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 Since you can’t predict when these benefits will be withdrawn, I want to buy individual health insurance cover for her Mom and Dad too.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?