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Importance of Health Insurance Cover During COVID-19

Updated On Nov 02, 2020

How does health insurance act as your rescuer during covid-19 outbreak? India has one of the lowest healthcare penetrations in the world, according to the Central Government data. The same statistics also report that more than half of all healthcare related expenses in India is borne out-of-pocket which is much lower than the global average. In a time like this, the importance of having adequate healthcare coverage cannot be stressed enough.

Read more: Importance of Health Insurance For Senior Citizen To Fight The Coronavirus

Why Do We Need An Insurance Cover For Covid-19?

During this pandemic everyone is at increased risk and since the disease is also new to the world, the treatment is still being developed and optimised. Health insurance during this time is very important and the following points will stress on why it is important.  

  • ICU Requirement is High in Covid Treatment: The challenge with Covid-19 treatment is that quite a number of hospitalized cases require intensive care treatment and ventilator support, eventually. With the current caseload in India, both of these are scarce and expensive which drives the cost of treatment upwards very quickly. 
    Cases of hospitalization charges running upwards of Rs. 10 lakhs in tier 1 and tier 2 cities is not uncommon. Without Mediclaim, this is a huge bill for the average Indian citizen.
  • Everyone is at Risk: The probability of multiple members of a family getting the virus and requiring hospitalization is not too low, as reported by many surveys. Multiple cases of hospitalization from the same family can quickly add up to huge expenses often drying up entire life’s savings. Healthcare coverage can save families from financial ruin in such cases.
  • Expensive Protective Gear: Even wherever hospitalization doesn’t require intensive care, the cost of general treatment is high due to special protective gear required for Covid-19. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits including gloves, masks and other supplies to protect healthcare workers come at a cost, and the final bill amount could still end up in a few lakh rupees due to this.
  • Emergency Coverage: Often there is a requirement for immediate hospitalization due to oxygen levels falling abruptly. This is more of a concern in rural and semi-urban areas where regular transport at odd hours might be difficult. During such times, ambulance cover provided in a healthcare plan can be a saviour.
  • Income Benefit: Some healthcare plans have income benefits which can help families coping with financial difficulties arising out of unemployment (due to hospitalisation) triggered by this pandemic.
  • AYUSH Treatment Coverage: During the pandemic the health ministry has emphasized alternative treatments like AYUSH which have been found to be highly effective in preventing Corona in many cases. In-patient AYUSH treatments are now covered under most Mediclaim plans, per IRDAI guidelines. This can prove to be quite helpful for people unable to afford such treatments.

Know more: Best Health Insurance Plans

An Alternative Solution to Regular Plans During Covid

Although it is highly advisable to get comprehensive coverage, a limited time Corona specific coverage should be considered for the entire family, at the least. Plans like Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak have been designed specifically for such needs and the public should take advantage of these specific care products, in their own interest.


Healthcare in normal times is imperative, during a pandemic it is absolutely indispensable. According to Insurance Industry insiders, the rate of healthcare enrolment in India has gone up sharply post Covid-19 pandemic. Hopefully, people have already begun to realize the importance of having adequate coverage for tough times. 

Disclaimer: This article is issued in 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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