have regular income while you work, but after you retire you will only have to depend on your investments. There has to be liquidity in investments. If your investment is locked for a few years and you desperately need that money now, that investment is futile despite returns. Do one thing; just ponder over how easily you can access all your investments or each investment if you needed it now!
Inflations are a nightmare, but if handled effectively you needn’t worry.
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