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Coronavirus - Does My Existing Health Insurance Cover Coronavirus?

Published On Apr 01, 2021, Updated On May 11, 2021

In March 2020, the world was informed of the Coronavirus that quickly crossed borders from China and claimed millions of lives globally, giving rise to the Covid pandemic. The deadliness of this virus arises from its unprecedented rate of infection and mutation and despite having a vaccine, we must continue to maintain all precautions. However, if someone severely contracts Covid-19, hospitalisation is necessary, that entails a high cost of treatment. For this reason, having a health insurance policy is mandatory but people are confused about its coverage in their existing policies and whether they should buy a specialised Coronavirus health insurance policy or not. In this article, we are going to discuss all of these issues to dispel any myths or confusion that you might have.

Coronavirus - Does My Existing Health Insurance Cover Coronavirus?

Does My Existing Health Insurance Cover Covid-19?

While most health insurance policies in India were offering a health insurance policy during the initial days of the pandemic, it offered financial assistance only if you were hospitalised for a period of 24 hours. If you were not hospitalised, you could not claim anything since most indemnity health insurance policies do not cover outpatient treatment.

However, even after Covid-19 was declared as a pandemic, many private insurance companies were hesitant to offer coverage for the disease. They cited that claims towards epidemics and pandemics were listed as exclusions under the government insurance norms in India. But, government agencies had a radically opposite stand, did not reject any claims for Covid and took cognisance of the deeper impact that Covid-19 had on people’s lives.

Hence, instead of panicking, it is wise to enquire your health insurance provider about Covid-19 coverage. As per experts, very few policies come with a clause of not covering pandemics and you should read the policy documents closely to gain better understanding.

Can I Buy A Coronavirus Specific Health Insurance Plan?

To ensure greater protection, you can always buy a Coronavirus specialised health insurance plan. Insurance regulators are now allowing insurers to sell short-term Covid-19 specific health plans with a minimum term of 3 months to 11 months. Since Coronavirus policies have a shorter duration these are more expensive but are a perfect solution if you do not have adequate financial protection from a comprehensive health insurance cover. The minimum sum assured of these policies is INR 50,000 and maximum limit of INR 5 Lakh and a waiting period of not more than 15 days. Any individuals between the age of 18 to 65 years are eligible for this. The Corona Kavach Policy by the government of India is the latest specialised health insurance policy that comes with a seamless purchase procedure and includes the costs of consumables like PPEs, without a cap on room rent.

At present, there are several prominent health insurance companies that cover Covid-19 along with hospitalisation cover, but these usually come with certain terms and conditions such as exclusions, waiting periods and pre-existing conditions. Therefore, it is advisable to have a Coronavirus specific health insurance policy for enhanced protection.

Take Away

Hopefully, the above passages have answered your question about Covid-19 coverage and health insurance policies. However, if you contract the diseases within the waiting period or recently travelled to an affected country your claims and coverage is liable to getting cancelled. Be extremely cautious and maintain precautions to save yourself and others from Covid. Some reputed private insurance providers offering Covid-19 coverage include HDFC ERGO, Star Health, Reliance Religare, Max Bupa and Care Insurance company amongst others.

Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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