Coronvirus Health Insurance Policy

Pandemic declared coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted the lives of many across the globe. Keeping into consideration the quantity of cases going up, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority in India (IRDAI) had asked the health insurance providers to come up with health insurance plans to otter protective coverage for expenses related to the coronavirus disease.

What Is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a group of viruses that attacks the immunity of a human being. It is a severe respiratory infection, which can be transmitted between animals and people. This virus originated in China’s Wuhan in late December 2019 and till date the virus is mutating very fast, causing severe health issues.

Common signs of infection are fever, cough and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. The novel coronavirus disease has been fatal largely for people with weaker immunity and those who had pre-medical conditions.

Regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs are common protocols to be followed in all public places. Avoid close encounters with anybody displaying signs of respiratory problems like coughing and sneezing. Maintain social distance and always wear a mask outside home.



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What is Coronavirus Insurance Policy?

Covid-19 health insurance policy is a special insurance policy designed to cover hospitalisation, pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation expenses, and other medical expenses arising due to the treatment of COVID-19. Today almost all health insurance policies offer cover for the treatment of coronavirus in India. The cover is available from day 1 after the insured is tested for coronavirus positive since COVID-19 is a new disease, and it does not fall under the category of pre-existing diseases.

Coronavirus Health Plans in India

If you are looking for a specific coronavirus plan that covers all medical expenses related to the treatment of novel coronavirus, then you can choose from two short-term and standard health insurance policies recently launched by the IRDA that are designed to cover coronavirus treatment expenses only.

Corona Kavach Policy for COVID 19

Corona Kavach Policy is a single premium standard health insurance policy that covers treatment expenses related to COVID-19. It is an indemnity-based health insurance policy that covers both individuals as well as families at an affordable premium. You can cover self, dependent children, parents, and parents in law under this policy for a period of 3.5 months (105 days), 6.5 months (195 days), and 9.5 months (285 days). Offered by both private and general insurers, the policy covers AYUSH treatment expenses, homecare treatment expenses, pre-hospitalisation expenses, post-hospitalisation expenses, and road ambulance expenses. The sum insured amount starts from ₹50,000 and goes up to ₹5 Lakh. The best thing about the policy is that it comes with a short waiting period of 15 days, which means that you can start availing of policy benefits soon. Also, you can opt for a daily cash benefit by paying an extra premium.

Corona Rakshak Policy for COVID 19

Corona Rakshak Policy is a standard health insurance policy especially designed to cover treatment expenses related to COVID-19. Unlike Corona Kavach Policy, it is a benefit based health insurance policy that pays the insured a lump sum benefit equal to 100% of the sum insured if he/she is tested positive for COVID-19. The policy offers coverage on an individual basis for sum insured options ranging between ₹50,000 and ₹2.5 lakh in the multiples of ₹50,000. The policy can be purchased by people aged between 18 years and 65 years and is available for short policy terms of 3.5 months, 6.5 months, and 9.5 months. The policy gets terminated upon the payment of benefits. But the insured can avail of policy benefits only if he/she is tested COVID-19 positive at a government recognised center and gets hospitalised for at least 72 hours continuously. The policy comes with a short waiting period of 15 days but does not offer lifetime renewability benefit.

Key Benefits Of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Insurance Policy

In this ongoing pandemic situation, having a coronavirus (COVID-19) insurance plan can be highly beneficial. This is because this specially designed coronavirus health insurance plan covers you against the sky-high expenses associated with the treatment of this highly infectious disease. A COVID-19 health insurance policy covers you for various in-patient hospitalisation expenses, pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation expenses, thereby letting you focus entirely on your speedy recovery. So, if you do not want to lose your entire savings on paying for hospital bills, then you must avoid procrastinating and buy adequate health insurance cover for yourself and your family at the earliest.

Some of the major benefits of coronavirus plan are:

COVID-19 Treatment: Covered with ZERO additional cost
Home Treatment: Covered if recommended by doctor
Consumable Expenses: Cost of PPE kits, ventilator, masks, gloves, etc.
Co-payment: Might be there with few insurers
Cashless Treatment: Available if taken at network hospital

However, it is important to note that COVID-19 health insurance policies do not cover the isolation period when the treatment is not required.

Corona Kavach Policy Vs Corona Rakshak Policy

Corona Kavach Policy protects the insured from healthcare expenses related to hospitalisation and treatment in case the policyholder gets COVID-19 infection. The policy covers most of the hospitalisation expenses including treatment cost, medication, room rent, nursing, etc. But this COVID-19 insurance policy only takes care of the treatment cost and nothing else will be covered.

Corona Rakshak Policy is a fixed benefit policy that offers 100% of the sum insured to the policyholder on diagnosis of Covid19 positive, irrespective of medical expenses incurred. The policy is recommended if you are the breadwinner in your home.

Important Things to Consider When Buying Coronavirus Insurance Cover

Before you buy a coronavirus insurance India is offering, you should be aware of a few facts related to the policy. Here are some important facts that you should know before buying a coronavirus health insurance which covers COVID-19:

  • Sum Insured: Till date coronavirus has taken many lives across the globe. It can severely damage the respiratory organ and impact the overall functioning of the human body. The treatment cost has been super expensive, especially for people with severe conditions. So if you are the sole breadwinner of your family, you must opt for a sum insured that is adequate to cover all the expenses and save you from any financial loss.
  • Coverage: Most health insurance plans for COVID-19 cover you for in-patient hospitalisation expenses, pre-hospitalisation expenses, post-hospitalisation expenses, road ambulance expenses, OPD expenses, etc. When choosing a COVID-health insurance policy for yourself and your family, look for as many coverage benefits as possible, so that you do not have to go through any trouble at the time of claim.
  • Waiting Period: The waiting period is a period that you have to wait for after buying a health insurance policy, to be eligible to make a claim. Most COVID-19 health insurance plans come with an initial waiting period of 15-30 days. So, do not forget to check the waiting period before purchasing any health insurance policy.

Is Coronavirus Covered Under Your Existing Health Insurance Policy?

Coronavirus diseases or COVID-19 may be newly discovered diseases. But all existing health insurance policies will provide coronavirus health insurance cover. This means that if you purchased a health insurance policy before testing positive for the coronavirus disease, any medical expenses incurred on its treatment will be covered under it (provided you don’t get diagnosed during the initial waiting period). Since the coronavirus is not a pre-existing ailment, it will be covered as part of the basic hospitalization expenses under a health insurance plan that includes in-patient hospitalization expenses, ICU charges and diagnostic test charges amongst others. However, if you don’t already have a health insurance policy and decide to buy one after testing positive for COVID-19, then coronavirus treatment expenses will not be covered under the policy.

What is Covered Under Coronavirus Health Insurance Policy?

Hospitalisation Expenses

Coronavirus health insurance policies cover hospitalisation expenses arising due to COVID-19 if it exceeds more than 24 hours. In-patient hospitalization expenses, Pre and post hospitalization expenses.

Standard Coverage

Critical illness hospitalization, Accidental hospitalization, Daycare procedures, Road ambulance expenses, ICU, room rent, Organ donor expenses, Daily hospital cash, Home hospitalization, Alternate treatment, Recovery benefit.

Quarantine Cover

COVID-19 specific health insurance policies also cover the insured individuals who are quarantined in government identified authorities.

Additional Coverage

Some coronavirus specific health insurance policies offer add-on covers that the insured can opt for by paying an extra premium. For instance, expenses related to alternative treatment (AYUSH), maternity benefit with newborn baby cover, and so on.

Home Quarantine

Expenses incurred during the quarantine period spent at home are not covered under COVID-19 specific health insurance policies.

Non-Recognised Quarantine Center

Medical expenses incurred when the insured is kept in quarantine at a non-recognised center for the treatment of COVID-19 are not covered.

Pre-Existing Diseases

All the expenses arising for the treatment of any pre-existing diseases are not covered until the waiting period is over.

Pre-Natal & Post-Natal Expenses

This policy will not cover any prenatal or postnatal expenses incurred by the insured unless it leads to his hospitalization.

Hospitalisation Without Doctor’s Recommendation

If the insured gets hospitalised without the recommendation of a qualified doctor as specified on the prescription, then he/she will not be covered for the expenses arising due to treatment.

How to Claim Health Insurance for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

There are two ways of filing a health insurance claim for Coronavirus disease. You can file a cashless claim or a reimbursement claim.

Most health insurance providers today provide cashless treatment facilities. Here the insured is not required to make any payment for the treatment taken at one of the network hospitals of the insurer. Instead, the insurance company settles the hospital bills directly with the hospital. So if you receive treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19) disease at a network hospital of your insurance provider, you will be able to avail cashless treatment facility and would not be required to make any payment for the treatment received. Make sure to check if your health insurance for coronavirus offers a cashless claim facility. You can find the list of network hospitals of your insurer on the policy wordings or at the official website of your insurance provider.

Reimbursement claims come into picture when you get hospitalized and receive treatment at a non-network hospital, where you will be required to pay all the hospital bills in full at the time of your discharge. Once you get discharged, you need to file a reimbursement claim with your insurance provider. To do so, you’ll have to fill up the reimbursement claim form and submit the required documents including the hospital bill payment receipts, investigation & test reports, and doctor’s prescription to the insurer within the specified time limit. The insurance company will verify your claim and post that the reimbursement amount will be transferred to your bank account.

Difference Between Quarantine, Self-Isolation And Social Distancing

Quarantine Process Self Isolation Social Distancing
Quarantine is a process where you are isolated and kept under observation to monitor the health vitals. It can be done by your own self or by Govt. Health Authorities, if you have suspected symptoms or you have traveled from a country which was highly impacted by Coronavirus or have been in physical contact with an infected person. If you feel suspicious about your health symptoms or you have travelled from a country, which was highly impacted by Coronavirus then you can isolate yourself from others and avoid being out in public as a protective measure, so that you don't become a carrier of the virus.  You can distance yourself from crowded areas and avoid social gathering and meeting people, so as to take precautionary measures and avoid the spread of contagious Coronavirus.

 

 

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FAQs related to Coronavirus

Is coronavirus covered under my existing health insurance policy?

Yes. As per the mandate by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority in India (IRDAI), all general and health insurance companies have to offer coronavirus cover under their health insurance plans, irrespective of which policy you own.

Is coronavirus cover available in group health insurance?

If you are covered under a group health insurance policy, then you need to check with your insurer if it covers coronavirus treatment expenses. However, if your group health insurance policy is either Corona Rakshak or corona Kavach then you are surely covered for the COVID-19 hospitalization in India.

Is there any waiting period applicable for claims under COVID-19 health insurance plans?

Yes, COVID-19 health insurance policies have an initial waiting period of 15-30 days if it is a fresh policy.

Do health insurance plans for COVID-19 cover diagnostic tests and consultations with a medical practitioner?

If your COVID-19 health insurance policy protects you against OPD expenses, then you will be covered for all the consultations advised by a medical practitioner as well as diagnostic tests that he/she advises. You can make a claim for OPD expenses as per the terms and conditions stated under your COVID-19 health insurance policy. Also, many health insurance plans for COVID-19 cover pre-hospitalisation expenses and post-hospitalisation expenses for up to a specific number of days. These also include expenses related to diagnostic tests and consultations with a medical practitioner

Should I get a COVID specific insurance plan?

Yes. Getting a COVID-19 specific health insurance policy even if you have a standard health insurance policy is a wise option. This is because there are several benefits that you can enjoy under a COVID-19 specific health insurance policy that standard health insurance plans might not offer. There are two types of COVID-specific health insurance plans that you can choose from. These include Corona Kavach Policy and Corona Rakshak Policy.

Is home care covered by coronavirus insurance plan?

Most Coronavirus health insurance policies cover home care expenses if it has been recommended by the doctor. However, home quarantine-related expenses are not covered by most insurance companies. Therefore, it is advisable to check the same with your health insurance provider.

What are the initial stage symptoms of coronavirus?

Some of the common primary symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, dry cough and respiratory issue. Some patients may also experience headache and pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhoea.

How likely am I to catch COVID-19?

It all depends upon the intensity of the virus effect in your area. If you are staying in, or visiting areas that has high contamination of COVID-19 cases or if you have encountered someone who is suffering from Coronavirus or has travelled from an affected country, then you need to get yourself checked.

How does coronavirus spread in the human body?

Coronavirus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. Therefore, it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

Is COVID-19 the same as SARS?

No. The virus that causes COVID-19 and the one that caused the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 are closely related to each other genetically, but the diseases they cause are quite different. Undoubtedly, SARS was more deadly but much less infectious than COVID-19. However, there have been no outbreaks of SARS anywhere in the world since 2003.

How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?

The incubation period for COVID-19 is close to 2-14 days.

How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

Coronavirus lasts long on metal and plastic surfaces as compared to natural adsorbents like paper or cloth. A new analysis found that the virus can remain viable in the air for up to 3 hours, on copper for up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours. Though this may not be confirmed, this is a possible lasting duration of the viruses.

Can I get COVID-19 from eating fresh fruits and vegetables?

It has not been proven yet that people can get COVID-19 from fruits and vegetables or other food items. In fact, intake of fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended as it is healthy for the human body.

How should I wash fruits and vegetables in times of coronavirus?

Wash fruits and vegetables with clean water, especially if they are to be eaten raw. Also, do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly before handling them.

Which disinfectant should I use to clean regularly touched surfaces in my house?

To eliminate the virus from frequently touched household surfaces, use virucidal disinfectants like 0.05% sodium hypochlorite and at least 70% of ethanol based products.