Senior Citizen: Why Senior Citizens are not first concern for health insurers?

The loss of a regular source of income in retirement years is a major handicap that affects seniors.

Settlement of health insurance claims of senior citizens takes more time because they often fail to promptly intimate to the insurance companies about their illness and treatment post hospitalisation, as per a survey conducted by a leading insurance brokerage firm SecureNow.

According to the SecureNow survey, it takes a week longer for settlement of health insurance claims of senior citizens than those below 60 years of age. The main reason being that senior citizens are slow in intimating about treatment to insurance companies after hospitalisation, though the premium they pay is much more than those in other age groups.

“Senior citizens take a longer time to intimate claims to the insurers, have a higher hospitalization stay, incur higher treatment costs, and have slightly higher insurance deductions. They also pay much more for insurance, someone aged 75 has to incur a premium 6 times that of someone aged 30. There is an opportunity to support seniors in selecting the right insurances and in supporting them through claims,” says Kapil Mehta, Co-founder, SecureNow.

The survey reveals that on average the health insurance claim of a senior citizen is settled in 28 days as against 23.2 for persons below 60.

Observing that over the years the number of insurance products has increased considerably indicating that insurers are taking much more care of seniors’ insurances, he said, “more work remains to be done since seniors are extremely vulnerable."

Mehta said that it is also the duty of insurers, intermediaries and hospitals to assist senior citizens to file claims promptly in case they had not opted for cashless settlement.

On the other hand, he added, it was also required of senior citizens to carefully evaluate their health insurance, especially with regard to restrictions in treatment of cancer and digestive ailments.

According to the survey, the proportion of claim settlements for senior citizens is lower in case of specific ailments like diarrhoea, cancer and prostate enlargement. It is, however, more in case of coronary heart diseases.

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