Do Retirees Need to Pay for Private Health Insurance?


With retirement comes a lot of money, and freedom but also deteriorating health and stopping your group health insurance plan from your company. Know when you should consider paying for private health insurance in your life.

Medical costs are rising worldwide, and India is no different. Getting medical care, from consulting a doctor to a stay in the hospital, can significantly impact your finances. And this is where your health insurance policy could come in handy, particularly post-retirement. Health insurance provides coverage for medical bills you didn't expect could stand in the way of your happiness and drain your hard-earned savings or other investments post-retirement.

Why you must invest in a healthcare policy post-retirement


Even if you remain healthy as you get older and don't need medical care regularly, getting regular check-ups is still a good idea to ensure your well-being. However, if you need regular health check-ups and diagnoses, it could cost you a lot of money. If you have a comprehensive health insurance policy after you retire, you shouldn't have to worry if you have a sudden health problem. But knowing what the policy covers and doesn't cover is essential. If you have a medical emergency and need hospitalisation, you will likely get a bill for the services when you receive medical care. The hospital will typically send this invoice to your health insurance provider or a third-party administrator (TPA), who will review it and decide what part of the costs will be covered. Depending on your insurance policy, you might have to pay the expenses partially, but your healthcare policy should cover most of the costs. Remember that the process can vary from one insurer to another.

A healthcare plan can assist you in coping with escalating medical expenses and pay less out-of-pocket costs in a medical emergency or if you have a chronic ailment requiring continuing treatment. You may access preventative care through health insurance, including routine check-ups and screenings. These services can aid in the early detection of health issues when they are typically less complicated to treat and enable you to protect yourself from possible financial risks.

Health insurance can pay for the care you require if you become ill or injured. Your healthcare plan can put your mind at ease, allowing you to concentrate on your well-being. Thanks to your healthcare policy, you may have access to an extensive network of hospitals and medical professionals. This could make it simpler for you to locate and obtain the necessary medical assistance.

Why should retirees pay for a private healthcare plan?


Post-retirement, an employer-sponsored healthcare plan may require you to pay a higher premium than what you had to pay as an active employee. Some employers pay a part of the premium, and you may still end up footing a considerable amount to enjoy the coverage. Moreover, the retiree coverage plans might have specific exclusions that could affect you significantly. For instance, the policy might not cover prescription medicines and certain treatments like dental and vision care. This is why investing in an individual health insurance plan could take care of health aspects that affect you the most, as you can choose one customised to your needs. Let us consider an example.

Rashmi, a former investment professional in Bengaluru, thought her company's group medical insurance plan was remarkable. Moreover, the premium was less than what she would pay if she decided to opt for an individual healthcare policy. However after going through the terms and conditions of the plan, she invested in an individual healthcare policy that catered to her needs specifically. For instance, her policy would help her get adequate treatment for a nominal expense or no extra cost if she needed prescription drugs to treat any newly diagnosed ailment as she grew older. Hence, she invested in a healthcare plan that suited her needs giving her peace of mind in her retirement years. Now that Rashmi is 76 years old, she has no regrets about her timely investment in an insurance plan. She pays Rs 15,000 yearly for top-tier private medical coverage and has used her policy for physiotherapy and dental treatment many times.

Conclusion


Our medical expenses seem to eat up a considerable part of our monthly expenses, particularly in our twilight years. Investment in a health insurance policy customised to meet our specific needs would ensure peace of mind and timely intervention and care in case of a medical emergency or a newly detected ailment. You can use a health insurance calculator to determine how much the premium would be for different plans and what the benefits are and make an informed choice.


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