Impact of COVID-19: Health Insurance Is The New Normal
Updated On Sep 13, 2021
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This era of global pandemic has adversely affected a large population, due to which many individuals have lost their loved ones. A patient suffering from coronavirus disease requires immediate medical attention, but lack of monetary aid and quality treatment has made people suffer. People with health insurance policies get financial aid and quality treatment in case of medical emergencies. This has made individuals realise the importance of health insurance covers for hospitalization in case of medical emergencies.
A health insurance plan comes packed with a lot of benefits like hospitalization expenses, tax deduction benefits, healthcare checkups, ambulance charges, room rents, protection gear expenses, etc. which can be availed by the policyholders at the time of claim settlement of the purchased health insurance cover. The health insurance providers have rolled out health insurance plans which provide coverage for COVID-19 treatments specifically, and IRDAI has made the insurers to include COVID-19 in their regular health insurance policies for all the policyholders.
Reasons Behind The Increase In Demand For Health Insurance Plans During COVID-19
After the COVID-19 pandemic, people are actively investing in health insurance plans, therefore let us look at some of the key reasons behind this increase in the demand for health insurance policies:
- People have become more aware about the health related concerns, and have realised the importance of having some financial backup for medical emergencies. Health insurance policies provide a plethora of features and benefits to their customers. It ensures quality treatment to the customers at the private hospitals without worrying about the medical dues.
- Abiding to the mandation made by IRDAI, the health insurance providers have included COVID-19 coverage to their regular health insurance policies for all the policyholders which covers the medical expenses of the people suffering from coronavirus. It also covers the expenses of the protection gears like gloves, masks, nebulizers, etc. along with the intensive care expenses.
- Along with the coverage for coronavirus disease, it provides some other benefits like no claim bonus, additional discounts, second opinions on critical diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc. to the policyholders. Some insurers also provide free annual healthcare checkups to the policyholders.
- Due to the rapid rise in inflation in the health sector, the cost of treatments in the private hospitals has increased which can potentially burn a hole in the patients pocket. To avoid the customers from exhausting their financial savings, health insurance covers offer affordable and cashless treatments.
How Did COVID-19 Pandemic Influence Health Insurance Policies?
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the investment of individuals in health insurance plans has increased which has brought some significant changes in the health insurance covers and the health insurance market. Following are some of the changes that mark the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Various COVID-19 specific health insurance plans have been introduced like Corona Rakshak plan and Corona Kavach Plan. COVID-19 coverage has also been included with the regular health insurance policies for all the policyholders. These plans cover expenses like hospitalization costs, ICU charges, ambulance charges, nebulizers, masks, gloves, PPE kits, etc.
- The premium payments of the health insurance plans can be made in monthly, annual, half-yearly, or quarterly installments, depending on the choice of the customer. This mode of payment of the premium of a health insurance policy has been introduced by IRDAI considering the financial load of the customers.
- Claim submission decisions can be made within 30 days of applying for a health insurance policy. Within the 30 days of applying for a health insurance cover, the insurer must accept or deny a claim.
- Due to the pandemic, the insurers have facilitated the online purchase of a health insurance policy and it has also allowed digital signatures of the customers for authentication of the documents submitted. Email confirmation and OTP sent to the customer for verification also plays a similar role.
Many reforms have been brought in by the health insurance providers to facilitate the health insurance purchase and renewal of the policy. Customers must go through the policy related documents carefully to make sure that their demands have been met.
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.