Health Insurance for NRIs

You can be considered as a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) on two grounds. Firstly, if you reside for less than 182 days in India during the financial year and your total taxable income is below INR 15 lakh, you are classified as a Non-Resident Indian (NRI). Secondly, as per the Budget 2020, if your domestic income exceeds INR 15 lakh during the financial year and your stay is less than 120 days, you are categorized as an NRI.

Health plans for NRIs

As an NRI, you may often wonder if you are eligible to receive health coverage for seeking treatment in India. Yes, this is possible; however, there are no specific health plans available for NRIs.

When you apply for a health insurance plan in India, you need to consider some factors. These include the underwriting guidelines, geographical coverage, and other terms and conditions.

  • Geographical coverage

If you have health coverage under a plan purchased in India, the same will cover hospitalization expenses that are incurred in a domestic hospital. Therefore, if you buy medical insurance in India but seek treatment in an international facility, the domestic health plan will not cover these expenses.

  • Sum insured

Additionally, insurers may put certain limitations on the sum insured (SI) while issuing health policy for NRIs. Insurance companies perceive NRIs as high-risk policyholders. This is because confirming the facts provided during policy purchase is more difficult. Thus, there may be some restrictions on the SI.

  • Tax benefits

The rules related to tax deductions on mediclaim policies issued to NRIs are the same as those applicable for resident Indians. The premiums paid for procuring coverage for self, spouse, and parents are eligible for benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

International health plans

When you compare health insurance policies offered by various insurers for NRIs, you will see the geographical limitations are the same. If you want to enjoy the flexibility of seeking treatment abroad within the network hospitals, a global plan may be more advantageous. The benefits of such international health insurance policies include:

  • In-patient hospitalization across global hospitals
  • Post-hospitalization expenses for up to 30 days
  • Travel and accommodation expenses for you and an accompanying attendant
  • Organ donor expenses
  • International second e-opinion for critical conditions
  • Higher SI between INR 3 crore and INR 6 crore
  • No age limit on renewal
  • Repatriation expenses for mortal remains in case of an unfortunate event,

If you plan to reside abroad for more than three years, then you can avail of health coverage in the country of residence. However, if your stay is for a shorter period, it is advisable to retain the health policy in India.

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