Health Insurance Cover for Your Parents: Convincing Them Really Isn’t an Easy Task!

by Vinaya HS on January 12, 2011

in Finance

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Out of the three components of my first resolution, perhaps the toughest one is buying health insurance cover for our parents. It’s easy to increase my emergency fund (save more each month). It’s easy to stay out of debt (don’t spend money that’s not mine). But it’s close to impossible to buy health insurance cover for your parents.

Actually, buying isn’t the issue. Convincing is.

Here’s the issue. Most health insurance policies require your parents to undergo medical tests if they are over 45-years of age. Most parents, however, refuse to undergo medical tests citing various reasons. Catch-22. The problem is more psychological than it is real. Reasons for not undergoing a medical test range from “Can’t you see that there’s nothing wrong with me? I am completely fit and fine. Look for a policy without a medical test.” to “I don’t want to undergo a medical test. I don’t trust doctors these days.” And parents can get quite stubborn. :-)

Here’s our situation. D currently has excellent health insurance cover for her parents through her work. Since you can’t predict when these benefits will be withdrawn, I want to buy individual health insurance cover for her Mom and Dad too. Mom is presently 56 and fit and fine. :-) Dad turns 60 this April and he has the non-serious type of diabetes. Mom has only one answer to the question on medical tests: “NO.” Dad is open to at least exploring the idea of a medical test but given the fact that he has diabetes, there are not too many health insurance policies on offer.

I had the same problem when I wanted to buy health insurance cover for my mother a few years back. Even she had only one answer to the question on medical tests: “NO.” Finally, I bought a policy that didn’t require a medical test (implies high premium, low cover, co-pay, lots of ifs and buts).

We’ve tried every trick in the book. For a couple of them, we received responses that straightaway classify under “emotional blackmail.” So, here’s what we have finally decided:

  • For Dad, we’ll buy a health insurance policy that doesn’t require a medical test as soon as he turns 60 this April. I’ve settled on this policy.

  • For Mom, we’ll continue to try convincing her. If nothing works, we have no option but to wait for a few more years and buy the same policy as we did for Dad.

How about you? Have you ever had to convince your parents for undergoing a medical test so that you could buy health insurance cover for them?

Thanks for reading this article. I'd love to hear your opinion. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts. I frequently write new articles that also cover several other aspects of personal finance including credit cards, financial goals, health insurance, income tax, life insurance, mutual funds, retirement planning, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Anoop January 12, 2011 at 12:58 AM

Yes… I’ve desperately tried to convince my parents for an Insurance policy, though both of them are covered by their employers and also mine.. I still wanted to have an additional cover separately, its never easy is it?, both of them refuse to budge saying they are already covered and don’t see the reason for an additional cover, but they rarely understand my concern.. I want to read through the policy you selected for D’s parents & see if I can fit my dad he’s really fit and healthy but my mom suffers from non-serious diabetes too.. I want to hook up some policy which is a wise one..

Anoop January 12, 2011 at 1:09 AM

Just a few questions..
a) The premium you pay for the policy you’ve settled for is it monthly or quarterly?
b) Do they have any money back policy during maturity & if insurance is not claimed?
c) This policy is only for 9 years meaning from 60 to 69, what next after 69? do they have renewal under the same scheme?

Ashutosh January 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Thankfully my mom did not require too much convincing, she agreed after a 15 mins discussion :)

Vinaya HS January 12, 2011 at 2:40 PM


a. The premium is annual.

b. Nope. Pure health insurance doesn’t come with such a guarantee.

c. Yes. If you read the terms and conditions, it does say: “Guaranteed renewals beyond 69 years.”

Vinaya HS January 12, 2011 at 2:41 PM


Wonderful! What points/facts did you put forth?

Ashutosh January 12, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Emotional Blackmail to start with. And once she was tuned-in and ready to listen, explained her the benefits. Also, the fact that, few years back I had availed cashless mediclaim facility from my employer for a minor hospitalization, sealed the deal.

Vinaya HS January 12, 2011 at 3:27 PM


Nice! By the way, which policy did you opt for and why? Hope you don’t mind my asking. Thought it’d be useful for other readers.

Ashutosh January 12, 2011 at 3:35 PM

ICICI Prudential (for two years)

pattu January 12, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Its best to find out how much the premium will be loaded if someone above 60 makes a claim. If I am not wrong loading can be upto 200%

Sandriano January 13, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Hi Vinaya,

Did you consider any of following while zeroing on Star Health Insurance? New India, Oriental, United India, etc.,


Vinaya H S January 15, 2011 at 9:27 AM


No. I’m afraid I didn’t. Do you know if they’re offering any similar policies worth considering?

nagaraj 9840047520 May 1, 2012 at 8:28 AM

the new india assurance co ltd have senior citizen policy

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