Why you shouldn’t include Parents in Family Health Insurance Policy

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Once regarded as an option, health insurance in Dubai has now become an essential to a sound financial plan. It is even mandatory to get health insurance for all residents in some parts of the UAE. The reason is simple – the rising cost of quality healthcare facilities as well as the rise of new and unfamiliar diseases. But choosing the correct health insurance in Dubai for yourself and your family may not always be easy. Many mistakes are made and wrong covers are often bought. One such mistake is buying family floater health insurance plans for yourself, your children and your parents as well. While adding your children with you and your spouse on a family health insurance policy is a good idea, including your parents (senior citizens) is a rather bad one. Let’s understand all about family health insurance, what it is, why shouldn’t parents be a part of it and what are some better alternatives:

What is Family Floater Health Insurance?

As the term suggests, family health insurance policies are basic types of health insurance plans designed to cover the whole family. Up to 6 members can be insured under one family health insurance policy in most cases. Some insurance providers allow up to 8 members in one plan. Children, adults and elders alike, anyone can be included as a member in the family floater health insurance plans as long as they’re blood relatives. A single sum assured amount is used to cover every member of family health insurance. The policyholder can either choose to put sub-limits on the total assured sum of the plan and divide it among all the members or leave it as it to be used fully by all. The benefits offered in these health insurance plans are pretty much the same as individual health insurance plans. 

Why Shouldn’t You Include Your Parents in Family Health Insurance?

By definition it seems that family health insurance plans are ideal for the whole family – adults, elderly as well as children. Which they are, in most cases, for adults and kids. But the situation is different for the elderly. Moreover, the concept of family health insurance policies is mostly about savings and being a cost-effective insurance option. Including your parents in the plan can disturb this dynamic as well. Listed below are our top picks for reasons family health insurance policy might not be the best pick for your parents and other elderly members of your family:

Family Health Insurance Premium is Dependent on the Age of the Eldest Member

Family health insurance policies are highly affected by the eldest person insured. The premium is generally calculated as per the eldest member of the plan. This means that the insurance premium of your health insurance in Dubai will be significantly higher if your parents are insured in it too. The opposite applies here as well. the younger people insured, the lesser the premium would be. Another way your parents can increase the premium of the insurance plan is by the parameter of health. You are susceptible to more illnesses as you grow older. The higher your health risk is, the higher the premium will be. This is why younger and healthier people attract lesser health insurance premiums. 

Pre-Existing Disease for One Becomes for All 

All health insurance in Dubai is required to cover pre-existing diseases now. However, covering these diseases comes at an increased premium amount as well. Certain illnesses take permanent shelter in our bodies as we grow older. And these illnesses get branded as per-existing conditions. If an older person, aka parents or grandparents, with pre-existing conditions like hypertension is included in the family floater health insurance plans, the premium will shoot up several folds. Combine this with the old age surcharge and you’ll have a very expensive deal. 

Losing Additional Discounts and Bonuses

Health insurance plans in the UAE do not offer a definite claim bonus unlike what we have in car insurance plans. However, not claiming your health insurance policy even once in the whole year will definitely earn you some benefits in the form of discounts and bonus assured sum amount for the plan. Submitting zero claims in the whole in a family health insurance policy is only possible if all the members are still young and at the peak of their health. This is not the case with parents. After crossing the threshold of middle age, parents start to require frequent medical attention and even treatments, more often than not. If you include your parents in your family health insurance policy, you are at a high risk of losing these additional benefits.

Insufficient Benefits for the Elderly 

With a sensitive immune system comes the need for special healthcare facilities which cannot be provided by basic health insurance plans. Cost-effective plans like family floater health insurance plans are made to fulfil the need for emergency treatments and generic healthcare needs like annual checkups and preventive measures. Senior citizens require a more intense level of care than this. So, even if you are okay with the increased premium, a family health insurance policy will not be able to provide the kind of benefits your parents need in older age. 

May End Up with Insufficient Coverage for Other Members

Insufficient benefits for parents aside, including elder members in a family health insurance policy, may also lead to insufficient coverage for other members in the plan. Since older folks require frequent medical care, they may end up using the total assured sum of the plan themselves leaving little to nothing for other members. This can lead to worse circumstances in case of an emergency. 

No Elderly-Special Value-Added Services

Health insurance plans for senior citizens not only come with special value-added services like health camps. These services are designed to help motivate seniors to be in good health and take additional measures to maintain it. Being on a family health insurance policy strips them of these benefits. Even if they are complementary services, benefits like health seminars and yoga camps can help elders maintain good health, which is what they require the most. 

What Should Be Done Instead?

Now that we have established why parents should not be included in a family health insurance policy, let’s figure out what other options can be pursued instead. Given below are your top choices for health insurance plans for your parents:

  • Senior Citizen Health Insurance Coverage: The first choice here is senior citizen health insurance. Senior citizen health insurance plans are made for people older than 60 years, or 65 in some cases. They are different from all other kinds of health insurance plans which are designed for children, adults or middle-aged people. A senior citizen health insurance plan will come with value-added benefits like health camps. This means these plans are designed to not only support the insured person when they are sick but also to help and motivate them to stay in good health. This is why you should always go for a senior citizen health insurance plan for your parents if they qualify the age-based eligibility criteria. 
  • Individual Health Insurance Plans: As the name suggests, these plans are designed for individuals and not families or groups. The benefits can be catered to suit your requirements individually which makes them perfect for parents who are still not in the senior citizen bracket. You can choose the coverage that is ideal for the health conditions your parents have and even adjust the assured sum. Individual plans are more flexible than family floater health insurance plans which makes them perfect for people requiring catered coverage. 

The Final Verdict 

Evidently, family floater health insurance plans are not the correct choice of health insurance cover for your parents. Neither will it offer the adequate coverage that your parents may need nor will it serve the purpose of saving funds. This is why it is advisable to get your parents a separate health insurance plan, according to their needs and eligibility. Compare health insurance options available and choose the best and the most cost-effective option. Switch to a senior citizen plan as soon as possible and make smart decisions to save some money along the way too.

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