It all started from the month of December 2019 that we started witnessing the spread of coronavirus. The contagious viral infection that still doesn’t have any cure as no vaccine is introduced yet has kept us under lockdown for over 100 days now.
Covid-19 positive cases have risen in these past few months but at the same time people are getting recovered too. So that’s something positive we can look forward to. We are living in a world of uncertainties which are increasing day by day.
Millions of people are infected all over the world. During this time, there has been a flood of questions related to medical insurance. I am glad that people are now talking about the need for medical insurance. During such times, it is even more crucial to seriously consider including medical insurance in your financial planning.
Based on my experience and interaction with so many people and their families, I have realised that the ones who are young and healthy do not opt for medical insurance. This is because they feel nothing is going to happen to them. And the ones who have medical conditions find it difficult to get a cost effective and adequate cover.
So the point I would want to make here is getting an adequate health insurance is a preventive measure to protect your finances in case something as unfortunate as corona or any accident happens. It is better you get it early in your life so that you can enjoy more features and better coverage.
Now coming to questions that you might have in your mind regarding the current covid-19 and health insurance plans.
Read here: 7 Reason Why You Should Buy Insurance
Let me answer some frequently asked questions. I have divided these questions in two segments i.e. one for someone who already has taken some health insurance policy and others who do not have any insurance at all till now.
FAQs from people who have medical insurance
Q1 – If I get diagnosed with covid-19, Will my treatment be covered by my insurance company?
Answer: Well, as per IRDA all the health insurance companies offering indemnity based covers are instructed to settle the claim for covid-19 patients on priority. Also, it is important to know that the main features of your health insurance policy remains the same be it covid-19 or any other disease.
Let me brief you about 2 important features of health insurance policies to get better clarity on whether it be covered or not.
- Hospitalisation of 24 hours – This is common ground on which all health insurance policies work. If you get admitted into the hospital for at least 24 hours then only the cost will be covered by your insurance company. Few day care treatment is also covered in most of the policies but it does not apply to coronavirus. So if you are not admitted to the hospital, then you will not get your cost reimbursed.
- Pre and post hospitalisation expenses – Once you get hospitalised, majority of the insurance companies will also cover your pre and post hospitalisation expenses up to 35 and 60 days respectively. This means if you had incurred cost on covid-19 test pre hospitalisation, then that cost will be covered. However, if you are someone who got yourself tested and the report said negative then you cannot claim that expense from your insurance company. In short, diagnostic expenses are not covered by insurance companies unless there is a positive case and it leads to hospitalisation of at least 24 hours.
Q2 – What about expenses incurred for quarantine?
Answer: Based on the above two features, quarantine that does not require hospitalisation and treatment will not be covered.
Q3 – Can insurance company ask for additional premium in my existing policy to cover COVID-19?
Answer: No. As all the current health insurance policies which are indemnity based are already covering the novel coronavirus. You need not pay extra to cover the same. However, if you wish to enhance the sum assured then you will have to pay more premium.
Q4 – One of my friends already had a medical insurance, but still the company rejected the claim. What could be the reason?
Answer: Like I said before, all the features of health insurance policy remains the same. Let us say, if a person would have purchased the health insurance policy just 10 days prior to testing positive for coronavirus then definitely insurance company will not settle the claim. As the general rule, be it corona or any other disease, you cannot file for a claim in first 30 days of the policy purchased.
Q5 – I have a critical illness cover that I purchased 2 years ago. Is COVID-19 covered under this plan?
Answer: No. Existing critical illness covers do not provide cover for Coronavirus.
FAQs from people who do not have any insurance
Q1 – Which policy to buy that covers COVID -19?
Answer: All the health insurance companies offering products which covers covid-19. So study the detailed inclusions and exclusions before buying a health plan for you and your family. Low premium should not be the criteria to select a health plan. Instead look out for maximum coverage and a claim settlement ratio of over 90%.
Q2 – I have heard about standalone health insurance policies. What are those?
Answer: IRDA has instructed all health insurance companies to come up with a standard Benefit Based Covid-19 health insurance product by July 10, 2020. This is mandatory for the companies to offer. The cover ranges from 50,000 to 2.5 lacs with a single premium for 105 days or 195 days or 285 days. As proposed, benefit equal to 100% of the Sum Insured shall be payable on positive diagnosis resulting in hospitalization.
I hope all your questions are answered related to health insurance plans amid COVID-19. I highly recommend to invest in a good health insurance plan providing adequate cover. For the ones, who already have health insurance should check whether the cover is adequate. If not, it is suggested that buy additional cover.
Maintain social distance, wash hands regularly and stay insured!