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Ways in Which Covid-19 Has Changed Health Insurance in India

Updated On Dec 21, 2020

Today, India is among the top three worst-affected nations by the Coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has made an impact on nearly all sectors of the health ecosystem across the continuum, including health insurance.

Ways in Which Covid-19 Changes Health Insurance in India

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught everybody to adapt to challenging situations. To escape the pandemic, the entire population has been compelled to change their habits and practice social distancing. However, it is not just people who have changed the way their lives are led. To overcome the problems posed by the pandemic, the health insurance sector has already undergone several significant shifts.

Having said that, we shed light on certain significant changes that influenced the health insurance industry owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

1. Introduction of Coronavirus Coverage: The Covid-19 pandemic opened the way for unique coronavirus health care policies. Two such plans were introduced in India by health insurers on the IRDA's direction, i.e.Corona Rakshak and Corona Kavach. These plans offer compensation for any medical costs accrued on contracting Covid-19. Unlike standard health care policies, the prices of consumables such as PPE packs, goggles, gloves, etc. used during the treatment of coronavirus are covered under both Corona Rakshak and Corona Kavach policies. Corona Kavach policy also includes the cost of medical expenses resulting from comorbidities.

2. Health Insurance Premium Payment on Instalment: The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the introduction of the option to pay health insurance premiums in installments. Economies around the world have been adversely affected by the pandemic, including India. IRDA launched this payment mode for paying health insurance premiums realising the financial crunch that people are facing. This move makes health insurance plans more affordable at a moment of utmost need.

3. Claim Decision within 30 Days: Insurance providers are now expected to decide within 30 days on the claim submission (as per IRDA). Within 30 days of accepting the application form, all health insurance companies are required to accept or deny a claim.

4. Telemedicine Coverage: Health insurance providers have now begun to pay the costs of telemedicine. The Covid-19 pandemic led to the lockout and social distancing that caused people to seek online/offsite medical consultations. Hence, IRDA has advised health insurance providers to cover telemedicine charges in health insurance plans.

5. No Physical Signature Required: With the online purchase of insurance plans becoming popular due to the Covid-19 pandemic, at the time of buying a contract, policy buyers are no longer compelled to put their physical signatures on the proposal form. Instead, the applicant's authentication can be done by a one-time password (OTP) or email confirmation sent to them.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created mayhem in people’s lives. Yet that has also contributed to some dramatic improvements in the health insurance sector, which has favored the general public. Coronavirus health insurance policies have made it easier for consumers to cover the treatment costs of Covid-19 disease.

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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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