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Can we use our health insurance to cover the cost of Ayurvedic treatment if we are admitted to an Ayurvedic hospital?

Ayurveda is known as India’s very own healthcare for many decades. This is why Yash has always been very adamant to get ayurvedic treatment whenever he can. He is also very excited about the fact that the healthcare industry has evolved so much during the last few years.

Yash has also bought a new health insurance plan recently. The insurance plan comes with ayurvedic treatment benefits. However, Yash isn’t sure about a couple of things. First, can he get health insurance to cover ayurvedic treatment if he is admitted to an ayurvedic hospital? Also, why are insurance providers suddenly acknowledging the validity of traditional and alternative medicines?

Learning about Ayurveda

Before we can help you arrive at the answer to those questions, it is important for you to know what Ayurveda is. According to experts, Ayurveda is a 5,000 years old system. This system is focused on natural healing and has its origin in the Vedic culture of India.

Ayurveda was suppressed for years during British rule. But even at that time, one can find ayurvedic practitioners in the native land, India, and throughout the world! You might be surprised to know that Tibetan medicine and traditional Chinese medicine have their roots in Ayurveda!

Even early Greek medicine had embraced many concepts that were described in the original ayurvedic medical tests. It is also important to grasp here that Ayurveda is more than a system of treating illness.

Ayurveda is the science of life. It offers the body all that it needs to stay healthy and realize its full human potential. Ayurveda is known for providing guidelines on seasonal routines, daily routines, diet, behavior, and the proper use of our senses. It can be seen as a balanced and dynamic integration between the environment, body, mind, and spirit.

How Does Health Insurance and Ayurveda Mix?

Given the benefits of Ayurveda, it is not surprising that many people in India prefer ayurvedic medicines. These medicines are based on plants. It holds a certain allure to users and patients all across the globe.

It is true that only a few health insurance providers give ayurvedic treatment benefits to their policyholders. However, this is slowly gaining speed and popularity. Health insurance providers are increasing their niche segment by including traditional medicines in individual plans.

In most cases, the basic requirement for availing of ayurvedic treatment benefits is that the individual must be hospitalized in a recognized hospital. This benefit is also provided in family health insurance plans.

One can also find other traditional and alternative medicine benefits like Unani and homeopathy. As per the current reports, naturopathy is not covered in any health insurance policy as of now.

Are There Limitations of Ayurvedic Cover?

Yes, there are some limitations of ayurvedic cover. These limitations are:

  • The coverage is completely dependent on the insured
  • Ayurvedic treatment might only be provided with alternative medicine coverage
  • A cap on the ayurvedic treatment amount is also applicable. This cap can range from 7.5% to 25% of the total sum insured value
  • Ayurvedic treatments that focus on the rejuvenation of the body are not covered in many health insurance policies
  • Insurers often also charge a higher premium rate for plans that come with ayurvedic treatment benefits

Why Should I Opt for AYUSH Treatment Benefit?

You know that Yash is purchasing a health insurance plan with AYUSH and ayurvedic benefits. But why should you?

  • The total cost calculated for AYUSH treatment is often lower than any costs incurred due to allopathic treatment
  • AYUSH treatments can be very time-consuming. However, the treatments are very effective in the long run
  • AYUSH treatment option is available all across the globe
  • A health insurance policy for senior citizens is more likely to include an alternative treatment benefit
  • Ideal for treatments that are non-payable under the basic policy
  • Advantageous for individuals who are constantly and chronically suffering from diseases due to their lifestyle
  • It is the best solution for policyholders who are allergic to allopathic drugs, treatments, and medications
  • It is a type of natural treatment that has lower chances of side effects

What are the Exclusions Under AYUSH Treatment?

Yash was browsing through the details of his AYUSH benefit in his health insurance policy when he noticed that there can be some exclusions. He wants to learn what those exclusions can be.

  • The reimbursement of costs related to AYUSH treatment will only be considered if the treatment has been availed of at a government authorized treatment center or hospital
  • Treatment costs for only check-ups or evaluation are not covered
  • Treatment undertaken at a healthcare facility that is not approved and is not a hospital will not be covered

Apart from this, there are some other limitations of getting a health insurance policy with AYUSH benefits. These limitations are:

  • It can be very difficult to find the right practitioner to help and provide the correct treatment
  • There is a fear of misuse and abuse in terms of alternative treatment for the insurers
  • There is a lack of clarity and quality control when it comes to AYUSH treatments
  • When it comes to AYUSH treatments, there is a lack of a standard line of treatment
  • Most of these alternative treatments are outpatient. This does not help as most health insurance policies provide coverage for only in-patient treatments
  • Medically unnecessary treatments like prevention or rejuvenation treatments are not considered under AYUSH benefits
  • The patient has to be hospitalized for at least 24 hours before he or she can claim AYUSH benefits
  • The hospital has to be chosen very carefully
  • Some policies might even apply a co-pay plan for alternative treatments plans like AYUSH. This co-pay amount usually starts from 2-5% of the total amount
  • There can also be a sub-limit imposed on the room rent
  • Most health insurance providers do not offer cashless AYUSH treatments. In most cases, the amount is reimbursed to the patient at a later date

Weigh the Benefits and Purchase!

Yash has weighed both the benefits and challenges that will come with purchasing a health insurance policy with the AYUSH benefit. He strongly believes that it is worth it for him to get health insurance with AYUSH benefit. He has even made the purchase for a similar health insurance plan.

What have you done till now? Did you buy the health insurance policy with the ayurvedic treatment benefit yet?

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