Does your health insurance cover Covid19?
Updated: Sep 1
Coronavirus has turned the world topsy-turvy. With over 4.6 million cases worldwide and 85,940 cases in India (at the time of writing this article), there is no doubt that this health scare has got everyone checking their health insurance policies.
The expected cost of treatment for COVID-19 is estimated to be anywhere between ₹ 5 - 10 Lakhs in a Tier 1 city, at a private hospital depending on the severity of the patient's condition.
Given these high costs, it is essential to know how your current health insurance policy can come to your rescue. Here is everything you need to know if you already have a health insurance policy in place :
1. Does my policy cover COVID-19?
Yes, as per the directive of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA), all health insurance policies cover the treatment of Covid-19. The maximum amount covered will be as per the policy cover taken. All mentioned terms and conditions shall remain the same. Treatment cost, along with the pre and post-hospitalisation costs, will be covered as specified in your policy.
2. Will my COVID testing be covered?
Health insurance companies will not cover diagnostic tests or OPD expenses. To be eligible for the claim, one has to be hospitalised for at least 24 hours, having tested positive for the COVID-19.
3. Is the quarantine cost covered?
Yes, quarantine costs are covered with specific terms and conditions such as undertaken at only prescribed centres, as per a doctor’s recommendation, no pre-existing disease, and few others. Make sure to check with your service provider on the specifics. Home quarantine costs are not covered within health insurance policies.
If you don’t have an existing policy and are now looking for a new one, here are a few things you must know :
1) Your new health insurance policy will cover COVID-19, after the mentioned waiting period in the policy, i.e. a minimum of 30 days. The waiting period is the time duration specified by the insurance company, only after which the company accepts any insurance claims by the policyholder. The waiting period exists to ensure that policyholder does not claim for pre-existing diseases.
2) The new policy will provide cover only once they are sure of no pre-existing COVID infection. This may require them to ask for details regarding travel history, or any suspected COVID-19 related quarantine, and the like.
3) There have also been some COVID-19 specific insurance plans launched in the market.
Would these be suitable for you?
The pandemic specific plans are best seen as a supplement since they provide a lump sum amount (fixed-benefit) in case one is diagnosed with COVID-19. These plans have a shorter waiting period of 14-15 days. However, if the policyholder is diagnosed with the disease or infection within this waiting period, the policy will not cover it.
Some of the popular policies include ICICI Lombard – COVID 19 Protection Cover, Future Generali Group Insurance and Star Novel Coronavirus by Star Health Alliance. Before purchasing, make sure you read all the exclusions and inclusions carefully or speak to an insurance expert.
It is better to take a regular health insurance policy for your family and yourself, which provides complete coverage across all possible ailments, not just COVID-19.
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