Why Should you Consider Health Insurance for Vaccination Costs?
Over the past one and half years, the grisly COVID-19 pandemic has caused utter destruction in every nation, including India. This gruesome virus has put everything to a standstill. In India, nearly 3.5 crore people have been diagnosed with the COVID-19, and 4.62 lakh people died due to this deadly virus. To curb the spread of the virus and resume all activities, every country tried desperately to launch vaccines against COVID-19.
Indian scientists and medical experts worked ardently and developed two vaccines initially that will build immunity against this deadly virus. Launched on January 16, 2021, two eminent Covid-19 vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) have been given to healthcare and frontline workers in India first. People above 60 years were in the second group who received vaccines from February 2, 2021, and people between 45 and 59 years with comorbid conditions became suitable for vaccinations from March 1, 2021. Initially, the paid vaccination cost was Rs. 780 for Covishield and Rs. 1200 for Covaxin.
The Indian government has allocated a fund of Rs. 34,000 crore for this vaccination. This will encourage every eligible citizen to come forward and take vaccines to control the spread of coronavirus. The central government even asked private and states to subsidize the cost of vaccine procurement so that everyone gets the vaccine and overcomes this deadly pandemic.
Health insurance is an authentic source of funding for vaccine purchases. Therefore, all health insurance providers, including those offering State-sponsored Ayushman Bharat, can also offer vaccine reimbursement for procuring vaccines to everyone insured with them. This will help insurance companies anticipate whether they need to pay for the hospitalized care for COVID-19 of those insured with them.
These days, the COVID-19 vaccine is a buzzing word in the whole country. But most people want to know whether present health insurance plans will cover the treatment cost of corona or not. Of course, you must be happy to know that most health insurers have designed tailor-made plans that will deal with all types of Covid-related complications. But now, people are worried whether their existing health insurance policies will compensate for the cost of vaccination or not.
Does the Health Insurance Policy cover COVID-19 Vaccination?
To cope up with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) instructed all general and health insurance service providers to incorporate coronavirus coverage, including health insurance vaccination, into their current health indemnity plans. This plan will bear all pre-and-post hospitalization costs for COVID-19 according to the terms and conditions.
If you don’t own any health insurance policy, you can go for one with the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines. But the prime question is whether your health insurance will cover the vaccine cost in this scenario or not. Since vaccines are preventive, thus standard plans don’t cover the costs of vaccines. But if your health policy comes with an OPD cover, it will cover the vaccination cost if mentioned in the policy.
The prime objective is to offer vaccines to everyone; thus, IRDA is discussing with various insurance companies and is structuring a plan that offers vaccination costs under COVID-19 insurance policies.
All pre-funded insurance schemes must pay for the costs of vaccination. The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) is an ideal example that offers free vaccination. This plan offers to vaccinate nearly 13 crore people; among these 3.5 crores, people registered are workers and their dependents. The ESIC takes care of all healthcare expenses of an insured person and his/her family members. This is effective from the day when the person enters insurable employment.
There is no cap on the treatment expenses of the insured person. All eligible beneficiaries who are below 45 years will also be inoculated free of cost. All states must use the proceeds of the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess to inoculate nearly 3.5 crore construction workers free of cost. Every eligible beneficiary who wants to get the vaccine must pre-register himself/herself. After getting jabbed, a vaccinated person will receive a certificate. But it is an arduous job for insurance companies to match their databases with the state or central government to check which of their insured members got jabbed for the vaccines. Instead of managing their own databases, insurance companies should pay the Centre for their insured beneficiaries.
Several private companies and corporate entities are conducting vaccination drives under their Covid-relief expenses. Many of these companies did astonishing work, and they inoculated almost all their employees free of cost.
To promote vaccination drives in the country, many health insurance companies, including HDFC ERGO health insurance policies, are covering vaccination costs. For example, the HDFC ERGO Covid insurance policy covers vaccine cost up to INR 500 for every insured senior citizen above 60 years for a specified period. The company also offers a Corona Kavach policy that compensates for your COVID-19 hospitalization expenses, pre and post-hospitalization expenditures, home care treatment expenses, road ambulance costs, and AYUSH treatments.
Suppose you own a health insurance policy and are planning to get vaccinated against the COVID-19. In that case, you must check with your insurer whether your policy covers the cost of vaccination or not.