Over the past year, each one of our lives has been shaken by a global pandemic. From a time where stepping outdoors was a hobby to now, when even buying groceries is regulated. All of this because the world has been halted by a virus that has affected millions already.
While all of us have strict instructions to remain indoors, there are still many who end up being infected despite their best precautions.
At such a time, the need for medical treatment has grown exponentially. This further means that the costs of medical costs rise at a much higher rate than they usually would. Hence, there is more need for cost-effective options like health insurance. However, does health insurance cover COVID-19?
Before knowing that, there is a question that many among us would ask. This question is that should your current health insurance policy cover COVID-19? While the government has instructed private hospitals to augment their facilities to treat COVID-19 patients. However, how does that translate towards health insurance providers?
Despite being around for more than a year, COVID-19 is still a disease that the medical community has limited knowledge about. So far, all that is known is that it requires rapid testing, isolation, and intensive treatment. Apart from these factors, it is an infectious disease that you can contract from another person. Here is a look into how health insurance should deal with other infectious diseases:
Extended coverage for hospitalization:
Infectious diseases like COVID-19 require intense and constant treatment. Hence, the patient will have to be hospitalized. Moreover, the patient would have to stay in hospitalization for much longer than usual. This means the cost of hospitalization can be greater under COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
With extended coverage for hospitalization, you can make sure that you are covered for a longer period of hospitalization.
Higher coverage amount:
Usually, a policy with coverage worth 3 to 5 lakhs is considered satisfactory for a single individual. Now, depending on how many dependents you have and their individual medical needs, you can multiply this amount to have total coverage for the entire family.
However, in the case of infectious diseases, the policy should allow you to have a higher sum as the total coverage amount. If your medical insurance provider offers this, you should approach them to make the changes to your policy.
For a disease like COVID-19 that has spread across a large amount of people, the greatest measure of solving the problem is vaccination. While there are currently options for vaccines available in the country, the vaccination process is still in its early stages.
Hence, there is no telling where this drive of inoculating people in the country goes. Regardless, in most places you can get a vaccine, you must pay a certain price.
Whether you can pay that price or not, there is also the question of availability. Hence, Insurance plans should have coverage to ensure that you get a vaccine and the cost of buying the vaccine should be covered by them.
Medical experts believe that the key to managing the infection of COVID-19 in the country is to ensure rapid testing. The more tests they conduct, the more patients that they will be aware of and be able to treat. However, testing also applies after the treatment.
When you receive the treatment for COVID-19, just the absence of symptoms is not enough to declare you treated. A patient is only considered treated if he/she clears 2 tests for the virus after the treatment. The insurance policy should cover these tests and additional ones if the patient needs to be tested again in the future.
Does health insurance include COVID?
All things insurance in the country is regulated by The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). The organization has recently released a mandate that general and health insurance companies must include COVID-19 coverage in their existing plans. Hence, you should talk to your insurance provider if your current policy includes this coverage.
Moreover, there are many insurance providers offering specific coverage plans for coronavirus patients. Hence, you can also buy these policies to ensure you and your family are medically protected from this pandemic.