Best Health Insurance For Senior Citizens in India

Choosing the best senior citizen health insurance policy can be difficult. Annual premiums are higher for senior citizens because they face higher health risks, but that also makes it important to select the right plan. Our experts have analysed hundreds of policies and thousands of quotes to help you select the best senior citizen insurance plan.

Star Health and Allied Senior Citizen Red Carpet Insurance Plan

Consider this if you're seeking a policy that doesn't require a medical screening.

For senior citizens seeking an affordable policy with a strong scope of coverage, Star Health and Allied offers a great policy with attractive benefits. The Senior Citizen Red Carpet Insurance Plan does not require a pre-enrollment medical screening, which is highly beneficial for most seniors since they have a higher risk of illness, and makes it one of the best policies on the Indian health insurance market.

The Red Carpet plan's annual premiums start 13% cheaper than the market average for senior citizen health insurance, and carry the fourth-lowest rates of any insurer in our study.

Annual Premium Prices Senior Citizen Health Insurance in India
Annual Premium Prices Senior Citizen Health Insurance in India

Day care treatment and Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) treatment are both fully covered, and uniquely, so are annual health check-ups. Star Health and Allied's Senior Citizen Red Carpet Insurance Plan also covers pre-hospitalisation claims up to 30 days, and post-hospitalisation claims up to 60 days, which is beneficial for senior citizens who may not be able to recover as quickly as their younger relatives.

The Senior Citizen Red Carpet Plan offers unlimited renewals, since they do not require a pre-enrollment screening, which helps set Star Health and Allied Insurance apart from its competitors. This policy also covers any pre-existing illnesses after just 12 months of the policy being active, two full years sooner than average for Indian health insurance. The policy covers nursing home room fees up to 1% of the maximum sum insured, and blood and oxygen chargers are covered in full.

Star Health and Allied Senior Citizen Red CarpetMarket Average
Annual Premium₹21,240₹24,317
ICR63%74%
Claim Settlement Rate90%91%
Network Hospitals9,9006,186
Market Share13.10%3.13%
Pre-hospitalisation30 days57 days
Post-hospitalisation60 days96 days
Minimum Entry Age60 years60 years
Maximum Entry Age75 years70 years
PolicyBazaar Reviews4.8 (70 reviews)4.1 (49 reviews)

Star Health and Allied is the first medical insurer in India to increase the maximum entry age to 75 years old; standard is 70 years of age. They also offer a network of nearly 10,000 hospitals, the third-largest network of any insurer in our study, all of which carry a cashless option.

The company owns the second-largest market share of any health insurer we analysed, so senior citizens can take comfort in knowing they have a large network of policyholders who trust their coverage. Star Health and Allied Insurance is the highest-rated company in our study as well, earning 4.8-of-5 stars from their customers.

One of the few drawbacks of Star Health and Allied's Senior Citizen Red Carpet Insurance Plan is their sub-optimal incurred claims ratio (ICR). The healthy range for an Indian medical insurer is 75-90%, which indicates a strong ability to settle claims against annual premium collection. Star Health and Allied's 63% ICR is 12% below the desired range, which could mean that policyholders may experience a few obstacles during the claim settlement process. Their 90% claim settlement rate, however, is just about the national average.

The Senior Citizen Red Carpet plan excludes coverage for diseases diagnosed within the first month of coverage, expenses for vitamins and similar supplements, and rehabilitation and respite care.

Why Choose Star Health and Allied Senior Citizen Red Carpet Insurance Plan?

Star Health and Allied's Senior Citizen Red Carpet Plan is a great option for seniors, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions, because they do not require a pre-enrollment screening. This means that despite any existing illnesses, you'll be able to receive health coverage. They also begin covering pre-existing conditions as soon as 12 months after the policy start date; another strong benefit for seniors who may have existing illnesses.

Read More: Star Health and Allied Health Insurance Review

Aditya Birla Activ Assure Diamond Plan

Consider this if you're seeking the best policy for chronic health conditions.

Aditya Birla Health Insurance has a wide variety of health insurance policy options, and while their Activ Assure Diamond plan isn't designed specifically for senior citizens, there are plenty of benefits that make it a great choice for the elderly population of India.

Those policyholders with a chronic illness, such as diabetes or asthma, can opt to join the Chronic Management Program. This program provides coverage for your chronic illness starting on the first day your new policy is active. If you develop a chronic illness after you've already begun a new Diamond Plan, you may upgrade and include the Chronic Management Program in your scope of coverage for an additional cost.

Aditya Birla's Activ Assure Diamond Plan isn't the most affordable option, but it is still 8% cheaper than the national average for Indian citizens 65-years-and-older.

Aditya Birla Activ Assure Diamond PlanMarket Average
Annual Premium₹22,265₹24,317
ICR59%74%
Claim Settlement Rate94%91%
Network Hospitals7,0006,186
Market Share1.75%3.13%
Pre-hospitalisation30 days57 days
Post-hospitalisation60 days96 days
Minimum Entry Age91 days60 years
Maximum Entry AgeNo Limit70 years
PolicyBazaar Reviews4.7 (11 reviews)4.1 (49 reviews)

Domiciliary expenses are fully covered, so senior citizens can receive medical treatment from the comfort of their own home. The Activ Assure Diamond Plan also provides health coaches to assist seniors with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and offers them alternative practices and suggestions to help lower their numbers. Uniquely, Aditya Birla allows their policyholders to reload their maximum sum insured up to 150% if they reach their annual limit before the end of the year-term.

Annual health check-ups are free and covered by the Diamond Plan, and there are up to 586 different procedures covered by their day care treatment benefit. This policy also provides a daily cash benefit of up to Rs. 500 for a maximum of five days in the hospital, and organ donor expenses are not only covered for receiving an organ transplant, but are also covered if you donate an organ.

The Activ Assure Diamond Plan offers a cancer hospitalisation booster, the ability to seek a second medical opinion on a critical illness diagnosis, and provides air ambulance services, even if you're outside of India.

Aditya Birla unfortunately does not provide health coverage for rehab expenses, auto-immune disorders, or routine diagnostic procedures. They also have an unhealthy 59% ICR, which could create a stressful claim settlement process. Their 94% claim settlement rate, however, indicates that when claims are processed successfully, the resolution is fast and timely.

Why Choose the Aditya Birla Activ Assure Diamond Plan?

The Aditya Birla Activ Assure Diamond Plan is not a senior citizen-only plan, but it has a ton of benefits for seniors to take advantage of. The biggest benefit is the ability to join the Chronic Management Program, which covers chronic diseases from the first day of your new policy. Policyholders are also able to opt into this program even after their new plan has begun, which is beneficial for seniors who develop a chronic illness as they age.

Read More: Aditya Birla Capital Health Insurance Review

Care (Formerly Religare) Health Insurance For Senior Citizens

Consider this if you're seeking the most affordable option.

Care Insurance, formerly Religare Insurance, offers an affordable health insurance policy for senior citizens that starts 25% cheaper than the market average.

The company is one of the best up-and-coming health insurers in India, and has the largest hospital network of any health insurer we studied. Their health insurance plan for seniors does not require a pre-enrollment medical check-up, like Star Health and Allied's plan, but unlike Star Health and Allied, Care requires a longer four-year waiting period for coverage on pre-existing conditions and diseases. They provide an optional add-on for an additional cost that reduces the waiting period by 24 months.

Annual Premium Prices Senior Citizen Health Insurance in India
Annual Premium Prices Senior Citizen Health Insurance in India

Care's senior citizen plan allows policyholders to increase their maximum sum insured amount by 50% for each year they are claim free, and they provide an add-on for seniors that covers expenses from consultations and pharmacy visits.

The Health Insurance for Senior Citizen plan covers annual health check-ups, organ donations, emergency ambulance fees, day care treatment and post-hospital expenses. The policy also offers four different sum insured levels ranging from Rs. 3,00,000 to Rs. 10,00,000. Regardless of your sum insured level, pre-hospitalisation is covered for 30 days and post-hospitalisation for 60 days.

Care Health Insurance For Senior CitizensMarket Average
Annual Premium₹18,178₹24,317
ICR55%74%
Claim Settlement Rate84%91%
Network Hospitals11,0006,186
Market Share3.66%3.13%
Pre-hospitalisation30 days57 days
Post-hospitalisation60 days96 days
Minimum Entry Age61 years60 years
Maximum Entry AgeNo Limit70 years
PolicyBazaar Reviews4.2 (38 reviews)4.1 (49 reviews)

Care's minimum entry age for their senior citizen medical insurance is 61 years old, which is just a year above average in India, but there is no maximum entry age. The plan also offers lifelong renewability.

The company's claim settlement rates are a bit worrisome, so senior citizens should be aware that the claims process may not be as smooth and speedy as desired. The senior citizen health insurance policy also does not cover any diseases, surgeries or diagnoses within the first 30 days of the policy.

Why Choose Care (Formerly Religare) Health Insurance For Senior Citizens

Quite simply, Care's Health Insurance For Senior Citizens is an extremely affordable option for the elderly in India. It carries the second-cheapest annual premiums of any health insurer we analysed, and still comes standard with a wide scope of coverage. Their add-ons are also beneficial, and since the base policy is so cheap, the additional costs for add-ons won't put you over budget.

Read More: Care (Formerly Religare) Health Insurance Review

HDFC Ergo my:health Suraksha

Consider this if you're seeking multiple policy options.

HDFC Ergo has recently introduced a new line of health insurance policies for senior citizens in India. Their my:health Suraksha plan allows seniors to choose from two different options: their more affordable Silver package and their more comprehensive Gold bundle.

SilverGold
Sum Insured3-5 lakhs7.5-15 lakhs
Sum Insured ReboundXX
Day Care ProceduresXX
Pre-hospitalisation CoverXX
Post-hospitalisation CoverXX
Mental HealthcareXX
Home HealthcareXX
Hospitalisation ExpensesXX
Road Ambulance CoverXX
Organ Donor ExpensesXX
AYUSH TreatmentsXX
Recovery BenefitXX
Air AmbulanceXX
Lifetime RenewabilityX
Tax SavingsX
Free Health Check-UpX

These plans are great for seniors who need frequent medical attention, because of the policy's restore benefit. Using this feature, the plan's sum insured amount is automatically restored if the limit is reached before the end of the year.

The average senior citizen health insurance plan through HDFC Ergo is slightly more affordable than the average health insurance plan for seniors in India. Annual premiums start at 5% below the market average, and the minimum entry age is just a year later than the majority of HDFC Ergo's competitors at 61 years old.

HDFC Ergo my:health SurakshaMarket Average
Annual Premium₹23,107₹24,317
ICR62%74%
Claim Settlement Rate92%91%
Network Hospitals10,0006,186
Market Share4.68%3.13%
Pre-hospitalisation60 days57 days
Post-hospitalisation180 days96 days
Minimum Entry Age18 years60 years
Maximum Entry AgeNo Limit70 years
PolicyBazaar Reviews4.6 (29 reviews)4.1 (49 reviews)

HDFC Ergo's my:health Suraksha plan uniquely covers post-hospitalisation for up to 180 days, nearly double what the average Indian health insurer offers. There is also no maximum entry age, which is a benefit to seniors who may want to opt for coverage later than most insurers will allow. Their hospital network is the second-largest in our study, but their ICR is slightly lower than optimal.

The company's senior citizen plans also do not cover any adventure sport injuries, nor do they cover treatment of obesity or any cosmetic surgeries of any kind.

Why Choose HDFC Ergo's my:health Suraksha

HDFC Ergo's brand new plan is great for senior citizens looking to weigh their options. Consumers can decide between a more affordable option with a lower level of coverage, or a slightly pricier option with a wider scope of benefits. Their unique features, such as post-hospitalisation coverage for up to 180 days and automatic restoration of sum insured amounts are great for seniors who require frequent medical attention.

Read More: HDFC Ergo Health Insurance Review

FAQ

Each and every individual is different, has different needs, and has a different budget. Plus, there are so many policy options to choose from. The most effective way to choose is to evaluate not only what you require for coverage in the short-term, but also what you'll require in the future. A great place to start is annual cost, and we've analysed the best cheap options for senior citizens in a previous study.

In India, health insurance annual premiums are priced based, most importantly, on the maximum sum insured that your policy provides. The higher level of coverage and the higher the sum insured, the more expensive your annual premium will be. If you decide to sacrifice some coverage and choose a lower maximum sum insured amount, your annual premium will be cheaper. Add-on benefits will also increase the cost of your annual premiums.

Yes, all health insurance companies provide cashless hospital options so you can receive medical treatment without having to worry about out-of-pocket payments. Not all in-network hospitals are cashless, but most insurers have a list of strictly cashless options, if that is the preferred method of treatment and reimbursement.

For most insurers, there is no limit on the number of claims you can submit. However, you will no longer be allowed to submit any claims after the maximum sum insured amount has been reached for a given policy year. Some insurers offer an automatic replenishment add-on, which restores your sum insured amount if you hit the limit before the end of the policy term. It's best practice to check with your insurer before finalizing your policy that they have not installed a maximum number of claims, but will use the maximum sum insured amount to create a limit on coverage.

Methodology

Our team of expert analysts identified the most prominent health insurance plans in India to gather data. We compared over 20 health insurance providers, over 100 different plans and nearly 15,000 quotes. We analysed the premium pricing and other relevant data points to better compare the insurance plans and select the best option for senior citizens.

Health Insurance Providers in ValueChampion’s Study
Aditya BirlaBajaj AllianzCare (Formerly Religare)Future GeneraliHDFC Ergo
ICICI LombardIFFCO TokioKotakLibertyMagma HDI
ManipalCignaNew IndiaRoyal SundaramSBI GeneralStar Health
Tata AIGUniversal Sompo

Our research is expansive and our analysis is thorough, but there were a few limitations. It's difficult to collect data for all plans and providers across India, so we selected the most prominent and comprehensive policy options. We also used Mumbai as the city of residence for our quote collection, since it's the largest city in India. We used a standard insured sum amount of Rs 5,00,000 for a 65-year-old adult to arrive at our insured sum amounts and annual premium costs.


Mike Wagenman

Mike is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion India, specializing in insurance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rider University, and his prior work experience includes data and revenue analysis in the international travel market.