10 Most Asked Questions before Buying Coronavirus Health Insurance
When the COVID pandemic struck, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) instructed health insurers to create COVID-focused plans that provide citizens full-fledged cover and support.
If you don’t already have coronavirus insurance, we suggest you start looking for one right away to get yourself insured under a suitable health plan.
To help you with this, here are some of the most frequently asked questions on coronavirus health insurance to guide you in right direction:
- Does my existing health insurance policy provide coronavirus coverage?
- Should I opt for coronavirus health cover even though my existing health insurance provides coverage? Why?
- What is the waiting period, and how it is applicable in coronavirus health insurance policies?
- What is covered under coronavirus health insurance?
- What are the expenses not covered by coronavirus health insurance?
- Does coronavirus health cover allow me to get better treatment options?
- Is homecare, cashless, and reimbursement facility available under the policy?
- What is the difference between Coronavirus Rakshak and Coronavirus Kavach policy?
- What are things a policy purchaser needs to consider while buying a coronavirus insurance policy.
- Name the top 5 companies offering the coronavirus health insurance plan
Let’s take a look at these questions now:
- Does my existing health insurance policy provide Coronavirus coverage?
Yes, your existing health insurance plan purchased before the outbreak of the pandemic does cover Coronavirus. Since Coronavirus is not a pre-existing disease, coverage is provided for the condition. At the beginning of this phase, people were confused, and thus on 4th March 2020, the IRDAI declared that all health insurers need to cover Coronavirus expenses under their issued policies. The limits and expenses covered under the plan may be subjective which means it varies from one insurance company to another. In case the insured needs to guarantee their coverage or put it in force they need to inform the issuer company. A waiting period needs to be served before adding any condition to the overall coverage being offered. Basic guidelines of covering hospitalization expenses and more were led down by the IRDAI.
- Should I opt for Coronavirus health cover even though my existing health insurance provides coverage? Why?
It may appear pointless to have an additional Coronavirus coverage plan, but it is important to keep in mind that a focused policy for the disease will provide full-fledged and additional coverage. The Coronavirus insurance plans that are newly launched cover all expenses related to COVID-19 expenses, whereas the coverage provided by regular health policies is restricted and covers the costs only if the insured gets hospitalized or has a certain Outpatient department (OPD) benefits. The coverage under regular plans is subject to various terms and conditions thereby, not guaranteeing complete coverage. If you have purchased health insurance after the outbreak of covid-19, the insurance company will not be covering Coronavirus expenses.
- What is the waiting period, and how it is applicable in Coronavirus health insurance policies?
Yes, most policy providers set the clause that the customer needs to serve a waiting period. The no. of days that need to be served before receiving coverage from the insurance plan is 15 to 30 days. The final decision of the time frame is decided and varies from one insurance provider to another. The main motive of including the waiting period as a clause is to not let people take undue advantage of the coverage being offered. If you are already suffering from Coronavirus (God forbid) while purchasing the policy, the insurance company will not provide any financial support in that case.
- What is covered under Coronavirus health insurance?
The pandemic situation that the entire world is facing is not likely to go away soon. Coronavirus is a highly infectious disease and is spread worldwide. Therefore, getting yourself treated is not cheap and can dent your finances. The various benefits included under the Coronavirus health insurance policy are in-patient hospitalization, pre-and post-hospitalization expenses, AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy) treatments, homecare expenses, and ambulance charges too. Some insurance providers also allow individuals to opt for the daily cash benefit option.
- What are the expenses not covered by Coronavirus health insurance?
Every insurance contract has some exclusions, in the same way, Coronavirus-specific insurance policies have certain expenses that are not covered. To name some of the exclusions, they are:
- Home quarantine: A Coronavirus health insurance plan does not cover the insured in case they are opting for home quarantine. It means that the expenses incurred on treatment from home are not covered under the plan. It varies from one insurance plan to another.
- Quarantine centre: If the policyholder gets themselves admitted to a quarantine centre that is unrecognized by the insurance company, then the insurer will not accept the claim.
- Other diseases: If the policyholder is suffering from pre-existing diseases and while treating covid-19 if any complication arises thereby; increasing the expense, then the insurance company will not grant those costs. If the waiting period for covering such diseases is served then the insurance company will grant those costs.
- Doctor’s recommendation: To get oneself treated by getting hospitalized, the policyholder must receive a qualified doctor’s recommendation. Without that , the insurance company will not grant any claim.
- Does Coronavirus health cover allow me to get better treatment options?
Yes, a focused policy for any particular disease allows an individual to opt for better quality treatment. A Coronavirus is a new disease that comes up in the world, a lot of money will be spent to research the disease and find the cure. Here the treatment costs for the same will increase and one needs to build a strong base for getting themselves covered. Coronavirus health insurance option provides you an instrument that guarantees financial support.
- Is home-care, cashless, and reimbursement facility available under the policy?
Yes, a Coronavirus-specific insurance plan provides homecare, cashless as well as reimbursement facility under their policy. You must note that home care that is home quarantine is covered under specific insurance plans and is highly subjective to the policy issuer. It usually depends on the inclusions and exclusions of the policy you buy, and therefore you need to keep that in mind and read the fine print. A cashless facility can be opted for if you get yourself admitted to a hospital that is included in the insurance company’s network. The reimbursement option is viable in case the insured does not get admitted to a network hospital, due to emergencies.
- What is the difference between Coronavirus Rakshak and Coronavirus Kavach policy?
Coronavirus Rakshak Plan: Under this plan, the insurer will guarantee 100% reimbursement of the hospitalization bill. The policy provides complete coverage to the policyholder based on certain terms and conditions. If the insured is hospitalized for a minimum of 24 hours, then the insurance plan will come into existence, and a claim will be granted.
Coronavirus Kavach Plan: This plan is an indemnity type of plan and covers the billed expenses up to the sum insured limit. The policy covers all the expenses once the insured has completed minimum of 24 hours of hospitalization. The claim made has to be following the actual hospitalization bills only. Coronavirus Kavach plan can be issued to individuals as well as families thereby offering indemnity.
Both the policies are issued on a short-term basis and do not have the option of lifelong renewability.
- Things policy purchasers need to consider while buying a Coronavirus insurance policy
The 3 most important components that need to be considered under the Coronavirus insurance policy are:
- Sum insured – The widespread Coronavirus has made the disease deadly thereby, not restricting the issues related to breathlessness and fever. The disease has more harmful effects that cause internal damage to organs. Therefore, while purchasing the Coronavirus health insurance policy you shall not compromise on cost and get a heavy sum insured.
- Coverage – The coverage aspect needs to make up for a full-fledged safety. It means that while purchasing such a plan you need to look into the inclusions and exclusions of the policy to get a better understanding.
- Waiting period – This clause is included by the insurance company to avoid people from taking undue advantage. This aspect plays an important role as after you serve the waiting period it will help you receive optimal coverage.
- Name the top 5 companies offering the Coronavirus health insurance plan.
Some of the top companies to consider for buying a Coronavirus policy are as under:
- IFFCO Tokio.
- Bajaj Allianz.
- Future Generali.
- New India Assurance.
- Oriental Insurance.
To conclude, it is almost mandatory that one should understand all the aspects of an instrument that one is purchasing and thereby fulfil their investment objective of having financial safety.