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IRDAI removes age limit for health insurance, enhancing accessibility and protection

NEW DELHI, APRIL 21, 2024 (TBB BUREAU): In a move aimed at broadening the scope of the healthcare insurance market and providing comprehensive coverage, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has eliminated the age limit of 65 years for individuals purchasing health insurance policies.

This significant departure from conventional constraints is expected to make healthcare coverage more inclusive and accessible, offering protection against unforeseen medical expenses to individuals of all ages.

Under previous guidelines, individuals were restricted from purchasing new insurance policies beyond the age of 65. However, effective from April 1, the recent amendment allows anyone, irrespective of age, to procure a new health insurance policy.

A recent gazette notification from IRDAI outlined, “Insurers shall ensure that they offer health insurance products to cater to all age groups. Insurers may design products specifically for senior citizens, students, children, maternity, and any other group as specified by the Competent Authority.”

Furthermore, insurers are mandated to extend health policies to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, including severe ailments like cancer, heart or renal failure, and AIDS.

The notification also permits insurers to offer premium payment in installments, enhancing policyholder convenience. However, it restricts the provision of travel policies solely to general and health insurers.

Additionally, there is no cap on coverage for alternative systems of medicine (AYUSH) treatments, encompassing Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy, ensuring coverage up to the sum insured.

The proposed regulation emphasizes the establishment of a specialized channel to handle complaints and claims of senior citizens, ensuring a more tailored and responsive approach to their specific requirements.

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