If you buy health insurance when you are younger and healthier, it will add to the coverage your employer gives you for higher hospital bills, and it will be easy to renew. If you want to buy insurance but are older and have new health problems, you may not even be accepted.
When you quit your job, you will no longer be covered by your company’s health insurance. So, it’s clear that when you retire, you need personal health insurance to cover the risk of having to go to the hospital and pay for it.
But should you wait until you’re old to buy health insurance?
I just met a family member who is 55 years old and will retire in four to five years. He doesn’t have his own health insurance, but his job gives him access to group health insurance.
He wanted to know if he should buy an insurance policy now or wait until he was closer to retirement.
I answered in a clear way.
Get it as soon as you can. Don’t keep putting it off or wait until you retire.
Many workers think that as long as they are working, the health insurance their employer gives them is enough. But that’s not quite right. It’s not enough to get health insurance through your job. It’s a good thing to have, and if you need to make a claim, you should do it through your employer’s coverage first. But you still need to have your own.
Back to the question of why you shouldn’t buy one when you retire.
Having health insurance is always very important. But the closer you get to retirement, the more important it is. And the reason is that as you get older, your chances of getting sick go up, so you need enough insurance so you don’t have to spend all your savings on hospital bills.
People who are getting close to retirement should buy health insurance as soon as possible because you never know if you’ll have new health problems in a few years when you decide to buy it. If you do that, the insurance company might not cover you.
Or, you may already have a condition covered by the waiting time clause. Therefore, if you get insurance a few years before retirement, you may easily endure the waiting period because you will still be covered by your employer during that time. Once you retire, your own health insurance will cover pre-existing diseases immediately. If necessary, you can utilize it to cover these conditions in the future.
Therefore, it is preferable to acquire insurance when one is younger and, more significantly, healthy. Also, there will be no issues with renewability.
It also allows you to demonstrate to the insurance company that you have never filed a claim in the past. Working with the insurance provider for years and knowing how they process claims is also advantageous.
If you are in your late 40s or early 50s, you have an additional reason to get a cover as soon as possible. In most cases, an employer’s coverage is limited to Rs 3-5 lakh. In light of the escalating expense of health care, these amounts are insufficient. Therefore, the appropriate amount of coverage for each individual will vary, but it remains prudent to carry at least Rs 15-20 lakh. If your employer’s insurance is insufficient, you should obtain your own, whether or not you are close to retirement.
What else should someone do before they retire?
If they can, they should also set aside money for medical emergencies.
As people age, the cost of everything goes up, not just hospital stays. Hospitalization doesn’t happen very often. Instead, it’s more likely that old people will have to pay money for their regular health care costs. For lifestyle and long-term diseases like diabetes, thyroid disease, etc., the cost of medicines, tests, and regular doctor visits can be a lot. The problem is that health insurance doesn’t pay for these costs outside of the hospital. It’s best to have a medical emergency fund for times like these. It also gives you a safety net in case your hospital bills are more than what your health insurance will cover.
So, when all is said and done, don’t be stingy. At least before you stop working. Get health insurance for yourself or your whole family as soon as you can.
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