Health Insurance Coverage for HIV Patients in India
Gone are the times when HIV was a rare and taboo condition. It is now a relatively common condition in the world due to its spread in the late 2000s. However, on the brighter side, medication and recovery of HIV are not impossible anymore. As modern medicines continue to advance, it is becoming easier to live a fulfilling and happy life with this condition.
In this article, we’ll discuss the right mindset to fight this battle against HIV, why insurance would help you fight the battle more efficiently, and the top three policies that you can equip yourself with!
The Right Mental Frame to Live with HIV
The first and foremost step to fighting a (not so) rare condition is to get into the right mindset! Positive thoughts lead to positive results. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that most HIV-fighters name positivity as their key weapon in the battle against the virus! Think about it! We grow up listening to adults who tell us why we’re not enough for what we want to achieve. Why we’re not strong enough or why we’re not intelligent enough or why we’re not pretty enough.
Imagine a world where people believe in themselves and they know the miracles they’re capable of! It is imperative that to fight this disease, we first fight the negativity in us! The biggest victories can only be achieved when we begin to fight the demons within us. This was at an ideological level, but, what can you do practically? Here are three practical steps you can take to become a more positive version of yourself.
- Create your own go-to circle of people. Do you have someone who fills you with positive, feel-good energy when you meet or talk to them? Make a list of all such people and spend time with them once a week.
- Do what you love! Humans spend a lot of time doing something just for the sake of money getting no joy in return. When we don’t get joy in return, we often are not able to contribute much either. Research has proven that people who do what they love or love what they do, live longer and happier lives.
- Engage and be a part of the Community: Scientists and supercentenarians have repeatedly emphasized the importance of feeling engaged and giving back to the community. How can you do that” By teaching, by learning, by celebrating little joys, by going out more! You will feel a sense of belonging and you’ll probably find a reason and purpose in life.
Why do you specifically need health insurance as an HIV patient?
Health insurance is one of the most important investments that you can make for you and your loved ones. After all, no one knows who might be the next victim of a life-threatening condition. Unfortunately, the costs of treating illnesses are as unexpected as the ailments themselves. Who hasn’t heard frightening tales about the infamous and shockingly high hospital bills? They are known to make huge dents in the life savings of many. A good health insurance plan can provide you financial and emotional security as well as peace of mind. Health insurance policies can either provide you cashless treatment (subject to specified conditions) or reimburse your medical costs.
3 Best Health Insurance Plans for HIV Patients
- Manipal Cigna Global Health Group Plan
- Max Bupa Health Premia Individual Health Insurance Plan
- Star Health Net Plus Plan
1. Manipal Cigna Global Health Group Plan
As the name suggests, this group policy works globally. So if you are a person who tends to travel a lot for work or non-work-related reasons, this plan will be helpful for you. It is a group policy but not necessarily for an employer-employee group. You can also cover your family and loved ones. Since HIV is a pre-existing condition, most insurers do not make adequate provisions for it. However, in this respect, this plan might surprise you. It is a premium plan for HIV positive people as it offers coverage of up to $ 10 Million. This plan also packs a variety of other benefits.
According to WHO data, approximately 800,000 deaths are reported each year due to suicides. It leads us to rethink the importance we give to our mental well-being. This plan understands that. It allows for Psychological and Psychiatric costs for you and your group. Many insurers do not provide such benefits. It can also be an ideal policy if you are planning a baby. It offers a maternity cover.
Additionally, this plan also provides a newborn cover for your little bundle of joy. Another impressive benefit of this plan is the cancer cover. Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world. It can happen to anyone and can be very difficult to cure. With the cancer cover, you can buy yourself protection and much-needed peace of mind. You can also rest easy for your other health expenses like dental and vision-related conditions. With the HIV cover of this plan, you can heave a sigh of relief.
2. Max Bupa Health Premia Individual Health Insurance Plan
This insurance should be a synonym for choice plurality as it offers not two but three options of choose from; the silver, gold, and platinum variations! The cover speaks for itself. Starting from the range of Rs.3-5 lakhs, it can be extended up to Rs.1-3 crore; one of the most comprehensive covers that a company can provide! Apart from the wide range of diseases it covers, it also covers the maternity costs of up to Rs.60,000. This means that you wouldn’t have to look around when you plan to have a family as well!
This insurance not only covers any accident costs but also provides international medical coverage! You can also get a waiver for a year if the insured person passes away or is diagnosed with a serious illness. What’s more? You can avail of diagnostic check-ups right from day one! It covers your hospitalization, organ transplants, emergency ambulances, pre as well as post-hospitalization expenses and day-care treatment.
However, you must be careful about what the policy does NOT cover. The policy does not cover any costs for diseases that occur during the waiting period. For pre-existing illnesses, the waiting period can be as long as 48 months. It also does not cover any self-inflicted injuries or suicide attempts.
3. Star Health Net Plus Plan
This policy is known to cover the tough conditions that other policies love to exclude! This is why it is relatively popular. From HIV to surgeries, you’re fully covered with this comprehensive policy. It also covers the costs of hospitalization, emergency ambulances, surgeon’s and specialist’s fee as well as pre and post hospitalization expenses. There is also no minimum age eligibility for this policy. It is specially tailored to meet the needs of HIV positive people. This policy will provide a lump sum payout if a person is diagnosed with AIDS. The coverage is under the HIV section (section I) and in-patient hospital costs under the Medical section (section II).
You can avail of this plan even if you already have HIV. However, the person wanting to be insured under this policy must not have reached the AIDS stage. An attractive benefit is the options you can choose from for your sum insured like Rs.30,000, or Rs.50,000. These options help you choose a price that you are willing and able to pay. You can also get cashless treatment from network hospitals specified with the policy. Unfortunately, if you are diagnosed with AIDS within 90 days of buying this policy, it will not be covered. In addition, your CD4 count at the time of purchasing the policy must be above 350.
Therefore, to conclude; gone are the days of stressing about HIV-AIDS. This is the age of medical advancements and miracles. Insurance covers for HIV can at least share your financial strain!
FAQs on Health Insurance for HIV Patients
My insurance company is denying me insurance cover just because I am HIV positive. What should I do?
Know your rights! Your insurance agent/company cannot deny you health insurance just because you are HIV positive. They are barred from doing so by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). So, if you have been discriminated against by the insurance company because of the disease you have, made sure that you inform the relevant authority and file a formal complaint through the proper channels. This might be a long fight, but it is a worthy fight as it benefits not only you but thousands of other patients like you, who may also have been discriminated against!
Should I still buy a cancer cover if I already have health insurance?
Having comprehensive health insurance is important. However, it may not be your best defence while combating cancer. Treatment of cancer can prove to be expensive. Your health cover may not even be able to cover even a fraction of the costs associated with chemotherapy and medications. There are also many other cancer treatment options that are generally not covered by regular health insurance. This is why it is advisable to get a cancer cover in addition to your existing health plan.
Why are there no HIV-specific insurance policies in India yet?
We understand the disappointment you must be feeling right now and it's only fair! On the brighter side, we’re slowly moving towards a more equitable society! IRDAI is working hard to ensure that no HIV patient is discriminated against! You must also approach different NGOs that can help you or call the national HIV helpline. You can also write letters and emails to concerned authorities letting them know of any positive or negative experience that you have been subjected to. With the help of other such patients, you can also get the government to establish some ground rules regarding the best practices of dealing with HIV positive patients. Don’t hesitate to write directly on the PMO website. The PM has consistently encouraged people to share such issues and normally the response has also been quite quick.