Corona Virus or COVID-19 is the new face of fear. The virus which has begun in China is showing its effects all over the world. More than 100 countries including India are trying hard to deal with this pandemic. As of 2nd April 2020, there are more than 2000 confirmed cases in India with 53 deaths. While there are several advisories running in media, will your regular health insurance plan cover in case you get infected or you should opt for a COVID-19 specific plan?
As per IRDAI’s recent notice, all claims associated with the COVID-19 treatment (including the quarantine period) will be liable to get the coverage under a standard health plan. It will be there to assist the insured with the normal cover on hospitalization for any viral infection, including coronavirus. All the features that you get under your chosen health insurance plan will be applicable to COVID-19 treatment.
However, there are a few things about a regular health insurance policy that you should keep in mind.
1. Many plans do not cover infectious diseases for the initial 30 days from the inception of the policy. To get clarity, you should check the inclusions/exclusions of your existing health insurance plan.
2. There are a few health insurance plans that do not cover against pandemic/epidemic, so it is better to check it before relying on them.
Meanwhile, if you are planning to invest in a new health insurance plan, opt for a standard health insurance plan with pandemic cover, not a corona specific plan. But why?
Why COVID-19 Specific Plans are not suitable for you?
Amidst coronavirus situation, many insurance companies have come out with Corona Specific plans such as Star Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) (COVID-19) Insurance Policy, Digit Healthcare and ICICI Lombard’s Novel Coronavirus Policy to cover all those who test positive for COVID–19. Such plans will provide a lump sum amount to the insured to deal with the expenses occurring during hospitalization because of COVID-19. All such plans are available at a very affordable premium which is in reach of a common man. These policies come out as a quick solution for those who are not covered under any health insurance plan at all and looking for options to secure them against COVID-19.
However, the sum assured would be limited under such plans and it would not be able to assist you if you ever got diagnosed with any other disease. Moreover, these plans come out with a host of terms and conditions to be eligible for the claim such as-
1. The policyholder should not be in contact with a person who has a suspected history of COVID-19 during the policy tenure.
2. The insured or their family members should not have traveled to countries such as China, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Italy, Macau, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain after 1st December 2019.
3. Insured suffering from symptoms like cough with or without sputum; cold, shortness of breath and fever with body pain for the last six weeks of investing in the policy will not be liable to get a claim.
Such conditions make the standard health insurance look like a worthy option (if the value for money is considered), isn’t it?
In the end…
With this Corona outbreak in India, an adequate health insurance plan has become the need of the hour. While people are in fear due to this deadly virus, health insurance will allow them to fight back strongly. Those who never thought of investing in health insurance should now plan for it. You must compare all available plans and choose the desired one as per your requirement.