Updated: August 21, 2020 11:36:13 am
The importance of health insurance has increased substantially in times of Coronavirus, particularly because no one is aware how long one is safe from this pandemic. Our objective for now, therefore, should be to have an insurance plan in place to safeguard against hospital bills if hospitalised after testing positive for COVID-19.
After all, who would have thought that a virus, much smaller than a bacteria, could have such a big impact on our lives? Starting with the lockdown, leading to an impending fall in economic activities, there have been widespread instances of pay-cuts, job losses to income-loss for the self-employed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The financial impact of COVID-19 is turning out to be huge. With the household budget already getting squeezed, getting hospitalised due to Coronavirus could be a double whammy for most people. For someone who tests positive to Coronavirus, the hospitalisation stay – which can generally go up to 14 days – may cost a few lakh, especially if treated in a private hospital.
To keep the treatment costs standard, transparent and manageable, the General Insurance Council (GIC) has provided reference rates to the hospitals that include the cost of PPE Kits and special medical procedures, if required.
Although the rates are indicative in nature, according to GIC reference rates, the per day cost in a NABH-accredited hospital is in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 18,000, depending on the severity of the illness and the usage of ICU facilities. Understandably, if there are any co-morbidity conditions arising, the stay could prolong, leading to higher hospital bills.
Health insurance for Coronavirus
This is exactly where the health insurance plans come to our rescue! While regular health covers were already available in the market, various insurance companies have now introduced exclusive and dedicated health insurance plans for Coronavirus – which are standard plans to meet the hospitalisation cost incurred on the treatment of COVID-19.
If you are looking to buy a COVID-19-specific health insurance cover, the two options are – Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak Health Insurance Policies. The Corona Kavach policy is being offered by general and health insurance companies only, while the Corona Rakshak policy may be offered by all insurers, including life insurers.
However, before you buy any of them, let us discuss 7 key things about Corona Kavach & Corona Rakshak Health Insurance Policies:
- Benefits of buying Corona Plans
Firstly, you need to be aware of the nature and working of these two plans. Corona Kavach plan is an indemnity-based plan, i.e. it indemnifies the actual amount of hospital expenses. As a Corona Kavach policyholder, your hospital bill gets reimbursed up to the sum insured in the policy. On the contrary, in the Corona Rakshak Policy, which is a benefit-based plan, the 100 per cent of the sum insured is paid to the policyholder on the occurrence of the defined event. Being an indemnity plan, the premium of a Corona Kavach plan is affordable to get a high coverage. Bajaj Allianz Corona Kavach policy is one such solution if you are looking for a health insurance cover for Coronavirus.
- Inclusions and Coverage
All the inclusions and coverages have been clearly defined in both these health insurance plans for Coronavirus. From room rent to doctor’s fees to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU) expenses, all are covered under the plans. Specific to the Coronavirus treatment, ventilator charges, costs of medicines and drugs, costs towards diagnostics, diagnostic imaging modalities, PPE Kits, gloves, masks and such other similar expenses are also covered under the plans.
- Optional Cover
At times, there could be some out-of-pocket hospital expenses which could even be incurred by one’s family members during hospital visits. The Corona Kavach policy gives one the option to add ‘Hospital Daily Cash’ cover, under which, the insurer pays 0.5 per cent of the sum insured per day (maximum 15 days) for each 24 hours of continuous hospitalization.
- Type of Policy
The Corona Kavach policy can be purchased both on individual basis and on Family Floater basis. So, if you are considering to buy the Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance plan, Corona Kavach – You can either buy the Corona Kavach plan for each member of the family or on Family Floater basis. In addition to self, spouse and dependent children, the coverage may be extended for parents and even in-laws.
As far as buying the Corona Rakshak policy is concerned, it is offered on individual basis only. Hence, you need to buy the policy separately for every member of the family if you want them to be covered by a COVID-19 health insurance cover.
- Minimum and Maximum Coverage
Corona Kavach Plan can be bought for a minimum sum insured of Rs 50,000 while the maximum is capped at Rs 5 lakh. In the case of Corona Rakshak Plan, the minimum sum insured is Rs 50,000 and the maximum limit is Rs 2.5 lakh. As being witnessed, the cost of hospitalisation for the treatment of Coronavirus can be in lakhs.
- Tenure of the Plan
Both Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak health insurance policies are short-term health insurance plans. Each of them has a tenure options of 3 ½ months, 6 ½ months, and 9 ½ months i.e. 105 days, 195 days and 285 days.
The transmission of the virus is still not under control and there is the looming danger of the second wave of the virus. Also, the vaccine to control its spread is yet to be developed. So, making a guess on the amount of hospital bill or decline of the virus effect could be hazardous. Ideally, one should go for the maximum term and the maximum coverage available in the COVID-19 health insurance cover.
- Eligibility for Coverage
Even while you hold any of these COVID-19 health insurance covers, you need to meet two important criteria to be eligible for the claims. The claim in a Corona Kavach Policy can be made only when there is a hospitalization of a minimum period of 24 hours. However, in the case of Corona Rakshak Policy, it requires hospitalization for a minimum continuous period of 72 hours. Further, the claim on Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak Health Insurance Plans for the treatment of COVID-19 will become eligible only when the test report has been generated in a government authorised diagnostic center.
The role of health insurance in protecting your finances is huge as it helps you to avoid dipping into savings earmarked for life goals. And, by buying health insurance for Coronavirus, you can add the second layer of defense to protect your wealth.
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