Health Insurance for Seniors – Summary of Budget 2016


Government in its budget of 2016 has introduced a new health insurance scheme that targets the families that are below the poverty line. A health insurance with sum of Rs.1 Lakh coverage will be offered for each family and families with senior citizens above the age of 60 are eligible for an additional top-up coverage of Rs.30,000. This is great news for families who do not hold a valid medical insurance and often end up paying for high medical expenses out of their wallets.


As the medical costs are rising and having an abnormal rate of inflation in double digits each year, the government has taken the much needed step to help poverty stricken families. These families are unable to afford the high sums of medical bills in case of unforeseen emergencies and often end up in severe debts to pay for such expenses. So this move of the government is very much appreciated by all.


Currently the government does have a scheme, namely the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to protect below poverty lines family and offers coverage of up to Rs.30,000 for all ailments and medical conditions. But this was not enough considering the all-time high medical and healthcare costs today.


Poverty stricken families will definitely not be able to bear the out of pocket spending for medical ailments of the family members. Especially, with the growing age of senior members in the family who are more prone to adverse medical conditions, medical expenses arising out of it, creates catastrophic damage to the economical and mental stability of the family. Therefore, the government has added an additional amount of Rs. 30,000 to bear for medical expenses of senior members in the family.


The beneficiaries of the previous health insurance measure did not pay any premium as they are borne by the government and paid to the insurance provider. There was only a meager amount of registration fees that was levied by the government. The exact details of this scheme including the probable beneficiaries and other terms and conditions is however still not so clear. But, it can be modeled along the same lines as the previous schemes and will be announced by the government shortly.


Health insurance costs for senior citizens are really high owing to higher premium amounts because of higher sum insured amount. The sum insured amount is more due to medical risks associated with old-age people. The additional sum of Rs.30,000 coverage for the seniors will really help these families to tackle their medical expenses and provide them with great deal of financial stability.


Many big names in the industry have praised this movement of the government and said that this new health protection scheme will guarantee more reach of health insurance to the lower level families and promote financial wellness. The additional top-up provided for senior citizens will also be very helpful to lower the burdens of families by reducing their medical expenditure.


Promoting insurance for all, this cashless health insurance scheme provides great benefits and is the most welcome measure of the Budget 2016.

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