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Has IRDAI eliminated 65-year-age regulatory cap on health insurance?

Updated: Apr 23rd, 2024

The internet has been abuzz with the news of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) removing the age provisions on the health insurance, claiming that the regulatory body has removed the age cap of 65 for health insurance. However, digging deeper, it emerges that there had never been an  age gap to begin with.

The confusion may have stemmed from the regulations by IRDAI on Apr 1, 2024, which did not mention the age provisions for health insurance policies. The move was conceived as IRDAI removing the ‘age cap’ for the health insurances.

However, those claims may be misleading as the health insurance regulations from IRDAI in 2016 read, “All health insurance policies shall ordinarily provide for an entry age of at least up to 65 years.”

In the new regulations, the entry age has not been mentioned, leading many to believe that the age cap has been removed.

This regulation from 2016, however,  clearly does not talk about any age cap. It just says that regular health insurance policies should be provided at least till the age of at least 65. Even after that, companies cannot outright reject an applicant solely on age.

According to an insurance provider, “The insurance companies, especially the public-run companies, used to provide the health insurances to people well above 65, till 70-75. The private companies, at times, were hesitant, but the government-run companies would provide the health insurance.”

In other words, some companies offered health insurance to people aged above 65, even before the new regulations.

The insurance companies, however, still can dictate whom to insure and what are the premium prices. The 65-year cap cannot be removed as there were no age-related restrictions before this.

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