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**Tax benefits are subject to changes in Income Tax Act.

COVID-19 Health Insurance

Pandemic declared coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted the lives of many across the globe. In India, the total number of people affected with the disease has crossed 5.1 million (as of 16 Sept, 2020) and is still counting. Keeping in consideration the number of cases going up and no news of a successful vaccine yet, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority in India (IRDAI) had issued a circular asking the insurance providers to come up with health insurance plans to offer protective coverage for expenses related to the coronavirus disease. Let us learn more about coronavirus and coronavirus insurance to analyse its need in the current times.

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a group of viruses that attack the immune system of a person that results in diseases as mild as the common cold to as severe as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). It is an infectious disease that originated in China’s Wuhan in late December 2019. COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that shows symptoms similar to those of regular flu. These include fever, dry cough, tiredness, and sore throat. However, the disease affects different people in different ways. It has been fatal for people aged above 60 years and those with pre-medical conditions. As stated above, it is a new strain of the virus that does not have any cure as of now.

What Does Coronavirus Health Insurance Mean?

Coronavirus health insurance policy is a customised health insurance policy aimed at covering hospitalisation, pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation expenses, and other medical expenses arising due to the treatment of COVID-19. Almost all health insurance policies now offer cover for the treatment of coronavirus in India. The cover is available from day 1 after the insured is tested coronavirus positive. SInce COVID-19 is a new disease, it does not fall under the category of pre-existing diseases.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Insurance Plans in India

If you are looking for a health insurance policy with comprehensive coverage, then you can purchase a standard health insurance policy that covers all medical expenses including those related to the treatment of novel coronavirus. One can also choose from two short-term health insurance policies recently launched by the IRDA that are designed to cover coronavirus treatment expenses only. View two COVID-19 health insurance plan types:

1. Corona Kavach Policy: COVID-19 Insurance Policy

Corona Kavach Policy is a single premium standard health insurance policy that covers treatment expenses related to COVID-19. It is an indemnity based health insurance policy that covers both individuals as well as families at an affordable premium. You can cover self, dependent children, parents, and parents in law under this policy for a period of 3.5 months (105 days), 6.5 months (195 days), and 9.5 months (285 days). Offered by both private and general insurers, the policy offers cover against AYUSH treatment expenses, homecare treatment expenses, pre-hospitalisation expenses, post-hospitalisation expenses, and road ambulance expenses. The best thing about the policy is that it comes with a short waiting period of 15 days, which means that you can start availing policy benefits soon. Also, you can opt for daily cash benefit by paying an extra premium. 

2. Corona Rakshak Policy: COVID-19 Insurance Plan

Corona Rakshak Policy is a standard health insurance policy especially designed to cover treatment expenses related to COVID-19 is Corona Rakshak Policy. Unlike Corona Kavach Policy, it is a benefit based health insurance policy that pays the insured a lump sum benefit equal to 100% of the sum insured if he/she is tested positive for COVID-19. The policy offers coverage on an individual basis for sum insured options ranging between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 2.5 lakh in the multiples of Rs. 50,000.

The policy can be purchased by people aged between 18 years and 65 years. Available for short policy terms of 3.5 months, 6.5 months and 9.5 months, the policy gets terminated upon the payment of benefit. But the insured can avail policy benefits only he/she is tested COVID-19 positive at a government recognised center and gets hospitalised for at least 72 hours continuously. The policy comes with a short waiting period of 15 days but does not offer lifetime renewability benefit, it being a benefits based policy.

Health Insurance Companies Offering Coronavirus Health Insurance Plans

Tabulated below are health insurance companies that offer Corona Kavach Policy and Corona Rakshak Policy to the customers.

Health Insurance Company

Corona Kavach Policy

Corona Rakshak Plan

Acko General Insurance Ltd.

Yes

No

Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

No

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co Ltd

Yes

No

Bharti AXA General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

No

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

Yes

Edelweiss General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

Yes

Future Generali India Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

Yes

Go Digit General Insurance Ltd

Yes

Yes

HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co.Ltd.

Yes

No

HDFC ERGO Health Insurance Limited

Yes

No

ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd

Yes

Yes

IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

Yes

Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

No

Liberty General Insurance Ltd.

Yes

No

Magma HDI General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

No

ManipalCigna Health Insurance Company Limited

Yes

Yes

Max Bupa Health Insurance Co. Ltd

Yes

No

Navi General Insurance Ltd.

Yes

Yes

National Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

No

Raheja QBE General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

No

Reliance General Insurance Co.Ltd

Yes

Yes

Care Health Insurance Co. Ltd

Yes

No

Royal Sundaram General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

No

SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

No

Star Health & Allied Insurance Co.Ltd.

Yes

Yes

Tata AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

No

The New India Assurance Co. Ltd

Yes

No

The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

Yes

United India Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

No

Universal Sompo General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Yes

Yes

What is Covered Under Coronavirus Health Insurance?

Coronavirus health insurance policies offer cover against the following medical expenses:

  • Hospitalisation Expenses: Coronavirus health insurance policies cover hospitalisation expenses arising due to COVID-19 if it exceeds more than 24 hours.
  • Quarantine Cover: COVID-19 specific health insurance policies also cover the insured individuals who are quarantined in government identified authorities.
  • Additional Coverage: Some coronavirus specific health insurance policies like that offered by Go Digit General Insurance Ltd offer add-on covers that the insured can opt for by paying an extra premium. For instance, expenses related to alternative treatment (AYUSH), maternity benefit with newborn baby cover, and so on. 

What is Not Covered Under Coronavirus Health Insurance Policy?

Coronavirus health insurance policy do not offer cover against the following medical expenses:

  • Home Quarantine: Expenses incurred during the quarantine period spent at home is not covered under COVID-19 specific health insurance policies.
  • Non-Recognised Quarantine Center: Medical expenses incurred when the insured is kept in quarantine for at a non-recognised center for the treatment of COVID-19 are not covered.
  • Pre-Existing Diseases: Any expenses arising due to treatment of pre-existing illnesses are not covered until the waiting period is completed.
  • Hospitalisation Without Doctor’s Recommendation: If the insured gets hospitalised without the recommendation of a qualified doctor as specified on the prescription, then he/she will not be covered for the expenses arising due to treatment.

How to Make a Claim Under Coronavirus Health Insurance Plans?

The claim settlement process for coronavirus (COVID-19) health insurance policies is similar to that for regular health insurance policies. Under coronavirus health insurance policies, claims can be made in two ways, namely cashless claims and reimbursement claims. As talked before, cashless claims can be availed if the treatment is taken at a network hospital. Whereas, reimbursement treatment facility can be availed even at a non-network hospital. Read below to understand the process for both in detail:

  • Cashless Claims: All the insurance companies today offer cashless treatment facility. The process offers you quality medical treatment without having you pay anything at the hospital. It keeps you at ease even in difficult times. To avail the benefit, you are just required to avail treatment at a network hospital and inform the insurance company about the same. The insurance company, after verifying the details, will settle the medical bill directly at the hospital. But before availing treatment and making a health insurance claim, make sure if your health insurance policy covers treatment related to coronavirus or not.
  • Reimbursement Claims: Reimbursement claims require you to avail of medical treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19) at any non-network hospital. You are then required to settle the bills out of your own pocket at the time of discharge after informing the insurer. Later when you make a claim, the insurance company transfers the amount in your bank account. But the insurance company settles the claim only after verifying medical bills and other documents.

Health Insurance Coronavirus FAQs

  • What is not covered under a COVID-19 health insurance policy?

    Coronavirus health insurance policy has the following exclusions: 

    • Expenses incurred due to participation in any adventurous sport
    • Expenses related to treatment required due to self-inflicted injuries. For instance, attempt to suicide
    • Claim arising due to war are not covered
    • Venereal or sexually transmitted diseases are not covered
    • Treatment of obesity or cosmetic surgery is not covered
    • Cover for accidents while participating in defense operations are not covered
  • Can I avail cashless treatment facility under a COVID-19 health insurance policy?

    Yes. You can avail both cashless as well as reimbursement treatment facility under a coronavirus health insurance policy. However, cashless treatment facilities can only be availed at a network hospital. 

  • Is there any waiting period applicable for claims under COVID-19 health insurance plans?

    If your policy covers OPD treatment expenses, then there is no waiting period. You can make a claim for OPD expenses in accordance with the terms and conditions mentioned under your policy. In case the hospitalisation is required due to COVID-19, then you will be required to complete an initial waiting period of 30 days if it is a fresh policy. You will not be required to complete a waiting period if the policy is renewed timely without any break. 

  • Do health insurance plans for COVID-19 cover diagnostic tests and consultations with a medical practitioner?

    If your COVID-19 health insurance policy protects you against OPD expenses, then you will be covered for all the consultations advised by a medical practitioner as well as diagnostic tests that he/she advises. You can make a claim for OPD expenses as per the terms and conditions stated under your COVID-19 health insurance policy. Also, many health insurance plans for COVID-19 cover pre-hospitalisation expenses and post-hospitalisation expenses for up to a specific number of days. These also include expenses related to diagnostic tests and consultations with a medical practitioner. 

  • Should I get a COVID-specific insurance plan?

    Yes. Getting a COVID-19 specific health insurance policy even if you have a standard health insurance policy is a wise option. This is because there are several benefits that you can enjoy under a COVID-19 specific health insurance policy that standard health insurance plans might not offer. There are two types of COVID-specific health insurance plans that you can choose from. These include Corona Kavach Policy and Corona Rakshak Policy.  

  • Does the standard individual COVID-19 health insurance plan suit me?

    Standard health insurance product for COVID-19 is an affordable health insurance plan that suits the requirements of all. The policy offers you sum insured options ranging between Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 5 lakh in multiples of Rs. 50,000 and you can purchase the same to get coverage against several COVID-19 related medical expenses. 

  • Can we buy health insurance only for the coronavirus? Which is the best insurance policy that covers COVID-19 treatment?

    Yes. There are a few health insurance plans in the market that are especially designed to cover medical expenses incurred due to positive diagnosis of COVID-19. Some of them are Corona Kavach Policy, Corona Rakshak Policy, and Arogya Sanjeevani Policy.  

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