The world as we knew it was turned upside down from early 2020 with the start of the Covid 19 pandemic. This pandemic has truly affected everyone in every corner of the world and left them vulnerable. It has affected many major developed and developing countries and put their economies on standstill.
India is among the worst hit countries due to this pandemic. The biggest highlight that this pandemic has led us to see are the shortcomings in our health sector and how ill equipped we are to handle the onslaught of this pandemic. The shortage of hospitals and all the necessary resources right from health care professionals, life saving medicines, and most importantly the lack of finances to handle the cost of treatments are gravely highlighted within the span of a year and a half.
These factors have contributed to a rising need for the Covid 19 insurance as a safety net against this pandemic and its ugly side. More and more people are opting for the Covid 19 insurance for themselves and their family members. It is, therefore, necessary to understand various aspects of this insurance and the factors involved in choosing the right type of insurance.
Need for Covid 19 insurance
The treatment of Covid 19 in certain cases requires the patient to be hospitalized for quite a long period of time with the need to administer expensive drugs and high flow oxygen. The very sound of these words reeks of high expenses which are often not affordable by common people. There have been cases when the patients could not be treated on account of lack of financial resources and nothing can be more painful than that.
When the pandemic started not many insurers had included it as part of the coverage. But with time and the aim to provide maximum assistance to the insured people, many insurers had started including Covid 19 under the coverage of the existing policies. However, there were cases of limited cover or cover only for the medical cost involved in the treatment of Covid 19 and not the non-medical expenses (for example, PPEs, gloves, etc.)
Realizing the hardships faced due to Covid 19, IRDAI has mandated the insurance companies to bring out Covid Specific policies that provide better coverage to the insurers. These policies include the cost of treatment, hospitalization, etc. related to the Covid 19 subject to certain terms and conditions. This has helped people to get the best treatment for Covid 19 and meet the costs of treatment for themselves and their family members which on occasions has run into lakhs of rupees.
Types of Covid 19 insurance plans
There are various types of Covid 19 specific policies provided by the insurers depending on their policies and guidelines. However, there are two basic or primary types of Covid specific policies formulated based on the guidelines of IRDAI that people can choose from i.e., Corona Kavach Policy and Corona Rakshak Policy. These insurance plans were initially required to remain valid till 31st March 2021 but have now been extended till 30th September 2021.
Given below are the details of these basic insurance policies.
- Corona Kavach Policy
This is a standard health insurance policy offered for Covid 19. This policy provides for 0.5% of the sum assured for every 24 hours of hospitalization or as per the policy guidelines of the insurer. This policy includes the following costs,
- Cost of hospitalization
- ICU charges
- Home care treatment costs
- Ambulance charges
- Cost of additional PPE kits, gloves, masks,
- Doctor fees
This policy includes cover for the individual and his/her family members (including up to 4 children). The insurer will provide the cover on an indemnity basis i.e. on actual costs for treatment for Covid 19.
The sum insured under this scheme is Rs. 50,000 up to Rs. 5,00,000 with varying tenure options of 3.5 months, 6.5 months, and 9.5 months.
This plan can be opted by people who do not have any existing health insurance policies. The other advantages of this policy are no cooling period or waiting period that is often mandated by the insurers and prompt availing of insurance without any delays. This policy can be brought into effect immediately once the insured person tests positive.
- Corona Rakshak Policy
This is the other type of Covid 19 specific policy offered by insurers. This policy provides coverage for the treatment of Covid 19 if the insured person is hospitalized for a minimum continuous period of 72 hours. The various charges covered by this policy include the additional costs for equipment required in Covid-19 treatment including,
- PPE kits
- Oxygen nebulizers
- Face masks
- Oxygen cylinders
This policy is available to any person within the age bracket of 18 years to 65 years. The sum that can be insured under this policy is Rs, 50,000 to Rs. 2,50,000. The added benefit of this plan is that it covers many co-morbities by payment of an additional premium.
The basic difference between this policy and the Corona Kavach Policy is that it provides 100% of the sum insured in case of hospitalization rather than just the treatment costs. This provides huge flexibility to the insured persons to navigate their treatment costs.
This policy can be opted by individuals already having some form of health insurance and looking for an extra buffer against the pandemic.
Points to consider while opting for a Covid 19 insurance plan
There are several factors to be considered while choosing a Covid 19 insurance policy. Some of such factors are highlighted below.
- Get a clear idea of the costs covered under the policy.
- Opt for policies that provide cashless hospitalization
- Ensure that policies do not have an extended waiting period to kick in
- Opt for policies with reputed insurers to ensure smooth procedure to get the claim
- Opt for a policy that will provide sufficient coverage and different premium options
- Covid 19 health insurance policies are also available online. The process is quite transparent and hassle-free with all the necessary details of the plans.
- Ensure the insurer also provides good after-sales services like good customer care support and assistance whenever required by the insured persons.
- Many Covid health insurance claims are getting rejected or paid less. Keeping in mind a few pointers will help you.
The cost of healthcare in India is quite high. Health insurance was therefore an essential requirement for individuals even before the pandemic. This pandemic has only enhanced the need for health insurance specially Covid 19 specific health insurance. While there are many types of Covid 19 health insurances available in the market today, it is advisable to know all the details about them and analyze them carefully with respect to various factors like premium amount, coverage, family members included, the reputation of the insurer, etc.
1. Does Corona Kavach policy include coverage for any co-morbid condition arising due to Covid 19?
A. Yes. Corona Kavach policy provides the benefit of including coverage for any co-morbid conditions mentioned in the offer documents if they are triggered as an effect of the Covid 19 diagnosis.
2. What is the maximum sum assured for Corona Kavach Policy?
A. The maximum sum assured for Corona Kavach policy is Rs. 5,00,000.
3. How is the benefit under Corona Rakshak Policy received by the insured person?
A. The sum assured under Corona Rakshak Policy is disbursed at 100% value as a lump sum payment provided the insured person is diagnosed from a government recognized center and the person is hospitalized for a minimum continuous period of 72 hours.