Removal of Age Limit for purchasing health insurance policies


Recently, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) decided to remove the age limit for purchasing health insurance policies. It is a significant step towards inclusivity in healthcare coverage.

  • This move acknowledges the healthcare needs of senior citizens and aims to provide extended health benefits to a broader demographic.

GS-02 (Health)

Key Highlights:

  • It requires health insurance providers to address age-related ailments and ensuring comprehensive coverage to develop specialized policies catering to the specific needs of senior citizens.
  • Dedicated Channels for Claims and Grievances: This measure aims to enhance the accessibility and efficiency of healthcare services for elderly policyholders.
  • Tailored Products for Age-related Requirements: Insurance companies, by offering customized coverage options can better address the diverse healthcare needs of policyholders across all age groups.
  • Improved Accessibility and Affordability: The IRDAI anticipates that the removal of the age limit is expected to reduce the financial burden of medical expenditure for individuals above 65 years and promote better access to quality healthcare services.

About Health Insurance:

  • Health insurance covers medical expenses incurred by the insured person, including hospitalization, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, and preventive care.
  • It helps pool high out-of-pocket expenditure in India, providing financial protection against health shocks.
  • Pre-payment through health insurance is crucial for risk-pooling and safeguarding against catastrophic expenses. Additionally, it can enhance healthcare efficiency.
  • Challenges:
    • Life expectancy has increased unevenly across India, with health problems remaining a concern.
    • Low government health expenditure limits public healthcare quality, leading most individuals to opt for costlier private treatment.
    • Around 30% of the population lacks financial health protection.
  • Government initiatives:
    • To address these issues, government schemes like Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) provide Rs. 5 lakh per family for secondary and tertiary care.
    • The National Health Authority (NHA) implements Ayushman Bharat and has established a national Health Claims Exchange (HCX) for health claims interoperability.