Insurance is considered a form of long–term savings for senior citizens. This money provides financial stability and also helps them in times of need. Medical insurance enables senior citizens to pay for health checkups, emergency medical costs and long–term treatment. The income tax benefit on insurance premiums is up to Rs. 15,000 under Section 80 D of the Income Tax Act, as on March 31, 2007. Medical insurance is provided through several private insurance companies and four public sector general insurance companies. These are
The National Insurance Company offers the Varistha Mediclaim Policy for senior citizens. This policy covers hospitalization and domiciliary hospitalization expenses under Section I as well as expenses for treatment of critical illnesses, if opted for, under Section II. Diseases covered under critical illnesses are coronary artery surgery, cancer, renal failure, stroke, multiple sclerosis and major organ transplants. Paralysis and blindness are covered at extra premium.
Oriental Insurance Company provides a Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, a Group Insurance Policy and an Individual Mediclaim Policy. These policies pay for hospitalisation or domiciliary hospitalisation of the insured in case of a sudden illness, an accident or surgery. These conditions should have arisen during the policy period.
The Mediclaim Policy available through New India Assurance Company allows any Indian between 5–80 years to be insured as on March 31, 2007. This policy provides for cashless hospitalization in India for the treatment of any illness, disease or accidental injury suffered during the policy period. The payment of claims is made through third party administrators who have been empanelled by the company.
United India Insurance Company offers a Mediclaim Policy that covers anyone between the ages of 5–75 years. The policy pays for actual hospitalization expenses of various types subject to a maximum of Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 5,00,000, as on March 31, 2007. This limit depends upon the sum chosen by the insured at the inception of the policy.
Life Insurance Corporation came out with a special ‘Nav Prabhat’ scheme in 2001 for senior citizens. It provides for risk cover at a comparatively low cost and relief for disability arising due to accident or illness. It also has an option for life pension after maturity of the policy.