Does Your Existing Health Insurance Plan Offer Omicron Cover?
Mr. Devansh Wasekar (65-years-old) lives in Pune with his wife Mrs. Swathi Wasekar (60-years-old). After seeing the devastating scenario of the COVID-19 during the second wave, Mr. Wasekar purchased COVID-19 insurance plans last year to enhance their protection. Moreover, they are also fully vaccinated. But over the past few days, Omicron cases are grabbing the nation like anything. This new COVID-19 variant has again raised concerns all over the world. Now, Mr. Wasekar is thinking about whether his existing health insurance plan will offer coverage for Omicron treatment or not. Like Mr. Wasekar, many people are worried about whether their COVID insurance policies will support Omicron or not.
The vaccines play an imperative role in controlling and spreading the COVID-19 viruses, including Omicron. But everyone should purchase adequate health insurance to increase their protection and safety against this lethal coronavirus. If you already purchased health insurance for COVID-19, you must check thoroughly to ensure whether you will be covered in case of any healthcare contingency.
The omicron variant (officially known as B.1.1.529) was discovered in November in several southern African nations. Omicron is the new variant of concern due to its multifarious mutations. Because of these mutations, this variant is highly transmissible and also invades immunity. Several studies also suggest that Omicron has increased the risk of reinfection and even those who are fully vaccinated may get infected with this variant.
Omicron Health Insurance
Though the Omicron variant has increased our fear and anxiety manifolds, the important news is all existing health insurance policies will offer coverage for this new COVID-19 variant. All existing health indemnity policies will bear your hospitalization expenditures due to infectious diseases, including the COVID-19 (irrespective of the variant). All standalone COVID-19 health insurance policies (Corona Kavach, Corona Rakshak, etc.) will also offer coverage against this new variant as the base of the policy. These policies will offer the same coverage and benefits as the delta and other variants.
According to the guidelines of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA), all health insurance packages and standalone COVID-19 policies will offer coverage for the treatment of the new variant. The new variant is not any new disease; rather, it’s an updated form of the existing virus.
All guidelines that were issued related to the COVID-19 policies will also be applicable to the new variant. Any hospitalization costs related to this new Omicron variant, its treatment, after effects and other related treatment costs will be considered as part of all health insurance plans. Policies like the Bajaj Allianz hospital cash plan can be very useful in the present scenario.
A person needs to remember certain parameters to make his/her existing health insurance plan apt for the present situation. The sum insured amount of the plan will be adequate to meet all the expenses of the treatments. Depending on the severity of the patient, the treatment costs may increase manifolds. Thus, everyone should opt for the right health insurance policies that will help them to cope up with the treatment expenses, including hospitalization, pre-and-post treatment costs, and many more.
The experts also recommend a person should purchase comprehensive health insurance plans that will cover a spectrum of diseases. Because the COVID-19 is a new disease and its implications are still unknown to healthcare experts. During the second wave of the COVID-19, many patients were infected with black fungus. Thus, everyone should go for a health insurance plan that covers all types of diseases like COVID-19 and its after-effects as well.
According to the IRDAI’s September 2021 circular, all COVID-19 specific health policies are available till March 31, 2022. If a person wants to purchase a COVID-19 specific insurance policy along with his/her existing health insurance plan, he/she can go for it. The person can avail of the COVID-specific policy for his home isolation treatment and also enjoy hospital cash benefits. After some days, if he develops any complications, then he can utilize his indemnity policy plan. However, people who think that their sum insured amount is not adequate to cover all the treatment expenses of the COVID-19 or don’t want to utilize their coverage for the COVID-19 treatment can purchase any COVID-specific health insurance plans.
Omicron in India
At present, India has recorded 3007 Omicron cases. Out of the total Omicron, cases reported so far, 1,199 people have recovered or migrated. Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of 876 cases, followed by Delhi at 465, Karnataka 333, Rajasthan 291, Kerala 284, and Gujarat 204. On 7th January 2022, the Union Health Ministry made a 7 days quarantine mandatory for all international travelers (irrespective of their negative RT-PCR report in the airports). They will need to undergo an RT-PCR test on their 8th day of arrival in India. To combat Omicron, India has uplifted the speed of vaccination and has administered more than 154 crore vaccines. The vaccination campaign for kids aged between 15 – 18 years is also going on from 3rd January 2022. Within these 5 days, more than 1.5 crore kids were vaccinated against the COVID-19.
To control the curb of this new COVID-19 variant and other variants, both vaccination and health insurance plans for omicron are mandatory. At present, all existing health insurance policies (including the standalone ones) will offer coverage for this new Omicron variant. If you have not yet purchased any health insurance policy, stop wasting time and purchase the best health insurance coverage for the omicron variant to manage the financial burden in case you get infected by this variant.