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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 30 Apr 2020
Coronavirus has entered India, already claiming two lives. The number of people who tested positive has reached 84 as of March 14, 2020. In the face of this imminent danger, it is vital to increase awareness and take precautionary measures to ward off the infection. However, if this deadly virus infects you, hospitalization and hefty medical expenses might become necessary. People are concerned whether existing insurance providers will offer health insurance for Coronavirus. IRDAI, the insurance regulator of India, has brought forward concise guidelines for the health insurance providers about coverage for COVID-19 treatment, which put to rest the anxiety in the minds of policyholders.
Will your health insurance cover treatment for Coronavirus?
According to IRDA, if your policy covers the cost of hospitalization and you need to be hospitalized due to COVID-19, claim settlement will be expedited. It has issued stringent directives to review Coronavirus claims meticulously before rejecting any such claim. As per the guidelines, the insurers must cover all treatment expenses, including quarantine costs. As such, Coronavirus disease is similar to typical respiratory infections, and standard practices regarding viral infections are applicable for Coronavirus as well. Cashless health insurance will be provided as usual if you are admitted to any hospital empaneled with your insurance provider. If your policy covers OPD expenses, then any such treatment you undergo for Coronavirus will be reimbursed. However, if it is a new policy, then there might be a waiting period before cover for infectious disease come into place.
Is there any particular health insurance for Coronavirus?
The IRDAI has urged insurance providers to design products to address the Coronavirus threat specifically. Many insurance companies are already assessing the need for introducing such a specific plan for Coronavirus. Such policies might feature reduced waiting periods and will go a long way towards successfully fighting this global crisis.
Under what condition will your health insurance claim for Coronavirus not be payable?
Your travel history or exposure to an infected person is not likely to have any bearing on your claim for regular health insurance. However, WHO has declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Most health insurance policies repudiate cover for the treatment of pandemic diseases. It remains to be seen whether the exclusion for global pandemic condition comes into play under this situation. You should go through your policy document thoroughly and contact your insurance provider in case of any confusion.
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