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Health Insurance for NRIs

More and more Indians are beginning to explore education and employment opportunities overseas. Moving abroad can be a challenging experience, and you need to think about issues such as steady finances, family stability, and health security. Linked to all these problems, a major concern or priority for NRIs is health insurance, especially if you plan on moving back or splitting your time between India and abroad for a year. The process of getting insurance for NRIs involves questions about eligibility, best-suited policies, benefits and so on. Finding the best medical insurance for an NRI citizen in India can be daunting. However, with a few guidelines, this can be made simpler, so let’s understand how to get the best health insurance for NRIs in India.

Benefits of Choosing Health Insurance for NRIs

  • Sufficient Insurance Coverage

As an individual who has lived abroad for a while, you might be susceptible to certain ailments during your visit to India. To make sure you do not have to bear any out-of-pocket expenses, opting for health insurance plans for NRIs in India can be ideal! Such a policy offers sufficient coverage to satisfy your healthcare requirements.

  • Completing the Waiting Period

If you are planning on coming back and settling in India, why should you give up the chance of completing the waiting period? By opting for health insurance in India for NRIs, you can finish the waiting period and avail coverage for any specific medical conditions or pre-existing diseases.

  • Tax Benefits

Did you know that you are eligible for tax benefits on the premium paid towards health insurance for NRIs? Well, you read that right! Based on your tax slab, you can claim tax benefits on the premium paid, under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, as per the old tax regime.

How to Apply for NRI Health Insurance in India

Although the application process for medical insurance for NRIs may differ from one insurer to another, the procedure isn’t as simple as that of a resident Indian. So, here are the steps to purchase one of the best health insurance plans for NRIs in India:

 

Step 1: Get in touch with an insurance provider that offers medical insurance in India for NRIs. You can contact the insurance company via call or email.

 

Step 2: Understand the eligibility criteria for the insurance policy and provide the necessary documents.

 

Step 3: Choose a suitable health insurance policy. You might be required to undergo a pre-policy medical test depending on the insurance company.

 

Step 4: Review the plan details and the terms and conditions of the plan.

 

Step 5: Complete the premium payment process.

 

You shall receive the health insurance policy document soon! Ensure to check the details to avoid any issues in the long term.

Eligibility Criteria for Buying Health Insurance for NRIs in India

There are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled while buying health insurance for NRIs in India. Furthermore, NRIs are also eligible to purchase an insurance policy even if they are already covered under a plan overseas. So, here are the following documents to get a suitable health policy in India:

 

  • Copies of proof of residence

  • Details of income tax returns

  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) need to submit their passport

Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) Regulation

As an NRI seeking health insurance coverage in India, you must familiarise yourself with the rules before purchasing a plan. In terms of health insurance, here are a few aspects that the FEMA regulation deals with:

 

  • Directions for the repatriation of the health insurance claim amount in foreign currency.

  • Provisions to opt for health insurance provided by the insurance company in the country of residence.

Things to Know Before Buying Medical Insurance for NRI Citizens

As a prospective health insurance buyer, there are a few points that you should keep in mind:

  • Migrating Abroad with an Existing Insurance Plan in India

If you already have a valid health insurance plan in India but have to go abroad for a duration of time, you can follow one of these few routes. If you are certain about your return after a fixed period of time, you can continue with your existing plan in India. However, if you are uncertain about the duration of your stay abroad, it is wise to purchase one in a foreign country.

  • Returning to India After 3 to 4 Years

If you are set on returning to India after 3 to 4 years, then it is preferable to opt for extensive insurance coverage abroad. As the duration is long before you return back home, it might not be ideal to purchase a health insurance policy in India. Instead, make sure to get a comprehensive health insurance plan in the country of residence.

  • Returning to India Before 3 Years

In case you are travelling abroad for a year or plan to return sooner than 3 years, then you must get medical insurance for NRIs in India. You can avoid the hassle of getting insured after coming back when you have other things to take care of. By the time you return, the waiting period for pre-existing ailments and specific conditions shall be almost complete.

Health Insurance for NRI Senior Citizens

NRI health insurance in India also covers senior citizens and ensures their insurance requirements are met. So, you can go ahead and purchase the right health insurance for NRI parents in India. However, it is recommended to get a senior citizen health insurance plan for individuals above 60 years and avoid adding them to family floater plans. The senior citizen policies are customised to suit their healthcare needs and shall have a cost-effective premium rate when compared to floater plans.

Health Insurance Tax Benefits for NRIs

Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, NRIs can avail a health insurance tax deduction on the premium paid towards the policy under the old tax regime. This benefit is available even if you are abroad. You can claim the premium paid not only for your policy but also for the plans bought for your parents, spouse and dependent children. However, you must note that tax benefits are only available on the income earned in India.

 

Moreover, you can claim an income tax deduction of ₹25,000 paid for the health plan per financial year. The tax benefit increases to ₹50,000 for insurance purchased for senior citizen parents. So, you can easily save on taxes while securing extensive insurance coverage.

Difference Between Health Insurance & Mediclaim Plans for NRIs

A mediclaim insurance plan is the one that only covers the expenses arising out of hospitalisation for a medical condition. Whereas a health insurance plan provides comprehensive coverage to policyholders and covers the expenses incurred before and after hospitalisation as well. Unlike health insurance, mediclaim doesn’t offer any add-on covers to avail additional features under your policy.

 

Although some might use mediclaim and health insurance synonymously, they certainly aren’t the same. Hence, we advise you to check with your insurance company to get the best medical insurance in India for NRIs.

When Should You Avoid Getting Health Insurance for NRIs?

Even though having health insurance coverage in India is crucial while you are overseas, there are times when you should avoid getting insurance as an NRI. So, let’s understand some scenarios when it is best to not get health insurance for NRIs in India:

 

  • If you visit India just for a few days while your travel insurance covers any medical risks that may arise during the trip, you shouldn’t opt for health insurance for NRIs.

  • In case you are planning on staying abroad for a long time or have no surety of returning to India, then it is better to get extensive coverage overseas and not in India.

  • If you have already purchased comprehensive coverage abroad, you can avoid getting medical insurance for NRIs in India.

Key Takeaways

Now that you have understood the whats and ifs of health insurance for NRIs in India, here are some key things to remember from this article:

 

  • NRIs can buy health insurance for themselves as well as for their dependents and enjoy tax benefits as per the IT Act, 1961.

  • Non-Resident Indians should be secured under at least one type of health policy while visiting India to avoid out-of-pocket expenses.

  • It is preferable to opt for health insurance in case you are planning on returning to India after a couple of years.

To Sum It Up

If you have plans of moving abroad for a few years, and then returning to India to settle there, having a health insurance plan in India can be useful. Regardless of which policy structure you want to opt for, you can find the best solutions for all your insurance needs on Bajaj MARKETS. Compare policies, analyse benefits and find the health insurance plan that fulfils all your requirements today!

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FAQs Related to Health Insurance for NRIs

  • ✔️Why are NRI applicants considered riskier by insurance providers in India?

    Given that NRIs do not reside primarily in India, Indian insurance providers may find it hard to settle claims efficiently and corroborate the authenticity of claims. Hence, NRI applications undergo a stricter approval process as the applicants are considered riskier.

  • ✔️If I am moving abroad for a few years, should I buy a new health plan in a foreign country?

    If you are certain about your return after a fixed period of time, you can continue with your existing plan in India, or buy medical insurance for NRIs.

  • ✔️What are the tax benefits available for NRI health insurance plans?

    Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, NRIs can claim a tax deduction on the health insurance premium as per the old tax regime. You must note that this tax deduction is subject to changes in tax laws.

  • ✔️Are NRIs eligible for health insurance in India?

    There are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled when it comes to buying health insurance for NRIs in India. This may change based on the insurance company and the type of health coverage you are purchasing.

  • ✔️Can NRIs apply for health insurance in India?


    Yes. NRIs can easily apply for health insurance plans in India. You shall find various insurance providers offering medical insurance for NRIs in India.

  • ✔️Can I buy health insurance for NRI parents in India?

    Yes, you can purchase health insurance for NRI parents in India as well. The process is similar to the steps to get health insurance for self.

  • ✔️Is it worth having health insurance in India?

    Yes. Opting for health insurance in India for NRIs is worth it as you can gain medical care coverage while visiting the country. Furthermore, you can complete the waiting period for certain facilities or treatments and enjoy insurance coverage after you return to India.