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1 860 266 9966

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Dedicated NRI Helpdesk:

+91 22 6251 9966

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+91 22 6984 9300

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+91 11 6615 8748

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Exclusively for NRIs:

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+91 11 4473 0242

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Health Insurance For NRIs In India

NRIs living abroad or residing in India are eligible to buy health insurance in India just like Indian residents. However, a health policy purchased in India only covers medical expenses incurred in India. It does not cover overseas medical expenses unless the policy states otherwise.

A common misconception most people tend to have is that NRIs or Non-Residents of India can not buy health insurance in India. This is not true. NRIs residing or planning to stay in India for a long duration can purchase health policies to insure themselves and their families.
 

The application and documentation processes involved may be different, but that does not negate the fact that they can still apply to buy health insurance plans and claim medical insurance coverage under a policy.

Read on to learn more about health Insurance for NRIs and why you should get one on your next visit to India. 

Can NRIs Buy Health Insurance in India?

Yes. NRIs residing overseas can buy health insurance policies from India and get medical coverage under them. However, this medical coverage will only be restricted to the geographical borders of India.

Any medical expenses that occur outside of India will not be covered or reimbursed by medical insurance for NRIs unless their policy terms state otherwise. 

Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) Regulations on Health Insurance for NRIs

The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) is a law issued by the Indian Government to control the flow of foreign currency across Indian borders.
 

As per FEMA regulations, the claim amount payable under health insurance for NRIs can be paid in Indian rupees if the premiums have been paid in Indian rupees.

Claims outside India can be settled in foreign currency in case of global coverage under Indian insurers. The claim settlements done in foreign currency will only be based on the amount of premium paid in that foreign currency.
 

The claim payment can be made to the insured NRI's foreign bank account or the Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) account maintained by an authorised bank in India.

Why Should NRIs Buy Health Insurance in India?

  • Get Medical Coverage in India

    If you are already insured under a health insurance policy in your country of residence (e.g. UK, France, etc.), it may not cover the medical expenses incurred during your stay in India.
     

    This is because most insurance plans have a geographical limit (unless they specifically offer global covers). So, buying health insurance for NRIs in India during your stay can be beneficial as it will allow you to claim a reimbursement in case of any medical emergencies.

     

  • Proper Medical Coverage

    Some people are more prone to certain medical issues due to their health condition, lifestyle or their family's medical history. If you fall ill during your stay, you may be unable to claim these medical expenses in India with a foreign medical policy.
     

    So, buying health insurance for NRIs in India can help cover any medical costs and even hospitalisation costs for more serious ailments.

     

  • Get Long-Term Coverage for Multiple Visits

    If you travel to India multiple times a year, buying health insurance is something you cannot overlook. Opting for a long-term medical insurance policy will ensure you do not have to keep buying a new plan every time you visit.
     

    Moreover, long-term plans also have lower premiums, as most online insurers offer discounts for long-term medical policies.

     

  • Medical Insurance in India is Comparatively Cheaper

    Healthcare services are much cheaper in India when compared to the cost of healthcare overseas. This means you may have to pay comparatively lower premiums for Indian health policies when compared to the cost of medical insurance in your country of residence.

     

  • Enjoy Hassle-free Claim Settlement

    Health insurance claims for medical expenses incurred in India will be easier to settle with Indian insurance companies. This is because presenting proof and proper documentation will be easier, allowing for a more streamlined process and even access to cashless treatment facilities.  
     

    On the flip side, even if your foreign medical policy offers global coverage, the claims process may be more time-consuming simply due to the bureaucracy involved.

  •  

  • Get an Advantage on the Waiting Period

    If you are an NRI who plans to reside in India within the next few years, then buying health insurance in India today can be beneficial – especially if you want maternity, critical illness or pre-existing disease coverage.
     

    This is because most health insurance plans in India have a waiting period of 2 - 4 years for these covers.
     

    Buying medical insurance for NRIs in India before your move will allow you to complete the waiting periods easily so you can immediately get insurance benefits under these covers when you permanently shift to India.

How to Buy Medical Insurance for NRIs in India?

NRIs can easily buy health insurance online in India from plenty of online insurers. They simply need to visit the insurer's official website and choose their preferred plan. This entire process can be done fully online and in just a matter of minutes.

As for documentation, NRIs may be required to prove their Indian citizenship through valid Identity proof, address proof, recent ITRs, etc. Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) must present their passports to buy medical insurance for NRIs in India.
 

Lastly, always check if the online insurance provider is IRDAI-approved to mitigate the potential of fraudulent purchases. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has a list of verified health insurers on their official website you can check. 

Are there Specific Terms and Conditions Applicable to Health Insurance for NRIs in India?

  • Geographical Limits

    Most health insurance plans will only cover medical expenses incurred within India. Even if they offer global coverage, it is often limited to emergency medical expenses or life-threatening conditions like cancer treatment.
     

    Some may charge higher premiums due to the extended coverage and may even have a high in-built co-payment feature. Always read the policy wording carefully and check the geographical limits before buying any health insurance plans.

  •  

  • Limited Coverage

    Some health insurers will offer a limited coverage amount to NRIs as they present a higher risk of investment.
     

    It can be difficult for insurers to verify their authenticity, resulting in them only offering basic coverage limited to medical emergencies or offering them a limited number of services under their policy.  For example, you may not get benefits like free annual preventive health check-ups.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is no doubt that NRIs are free to purchase health insurance in India and claim medical coverage during their visits or residence. You can also easily find some of the best medical insurance in India for NRIs online.

General and Life Insurers in India have come a long way, and most have digitised their processes. Thereby allowing you to purchase policies and file claims, all with just a few clicks – and with little to no paperwork too! Along with health insurance, you can now buy the best life insurance policies in India to ensure sufficient financial support to your loved ones even in your absence.

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Tata AIA Life Insurance

A joint venture between Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. and AIA Group Ltd. (AIA),  Tata AIA Life Insurance  is one of the leading life insurance providers in India. We post everything you need to know about life insurance, tax savings and a variety of lateral topics such as savings and investments in this space. You can access and read a host of different blogs, articles and pages at the Tata AIA Life Insurance Knowledge Center or get in touch with us with any queries or questions!

View all posts by Tata AIA Life Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can NRIs buy life insurance policies in India?

Yes, NRIs and all PIOs (as defined by FEMA) living overseas can purchase life insurance policies in India, regardless of their citizenship status.

Can NRIs buy medical insurance for their parents living in India?

Yes, NRIs can buy medical insurance for their parents living in India. They can choose an individual or family floater plan per their parent's preference. If you are an NRI with parents over 60 years, you can buy a senior citizen health policy instead, as it provides better coverage.

Can NRIs buy medical insurance in India if they are already insured under a foreign insurer?

Yes. NRIs can buy health policies from Indian insurers even if they are already insured under a medical plan from a foreign insurer. Some of the best health insurance for NRIs in India even offer global coverage. 

Can NRIs claim income tax* benefits if they buy health insurance from India?

Yes, NRIs can claim tax* deductions under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, for health insurance policies purchased in India. Like Indian residents, they can claim tax deductions on their annual premium payments up to ₹25,000/₹50,000 per year. 

If you are an NRI and both your insured parents are over 60, you can claim deductions up to ₹1 lakh.

Disclaimers

  • Insurance cover is available under the product.
  • The products are underwritten by Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Ltd.
  • The plans are not a guaranteed issuance plan, and it will be subject to Company’s underwriting and acceptance.
  • For more details on risk factors, terms and conditions please read sales brochure carefully before concluding a sale.
  • This blog is for information and illustrative purposes only and does not purport to any financial or investment services and do not offer or form part of any offer or recommendation. The information is not and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular security or course of action.
  • Please know the associated risks and the applicable charges, from your Insurance agent or the Intermediary or policy document issued by the insurance company.
  • Every effort is made to ensure that all information contained in this blog is accurate at the date of publication, however, the Tata AIA Life shall not have any liability for any damages of any kind (including but not limited to errors and omissions) whatsoever relating to this material.
  •  Tax: *Income Tax benefits would be available as per the prevailing income tax laws, subject to fulfilment of conditions stipulated therein. Income Tax laws are subject to change from time to time. Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Ltd. does not assume responsibility on tax implications mentioned anywhere in this document. Please consult your own tax consultant to know the tax benefits available to you.