I have to take out health insurance for my parents who are 53 and 60 years old. But when I saw the bonuses and the policy reviews, I wasn’t sure which one to choose. Some insurance companies only charge 10,000-15,000 for coverage of 5 lakh, while others charge 30,000 to 40,000.

Is there a reliable source where I can compare various health insurance plans?

—Sreenivasa Guptha

Chances are you are talking about two different sets of health insurance plans. Some insurers offer a special health insurance plan for the elderly in addition to their regular health insurance plans.

Senior plans generally have a sum insured up to 5 lakh. These plans may offer lower premiums as compared to the regular plans.

However, these can have a few sub-limits, including capping a few conditions such as cataracts. It may also have a share either on all requests, or on pre-existing illnesses or for hospitalization requests outside the network.

Generally, issuing a senior citizen plan is easier compared to regular plans, especially if the policyholder has pre-existing conditions.

When considering health insurance, you should look for a sum insured equal to your annual income with a minimum coverage of 10 lakh.

Another reason for you to consider an early purchase is that some regular plans apply a co-payment if the policyholder’s entry age is over 60.

However, note that the premium for health insurance plans will increase with age and is subject to revision upon renewal.

You can refer to the Mint SecureNow Mediclaim Rating for a full review of all common health insurance products offered by various insurers.

Is there a difference between Mediclaim and a health insurance policy?

—Rajesh

The standard health insurance plan is colloquially known as Mediclaim. The Mediclaim plan or standard health insurance reimburses hospital costs up to a specified limit on the sum insured. There are several other types of health insurance plans. Examples include critical illness plans, extended health insurance, and hospital cash flow plans.

Abhishek Bondia is the Principal Officer and Managing Director of SecureNow.in.

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