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India expands health insurance access: Senior citizens over 65 eligible for coverage

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has made a groundbreaking decision to remove the age limit of 65 years for individuals purchasing health insurance policies, aiming to broaden coverage and enhance financial security against healthcare expenses.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: April 22, 2024 12:23 IST
health insurance
Image Source : INDIA TV India expands health insurance access.

In a significant move aimed at expanding the health insurance market and providing greater financial security against healthcare expenses, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has eliminated the age limit of 65 years for individuals purchasing health insurance policies. This departure from conventional norms represented a fundamental shift in the insurance landscape, which previously restricted individuals from accessing comprehensive coverage beyond the age of 65.

Inclusive healthcare ecosystem

By abolishing the maximum age restriction, IRDAI seeks to foster a more inclusive and accessible healthcare ecosystem, ensuring adequate protection against unforeseen medical costs for people of all ages.

Effective implementation from April 1

The recent amendment, effective from April 1, allows anyone, irrespective of age, to purchase a new health insurance policy, thereby broadening the scope of insurance coverage across demographics.

Specialised product offerings

Furthermore, insurers are now required to offer health insurance products tailored to various age groups, including senior citizens, students, children, maternity, and other specified categories, as per guidelines outlined by the Competent Authority.

Coverage for pre-existing conditions

Insurers are mandated to provide health policies to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, including severe ailments such as cancer, heart or renal failure, and AIDS, thus ensuring comprehensive coverage for all.

Flexibility in premium payments

To enhance convenience for policyholders, insurers are permitted to offer premium payment options in installments, easing financial burdens associated with healthcare expenses.

Expanding treatment coverage

The regulation mandates unrestricted coverage for AYUSH treatments, encompassing systems like Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy, up to the sum insured without any limitations.

Enhanced claim filing and handling

Policyholders with benefit-based policies can now file multiple claims with various insurers, providing greater flexibility and choice. Additionally, a specialized channel will address the complaints and claims of senior citizens, ensuring a more tailored and responsive approach to their needs.

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