Covid-19, the ongoing pandemic, which has claimed millions of lives, has triggered a new-found interest in health insurance, and people are making a beeline for insurance companies. More importantly, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has made it compulsory for all health policies to cover the treatment of Covid-19. The IRDAI has also asked all insurance providers to offer a standard health insurance plan by the name of Arogya Sanjeevani with effect from April 1, 2020, to the extent of Rs. 5 lakh.
Mandatory for health insurance plans to cover Covid-19 treatment
After the government permitted private hospitals to treat the pandemic and made it compulsory for health insurance policies to cover Covid-19 treatment, people have started raising claims on their policies. The government has put a ceiling of Rs 4,500 on tests for Covid-19 on private labs, but private hospitals have not been imposed with any such restrictions for the treatment of the disease. The claims that Covid-19 patients have been raising range from 50K right up to 5 lakh, making it difficult for the common-man to estimate just exactly how much insurance they should buy to protect themselves against the onslaught of Covid-19.
Cost of treating Covid-19
Besides, the cost of the treating the disease depends on its severity. Though not many Covid patients need critical care and can be discharged after basic treatment, it is the ancillary equipment that rockets up the cost of treatment. Such equipment includes ventilators, anti-viral medications, and personal protection equipment known as PPEs. Also, the costs that hospitals incur to create separate isolation wards for Covid patients raises the cost of treatment even further.
Quantum of health insurance you would need
In light of the above, the Rs 5 lakh coverage offered by the Arogya Sanjeevani health insurance plan, would hardly be adequate for a person living in a metro city and who has contracted Covid-19. It may suffice if the patient were to be admitted in a secondary care hospital, but would hardly be enough for treatment in an upmarket corporate hospital.
Moreover, when you purchase a health insurance policy, Covid-19 is not the only disease you would be looking at to cover, but would want it to cover any kind of medical emergency, and over the long-term, not just the next couple of years. This means a policy with coverage of Rs 5 lakh would not be enough, especially in the long term where you have to take into account medical inflation too. If you prefer to buy a family floater plan, you should be looking at an even bigger sum. You would also be wise to look at policies which take into account the type of room when you are to be admitted to a hospital, and not one that limits the room rent to a fixed amount per day.
Having taken all the above factor into account, fix your health insurance policy amount, but if you cannot afford to take out a policy for a large amount, you could begin with the Arogya Sanjeevani. You can also buy health insurance for diabetes person from Bharti AXA.