Why Health Insurance Costs go Up as You Age

The cost of health insurance for individual persons differs. This is why you find a plan meant for a person in his 20s is much cheaper as compared to a plan of health insurance for senior citizens.

Here are some logical reasons that explain why health insurance for senior citizens costs more:

Health fails as you age

  • A person in his twenties or thirties is considered to be largely fit. Unless it is an exceptional case, a young adult seldom falls severely ill due to bodily malfunctions.
  • However, with age, the body and several of the organs start to develop problems and even begin to fail. This makes the person sick more frequently and they end up requiring health care at quick intervals.
  • This is why you will notice the premium of health insurance for parents is higher than the premium you would pay for yourself.

The risk is higher

  • Since elderly people fall ill more commonly, there is a greater chance of them making a health insurance claim. This makes it riskier for the insurance provider to offer health coverage to them and as a result, they hike the premium rates.
  • As a younger person today, your health insurance costs are lower compared to what they will be when you become older. So, get a cover for yourself and also get health insurance for your spouse so that when you age, you don't have to pay extra for staying covered

Greater number of pre-existing illnesses

  • The coverage of health insurance for spouse and self will be more as you age because you will both develop many health conditions by the time you turn 60 or 70 years of age.
  • Many conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disorders creep in as you age. This is why the insurance providers increase the rate of the premiums of health insurance for senior citizens.

Lower chance of family cover

  • A family floater plan offers health insurance for individual, health insurance for children, health insurance for parents, and health insurance for spouses. It is an umbrella cover under which you can keep all the members of your family protected
  • While the family floater plans are easily available for the younger family members, many insurers do not allow senior citizens to get covered under such plans. This is why you are forced to get a separate health cover for your parents. And since they are older and their health isn't at the fittest by this stage of life, the premium rates become higher..

Medical inflation

  • Several decades pass between a person’s teenage and retirement phase. During this time, the costs of health care also go up. The health inflation in India is currently at 14% per annum.
  • An OPD consultation that cost INR 50 when your parents were younger costs INR 1000 today! The same holds true for hospital charges, surgery costs, etc. You have to factor in the medical inflation rates when you try to understand the pricing structure of health insurance for parents
  • These are some of the reasons that explain why health insurance for parents or other elderly people costs more than a plan for yourself.

Will your health insurance premium rise with age?

  • Yes, your health insurance premium would rise with age even if you opt for the same earlier in life. Thus, some people may wonder, what is the use of opting for a health plan early in life when the majority of claims would only happen at a later age.

Medical inflation

  • With the rise of lifestyle ailments, lots of youngsters are falling prey to cardiac and other lifestyle ailments due to a sedentary lifestyle. This is why you need a health insurance plan even when you are young as medical emergencies cannot be postponed.
  • If you opt for a comprehensive health insurance plan at a younger age, you are less likely to have any pre-existing ailment. Thus, your initial waiting periods of one and two years would be over before you actually need to utilise the plan.
  • However, if you choose to opt for a health insurance plan later in life, your choices could be limited in case you have any chronic lifestyle ailments by then, such as diabetes, blood pressure, thyroid, etc.
  • So, keeping both these points in mind, it makes sense to opt for a good comprehensive plan at a younger age. You may however, choose to increase or enhance the coverage at a later date.

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