Top Up Health Insurance And Mediclaim Policy Cover Against Covid-19
After a week-long stay at the hospital, when Ramesh’s 57-year-old mother was shifted to the ICU, he had already exhausted most of his savings. He was desperately running from pillar to post to raise more money for the treatment. His friends and family tried to help as much as possible, and thankfully Ramesh could pay for his mother’s treatment and ensure she was alright soon. Though his mother is better now, Ramesh has understood that having a health insurance plan is nothing less than a basic necessity, now more than ever.
Has the second wave of Covid, made you doubt your existing health insurance plan as well? Are you also concerned that if you fall prey to this disease, your health plan may not be adequate, keeping in mind the high cost of the treatments and long hospitalisation? If these thoughts have been looming over you and are making you nervous, you probably need to think about the options you may have. Whether you are buying your first health insurance plan or are keen to increase your existing coverage, there are some simple and pocket-friendly alternatives that you can explore.
July 2020 saw some major transformation in the Indian health insurance sector. Under the guidelines of the Insurance Research and Development Authority of India, IRDAI, it was made mandatory for all health insurance companies to offer Covid-specific health plans. These plans are:
- Corona Rakshak Policy
- Corona Kavach Policy
Designed to help people deal with the expenses on hospitalisation due to Covid, both these plans have proven to be helpful in letting people get the treatment without worrying about the big bills. Earlier in the year, Arogya Sanjeevani Policy was also introduced. This is a standard health insurance policy that offers a wide health insurance cover in an affordable way. These steps taken by the regulator have a positive contributor in assuring that medical aid is well within reach of the common man.
Apart from this, most health insurance companies have also introduced top-ups, add-ons and other insurance products that can help you in getting the right coverage for yourself and your loved ones. These options can help you in shielding your finances and dealing with a medical emergency in a more relaxed way. Whether you already have a health insurance plan or are planning to buy one, go through the multiple choices that you have.
Let us take a look at these plans and products in detail, as once you understand what they mean and what coverage they offer, you would be able to make a well-informed decision. Make sure you go through these options in detail. Before you finalise, read the policy documents carefully so that you can choose the plan/ product that suits you the best.
- Corona Rakshak Policy
Introduced by the IRDAI, Corona Rakshak Policy is a fixed benefit health insurance plan that offers you a lump sum payout if you are diagnosed covid positive and are prescribed hospitalisation for over 72 hours. It is a single premium policy which means that you need to pay the premium only at the time of purchase. The amount that you receive as the payout can be utilised to pay for the hospitalisation, home treatment or as a cover for the loss of income due to covid. The main features of the policy are:
- The plan offers sum insured from INR 50,000 to INR 2.5 lakhs, in the multiples of 50,000
- After your diagnosis from a government recognised diagnostic centre, if your doctor advises a hospital stay of 24 hours or more, you will be eligible for a claim
- The plan can be bought for 3½ months, 6½ months and 9½ months
- There is a waiting period of 15 days from the date of purchase
- Individuals between 18 to 65 years can purchase this policy on an individual basis
- Corona Kavach Policy
An affordable health plan Corona Kavach Policy offers you covid-specific coverage in case you require hospitalisation for 24 hours or more.
- This policy is available on a family floater and an individual basis
- In-patient expenses such as room rent, nursing, boarding, doctors’ fee, OT charges, blood, oxygen, PPE kits, ICU and ICCU charges etc are covered
- The policy also covers emergency covid-related transport of the insured up to INR 2,000
- Another big advantage of this plan is the home care treatment coverage, which includes diagnostic tests, medicines and nursing charges. This benefit can be availed up to 14 days during the term of the policy
- This is a short-term plan available for tenures of 3½ months, 6½ months and 9½ months
- In-patient treatment under AYUSH alternate treatments is covered
- You can choose a sum insured between INR 50,000 to INR 5 lakhs
- You can raise a cashless claim or request reimbursement
- Arogya Sanjeevani Policy
Launched by the IRDAI, Arogya Sanjeevani Policy provides you and your family a health cover up to INR 5 lakhs.
Being a standard health plan the features and benefits offered by the plan are similar across different health insurance companies. Based on the services being provided, there might be some variations in the premium that you pay.
Apart from Covid, it would cover you for hospitalisation that is caused by an injury or an illness. The main features of the policy are:
- This policy can be purchased on a family floater or an individual basis
- Hospitalisation expenses are covered up to the sum insured
- Alternate treatments under AYUSH are also covered up to the sum insured
- Pre and post-hospitalisation expenses are covered for 30 and 60 days respectively
- For every claim-free year, you get a 5% increase as a Cumulative Bonus
- There is a 5% mandatory co-payment for every claim
- Indemnity Based Mediclaim Plans
Mediclaim policies also called health insurance policies would also pay for the actual expenses that you incur on hospitalisation that lasts for 24 hours or more. Depending on the plan you choose your medical expenses will be covered up to your sum insured with or without the mandatory co-payment. If you have an indemnity health plan, it would cover covid-related hospitalisation. The cover can be of the following types:
- Individual Health Insurance Plan
Available on an individual basis, where there is a separate sum insured for every insured member of the family
- Family Floater Plan
Here the sum insured selected is shared among all the insured members of the family
- Senior Citizen Health
These are tailor-made keeping in mind the needs and requirements of people over the age of 60 years
- Individual Health Insurance Plan
- Top-Up and Super Top-Up Plans
If you already have a health insurance plan and are worried that it may not be enough to cover covid-related expenses, you can opt for a top-up or a super top-up plan. These plans would offer you coverage over and above your health plan. In case of a top-up, the deductible would be applied on one hospitalisation or on a per-claim basis in a policy year. A super-top-up plan, on the other hand, would cover the sum of all the hospitalisations once the deductible limit is paid. This means that when your total admissible claims in a year exceed the deductible limit, the plan will come into play.
In case you have an existing health insurance policy, you would also have the option of adding a rider or an add-on to your policy. Some health insurance companies have introduced covid-specific riders that would be very helpful in dealing with the high-cost treatment and other expenses that this deadly disease can bring with it. These products offer a percentage of the sum insured as a lump sum when the insured is diagnosed with Covid and requires hospitalisation for a specified period. Most of these riders are available after a single premium and greatly increase the coverage of a basic health plan.
The huge treatment cost of Covid has been taking a toll on the mental as well as financial well being of most Indians. Every section of society has been hit hard by the pandemic, the middle and the poor class being the worst affected. Having devastated healthcare infrastructure and economies the world over. The crisis has also led to high inflation, particularly medical inflation.
In a country where the insurance penetration has been less than 4%, the last few months have seen a shift in the mindset of the insurance-averse Indians. The onset of Covid increased the number of people opting for a health plan to 32%, while recently this figure has reached 55%. More and more people are becoming conscious of the importance of having health insurance.