The novel Coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. The latest figures shared by the Ministry of Health and Family (MoHFW), India shows the total active cases to be 2,68,2751 as of Apr 25, 2021.
It has become a matter of great concern for all the Indian citizens as the new cases count has gone beyond 3 lakhs per day. About 1,40,8,5110 Covid patients have been discharged in the country, while the vaccination drive is also going at a good pace. A total of 14,09,16,417 individuals have been vaccinated in the country.
Looking at the unprecedented rate of the rise in Covid-19 cases, many individuals have started planning for unfavorable situations, particularly fatal health conditions that may arise during the pandemic. They have also considered the option of buying Coronavirus health insurance.
If you already have a health insurance policy, you might not know if the Covid-19 disease is covered under its inclusion terms. Let’s get into the details of this emerging type of health insurance policy.
Also Read: What is Insurance in India?
What is Coronavirus?
Covid-19 is a common term that refers to a group of viruses attacking the human immunity to cause a wide variety of diseases ranging from common cold to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). This virus originated in China in late Dec 2019 and was not known to exist before that.
Soon, the virus spread across the world and infected millions of people across the globe. It is known to cause infection in the nose, throat, and sinuses. It has also been associated with severe breathing illnesses, including pneumonia and organ failure and is highly fatal for people above the age of 60.
The most common symptoms of Coronavirus infection include fever, sore throat, dry cough, and headache – similar to that of a common cold. Because of the mutation of virus that has happened, there is no guaranteed cure available for this disease.
What is Coronavirus Health Insurance?
Amidst the rising Covid cases in the nation, health insurance companies have come up with a way to help the Covid patients get insurance benefits under Coronavirus health insurance.
Covid health insurance is an insurance policy type that provides medical coverage incurred for the treatment required for Coronavirus infection. It has been designed to cover hospitalization expenses, regardless of the disease he/she has been diagnosed with (as per the policy terms).
In general, most health insurance plans cover hospitalization expenses related to the treatment of viral infections. Hence, a comprehensive health plan covers pre-and post-hospitalization expenses incurred on Covid-19 treatment, which is also a viral infection.
You should also know that Coronavirus infection does not fall under the head, ‘pre-existing illness’, being a new disease not known to the world before. Coronavirus health insurance cover is available from the very day the insured individual is diagnosed with this virus.
What are the Benefits of Coronavirus Health Insurance?
Some of the primary benefits of Covid-19 health insurance you, as the insured, can avail are as follows:
- Hospitalization cover
- Daily cash benefit
- Home treatment
- Consumable expenses for the purchase of PPE kits, masks, gloves, etc.
- Cashless treatment facility also available
What are the Types of Coronavirus Health Insurance Plans in India?
As per the IRDAI guidelines, major health insurance companies have launched two standard Coronavirus health insurance policies – Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak. The terms and conditions related to these two standard policies remain the same irrespective of the insurer chosen by an individual.
Let’s discuss these two types of Covid-19 health insurance policies.
1. Corona Kavach Policy
It is one of the standard Coronavirus health insurance plans available in the market to get insurance coverage against the expenses incurred for hospitalization, home care, ambulance hire, and purchase of medicines, PPE kits, etc. As a whole, it covers the expenses incurred for the treatment of Covid-19 disease. You can choose the sum insured from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 Lakhs, and also opt for family insurance coverage under this policy.
2. Corona Rakshak Policy
Corona Rakshak policy is meant to pay for the expenses incurred for hospitalization for a minimum of 72 hours or more as required for the Covid-19 treatment. It has also been designed to cover the expenses for nebulizers, masks, PPEs, gloves, etc., which is quite limited under a commonly known health insurance plan.
Individuals aged between 18 and 65 can buy this type of Coronavirus health insurance with a sum insured ranging from Rs. 2.5 Lakhs to Rs. 5 Lakhs.
Note: If you are already covered under a group health insurance plan, you are advised to check if it provides insurance coverage for Covid-19 treatment.
Read More About: Corona Kavach Policy – Benefits, Terms, and More
Is Coronavirus Treatment Covered Under Your Existing Health Insurance Policy?
Most of the health insurance policies cover Coronavirus treatment, provided you have purchased it before being diagnosed with this infection and its initial waiting period has also been completed. In other words, if you have bought a health insurance plan before testing positive for the Covid-19 disease, the plan will cover all the medical expenses incurred for its treatment.
Health insurance coverage for Coronavirus will be considered as basic hospitalization expenses under the policy. However, if you choose to buy a health insurance plan after being diagnosed as Covid-19 positive, then the expenses for the required treatment may not be covered under the chosen plan.
What are Coronavirus Health Insurance Inclusions?
The insurance cover provided under the Covid-19 health insurance plan includes the following:
- Pre-and post-hospitalization expenses
- Critical illness or accidental hospitalization expenses
- Ambulance expenses
- Cost of daycare procedures
- ICU room rent
- Daily hospital cash
- Alternative treatment
- Maternity benefits (with add-ons)
What are Coronavirus Health Insurance Exclusions?
A coronavirus health insurance does not cover every type of expense that you might incur for the treatment. Some of its common exclusions are:
- Medical expenses incurred at a non-recognized quarantine center
- Expenses for pre-existing disease treatment
- Pre- and post-natal expenses
- Home quarantine cost
- Cost of hospitalization without having doctor’s recommendation
You May Also Like to Read: Types of Life Insurance Explained
What is the Process to File a Claim for Coronavirus Health Insurance?
You can file a claim under your Coronavirus health insurance policy in two ways – cashless or reimbursement. Let’s read more about these two types of Covid-19 health insurance claims:
1. Cashless Claim Filing
Under the cashless treatment facility, you (the insured) do not need to pay for the treatment taken at any of the network hospitals covered by your insurer. The insurance company will settle the bills directly with that hospital.
It is advisable that you check if your Coronavirus health insurance plan provides a cashless claim facility. You can also check the list of hospitals in your insurer’s network in detail before buying the plan.
2. Claims for Expense Reimbursement
In case you choose to get treatment for Coronavirus infection in a non-network hospital, you need to pay the bills from your pocket at the time of discharge. However, you can file a reimbursement claim by filling up a claim form and submitting it with various documents and medical bills to your insurer. After claim verification, you will receive the amount into your bank account.
Read More About: Life Insurance in India
Coronavirus Health Insurance FAQs
1. How much sum insured should I choose with Coronavirus health insurance?
Due to the severity of Covid-19 disease, it can cause significant respiratory health issues and other health problems. Since its treatment can be quite expensive, it is important to select an adequate sum insured under your Covid-19 health plan.
2. What should I look for while buying Covid-19 health insurance?
As a policy buyer, it is crucial that you know about various inclusions and exclusions related to the Coronavirus health insurance you are willing to purchase.
3. What is the waiting period for Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak policy?
The waiting period under these two standard health insurance plans is fifteen days. Make sure you check all the waiting period-related clauses defined in the plan.
4. Can I get Coronavirus treatment under my existing health insurance policy?
Your existing health plan will cover the treatment required for Covid-19 disease provided you have bought it before being diagnosed positive with the virus.
5. From where can I buy Coronavirus health insurance?
It is quite easy to buy a Coronavirus health insurance policy online. You need not visit any local insurance agent or insurer’s branch office for such purchases during the pandemic.
6. Do Covid insurance plans cover home care?
Home care expenses are generally covered under these plans as per doctor’s recommendations. However, home quarantine expenses are not included in the insurance coverage.
7. Can I get a cashless facility under Coronavirus health insurance?
You can avail of both cashless and expense reimbursement facilities under Coronavirus health plans.
Trending News Related to Coronavirus Health Insurance
- The insurance scheme for healthcare workers under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package has been extended for one year to offer a safety net to the families of health workers.
- IRDAI released a circular to all the insurance companies to arrange for Covid-19 vaccination for eligible policyholders. The insurers are also allowed to create awareness about the vaccination via SMS or email.
- IRDAI has also extended the validity of Covid-19-specific health insurance plans (both sale and renewal) till Sep 30, 2021.
- Any adverse reaction of Covid-19 vaccination is to be paid by the insurer, said IRDAI.
- All network hospitals related to different insurers cannot deny cashless claims for Covid-19 patients, as defined in the IRDAI Press Release.