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Why Choose IIFL Health Insurance for all your Coronavirus needs

Meaning of Health insurance

Health insurance is a safeguarding product that financially protects you from various diseases or unforeseen circumstances in terms of health. The motive of health insurance is to provide financial support during emergencies. Due to the changing lifestyles of people around the world, it is most likely that one may have to face medical issues sooner rather than later. The health insurance policy is meant to protect your savings and yet pay the expenses in times of a health emergency. That is where Health insurance fits in.

Coronavirus is a type of vector-based contagious affliction that has been recently discovered by the Coronavirus disease. The novel COVID-19 or Coronavirus has affected millions of people worldwide; with countries like the US, India and Brazil being among the worst affected. The virus is a combination of acute illnesses that may get serious if precautions are not taken instantly; with a relatively high probability of fatality. If one has tested positive for Coronavirus, they are most likely to experience mild to moderate symptoms of respiratory illness, fever, cough etc. No special treatment is required unless things get out of hand.

Before COVID-19 coverage was introduced in 2020, health insurance only covered:

  1. Pre- and post-hospitalisation

Before getting hospitalised you undergo some tests such as x-rays, lab tests, and more are coverable under pre-hospitalisation costs. Under post-hospitalisation expenses, expenses of doctor’s regular appointments, medicines are under this coverage.

  1. In-patient hospitalization

The hospital costs for getting admitted to a hospital is payable by the insurance company. The room rent, medical equipment, test costs and so one are covered under in-patient hospitalisation.

  1. Ambulance charges

In case of emergency, the ambulance charges incurred for getting the patient to the hospital is also covered under the health insurance policy. The coverage of ambulance charges is optional and not all insurance companies provide such coverage. Hence, you need to check for this with the insurance company. But ambulance costs are quite steep in COVID cases and it is always advisable that you get these covered.

  1. Health check-ups

One should be updated about their health, and so undergoing regular health check-ups is mandatory. Usually, health check-up is provided by insurance companies if the insured has completed four years without making any claim. Some insurance policies offer annual testing too. Such provisions vary from one company to another.

  1. Maternity

In case of family insurance or individual insurance of a woman, pregnancy costs are covered by the health insurance plan. Expenses of delivery, labour, newborn day-care are covered.

  1. Mental Health

Mental health is considered as a disease too. The Insurance regulatory development authority of India (IRDAI) has made it mandatory for health insurers to provide coverage to the insured.

  1. Accidents and surgeries

Under a health insurance policy, accident, injuries are covered, and you can file a claim for the same within the waiting period. The coverage for accidental injuries is not comprehensive, and thus content will be provided only up to hospitalisation expenses.

Surgery costs are covered by the insurance company only if the surgery is necessary and is life-saving. Surgeries for liposuction, Botox and other cosmetic surgeries are not covered under health insurance.

Coverage against Coronavirus:

After the outbreak of Coronavirus, people were concerned whether Coronavirus would be covered under their existing insurance policy. They also wanted clarity on waiting period for coverage from the Coronavirus syndrome.

On March 4, 2020 the IRDAI made it mandatory for all insurance companies to accept claims for COVID-19. This IRDAI order helped avoid chaos and confusion regarding the coverage. As Coronavirus is the new normal today, you and I must be ready to face it. The IRDAI declared that all general and health insurance companies have to accept Coronavirus coverage claims, irrespective of the policy the customer holds.

In order to receive cover for Coronavirus one has to:

  1. Serve a short waiting period of 30 days or more; it varies from one insurance company to another. A pre-decided waiting period has to be fulfilled.
  2. The claim procedure for Coronavirus will stay the same just as other diseases, i.e. cashless or reimbursement procedure.
  3. Pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses will be coverable.

Treating Coronavirus

The Coronavirus is a new type of an affliction altogether. The vaccine has just about been developed and approved and now comes the humongous task of distribution. When a person tests positive for Coronavirus, based on the symptoms and health of the patient, he/she is suggested to get hospitalised. The cost of in-patient treatment is very high and varies between Rs.2 lakhs and Rs.5 lakhs. The treatments are entirely experimental.

As COVID-19 is new and no particular plan helps in covering the entire treatment cost, IRDAI suggested insurance companies take up Coronavirus plans that can be purchased by individuals who believe they are at high risk of getting COVID positive. Until then, the existing insurance policies will provide coverage for an average of 3-12 months.

Introduction of a standard COVID-19 plan

 The IRDAI has offered the standard COVID-19 plan to the health insurance companies. The program will be completed to cover a person from Coronavirus. Some of the key features of the program will be-

  1. The age factor  

The eligibility for an individual to purchase the plan is for the age group to be between 18 years and 65 years.

  1. Waiting period

A primary waiting period of 15 – 30 days needs to be served after purchasing the plan to be eligible for the benefit of the coverage.

  1. Treatment

Treatment of Coronavirus can either be in-patient in a hospital or home treatment. The policy will be providing coverage for both types of treatment. Hospitalisation is not mandatory for getting the coverage benefit here.

  1. Claim

Cashless or reimbursement claim are offered generally, but in such a policy, the insured will receive a lump-sum payment on diagnosis of Coronavirus.

  1. Add-ons

If the insured is a pregnant lady, then the newborn child will also be receiving maternity benefits under such a plan.

The IRDAI has made necessary precautionary amendments by providing and introducing such policies. Even though the existing insurance policies are providing Coronavirus cover, it was expected that the rules and regulations could change subsequently and for that reason, the standard Coronavirus protection plan has been introduced.

Vaccine of Coronavirus

Many vaccine candidates have applied for market regulatory approvals and distribution, and the question here has arisen that will the vaccine costs be covered under health insurance. Some of the vaccine candidates include vaccines introduced by AstraZeneca/Oxford, Pfizer/BionTech, Moderna, Bharat Biotech, Gamelaya, Johnson & Johnson etc.

Existing health insurance will cover the vaccine costs if the patient has opted for the out-patient option. Apart from those insured people, the other policyholders will not be provided coverage under their policy. Although in cases like, the insured is admitted in a hospital and the vaccine will be available, then the insurance company is liable to pay for the immunisation costs. On the other hand, specific insurance policies will reimburse the vaccination costs. The standard COVID-19 plans will be covering the same.

Protect oneself from Coronavirus

  1. Avoid public places.
  2. Practice social distancing.
  3. Wear a mask.
  4. Sanitize your hands.
  5. Use alcohol-based hand rubs regularly.
  6. Steam is a helpful solution.
  7. Maintain 6 feet distance.
  8. Monitor your health on a regular interval basis.
  9. Clean and disinfect all the spots in your house.

FAQs: Choose IIFL Health Insurance for Your Coronavirus Needs

Are there any Coronavirus specific insurance available in India?

Yes, as the IRDAI has offered insurance companies to provide standard Coronavirus plans, some insurance companies have taken up the opportunity to provide dedicated COVID-19 plans. As it is not mandatory, all insurance providers do not offer such programs. Companies like Max Bupa Health Insurance introduced the Corona Kavach plan, the ReAssure Max Bupa Health insurance, Karnataka Bank has introduced a unique health insurance plan to cover COVID-19 projects, the Reliance General Insurance Company Limited has introduced the Reliance health infinity plan, and it is expected for various insurance companies to come up with such standard methods as the insurance market is a growing place and has massive competition among players.

Does health insurance cover the cost of the Coronavirus test?

As directed by the IRDAI, the existing health and general insurance policies will be covering and accepting Coronavirus claims. If the insured is diagnosed with COVID-19 and within 30 days of the test if the patient is admitted in a hospital then the Coronavirus test money will be considered as pre-hospitalization costs and thus will be reimbursed by the insurance company.
However, if you opt for home treatment, the insurance company is not liable for paying any such expenses. The coverage offered under the existing plan is sub-limited up to 30-40% of the sum insured, and thus the entire treatment cost will not be covered by the health insurance provider.

How long does it take to recover from COVID-19?

Once an individual is diagnosed with Coronavirus, based on their health condition, the person will either be allowed to be quarantined at home or if the condition worsens, he/she needs to be admitted in a hospital. Minimum 14 days of isolation is required. It is advised to have a re-test of COVID-19 after 14 days too. Although based on the doctor’s suggestion, a person will decide if they can get back to normal or yet need to be isolated. During isolation, various medicines and antibiotics are given by the doctors. Home remedies also keep such risks in check. However, precaution is always better than cure in this case.

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