Chronic health problems are growing concerns that seniors are struggling with. People are living a lot older these days, which means that chronic health problems like skin cancer, diabetes and heart disease are becoming more prevalent among the older population.
As an aging senior, you need to take all appropriate steps to protect against these concerns. In this article, we will cover both the prevention tips and financial preparedness strategies that you can take to deal with future chronic health problems.
Prevention Tips to Minimize the Risk of Future Health Problems
You will need to take all possible steps to prevent future health problems from arising. Here are some things that you will need to do.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Seniors need to stay as active as possible to mitigate the risk of health problems as they age. A growing body of research demonstrates the health benefits of regular exercise. For example. a 2018 study by Oslo Metropolitan University shows that exercising offers many benefits for cardiovascular health, reduces the risk of diabetes and even reduces the risk of falls by 21%.
Maintain an Active Social Life
A good social life can also have a number of important health benefits. You will want to try to maintain a decent social circle to improve your overall mental well being. You should also try having a hobby, since this is important for senior health.
Follow a Healthy Diet
You will also want to also follow a healthy diet to reduce the risk of diabetes. Around 33% of people over 65 have diabetes, but your odds are a lot lower if you follow a good diet.
Financial Preparedness Tips to Prevent the Risk of Long-Term Health Problems
You can take a number of health tips to reduce the risk of developing long-term health problems. However, you may not be able to prevent all forms of chronic health issues, no matter how careful you are. You will need to make sure that you have the right insurance to assist you.
Cancer or heart disease can disrupt one’s life in more than one way. Especially for senior citizens who are already dealing with a lot of old age-related ailments, like a physically weak body. To protect your elders from chronic diseases like cancer, stroke, and paralysis, a critical illness plan is the most suitable mediclaim policy for senior citizens. Let us understand the utility of critical illness health insurance coverage for people aged over 60 years.
Critical Illness Policy Vs Health Insurance Policy
Contrary to the misbelief, your standard health insurance will only cover basic hospitalization expenses. A health insurance policy is useful to cover standard medical expenses due to specified illnesses, injuries, and ailments. It will not cover you for critical illnesses like paralysis, organ failure, cancer, and other prolonged diseases.
On the other hand, critical illness insurance covers serious and life-threatening illnesses, medical events and surgical procedures. The list of critical illnesses may differ from one insurance company to another. Generally, a critical plan covers 30+ conditions, including medical treatment for illnesses such as cancer, end-stage renal failure, paralysis or total blindness, etc.
Why Do Senior Citizens Need a Critical Illness Policy?
Critical illness insurance is recommended for senior citizens because:
- Rising Healthcare Costs: The treatment cost of chronic and severe diseases has spiked manifolds in the last few years. Especially for senior citizens with limited income sources, hospitalisation expenses become unbearable.
- Sole Bread Winners: If you are the only earning member of the family with dependent children, you ought to protect your life’s savings from chronic ailments. Along with sound financial investments, a good critical illness policy will be beneficial in the event of a life-threatening illness such as a major organ transplant, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease
- Spike in Chronic Ailments: India has recorded a spike in deaths due to chronic ailments accounting for almost 53% of all deaths. Most of the cases turn fatal due to financial crunch and lack of proper critical illness coverage.
Benefits of Critical Illness Mediclaim for Senior Citizens
Under a critical illness plan, the insurance company pays a lump sum amount up to the sum insured which can be utilised to pay for the treatment expenses of critical illnesses, including post-hospitalisation expenses. Alternatively, the lump sum payment can be availed for permanent total disablement or death by accident. For instance, Care Health Insurance offers a comprehensive critical illness policy covering individuals, families, and senior citizens against 32 critical illnesses. The insurer’s critical illness Mediclaim covers major pre and post-hospitalisation expenses including diagnostics and OPD to chemotherapy and dialysis procedures.
Second Opinion and Health Check-Up
Under your critical illness insurance policy, you can usually avail a second opinion for any medical advice that concerns surgery or extensive treatment. It will avoid unnecessary medical intervention and consequences resulting from the same. For instance, Care Health Insurance packs the feature of ‘International Second Opinion’ under its critical illness plan to help policyholders receive medical treatment advice from international experts.
Also, critical illness plans offer specialised annual health check-ups for insured members to keep track of their health and well-being. Critical illness insurance benefits allow you to safeguard your health, without having to worry about the rising costs of healthcare. Instead, these expenses are borne by the insurance provider.
Exclusions Under Critical Insurance Policy
Although not uniform across the board, in general, critical illness insurance will not cover the following expenditures:
- If a critical illness is developed due to drug intake, smoking, tobacco or alcohol consumption
- HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases
- Illness due to weapons, war, terrorism or biological attack
- Treatment taken outside India
- Treatment for conception or assistance in reproduction
- Any acts of self-injury or suicide
- Cosmetic surgeries and their associated treatment
Finally, do read the fine print carefully before deciding on the insurance product. This will ensure that you are fully aware of all the terms and conditions. Understanding the clauses will go a long way in ensuring peace of mind for yourself and your elderly parents.