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Understanding COVID-19 Health Insurance In India: Types, Inclusions And T&Cs

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The coronavirus pandemic has altered a lot in the world. From travel getting ceased nations going under lockdown to businesses switching to remote work, the impact is evident in all walks of life. And India, too, has not been left unscathed by the wrath of COVID-19. With nearly 10 lakh cases as of July 2020, the spread of the pandemic in the country is uncontrolled. This has also directly impacted healthcare costs, especially for COVID-19 treatment. 

The average daily cost of treating a regular COVID-19 carrier is between ₹20,000- ₹25,000. And this is for a patient who does not require intensive care of ventilators and life-saving equipment. So, a 14-day treatment would cost anywhere between ₹2,80,000- ₹3,50,000. 

In these challenging times, where citizens are already anxious about their health and the risks of the pandemic, these costs add to the worry. Not to mention, this anxiousness gets doubled for those concerned about losing their jobs or who have already lost them. The worry of how they would manage healthcare bills if ever they are infected with Coronavirus is leading to high-stress levels across the population. 

Taking all this into consideration, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) released guidelines for Coronavirus insurance to provide citizens with financial security, specifically for COVID-19 treatment costs. IRDAI has directed all health insurance providers to provide short-term COVID-19 insurance plans based on the standard guidelines. Under the guidelines, two types of COVID-19 health insurance have been specified. 

Types of COVID-19 Health Insurance In India

The Indian Government, through IRDAI, has mandated insurers to provide two types of Coronavirus coverage, depending on the people’s needs. 

COVID-19 Health Insurance Type 1- Corona Kavach: 

Corona Kavach is the standard health insurance policy for COVID-19 treatment. It works in a similar fashion to any indemnity-based health insurance policy where there is the sum insured, and you get the claim against the expenses you incur. For Coronavirus health insurance, these expenses range from diagnosis costs to hospitalization charges and a lot more. 

What does Corona Kavach cover?

Considering that at present, those diagnosed with Coronavirus are either hospitalized or many are advised home treatment too. Corona Kavach covers both of these scenarios. 

Corona Kavach for Hospitalisation

In cases of hospitalization, Corona Kavach policy will cover: 

  • Room, boarding, and nursing charges.
  • The fee of all staff involved in your treatment, including surgeons, anaesthetists, medical practitioners, consultants, specialists, etc.
  • Cost of blood, oxygen, anaesthesia, operation theatre, surgical appliances, ventilator charges, medicines, and drugs utilized in your treatment. 
  • Diagnostic, PPE kits, gloves, masks, and similar expenses.
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) / Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU) charges.
  • Ambulance charges of a maximum of Rs. 2,000.

Corona Kavach for Home Treatment

If a medical practitioner advises you to go for home treatment, then Corona Kavach insurance will cover the following expenses for you up to 14 days of diagnosis:

  • Cost of the prescribed treatment by the Medical Practitioner.
  • Diagnostic tests underwent at home or at a diagnostic centre.
  • Medicines prescribed in writing.
  • Consultation charges of the Medical Practitioner.
  • Medical procedures are limited to parenteral administration of medicines.
  • Nursing charges.
  • Cost of oxygen cylinder(s), pulse oximeter, and nebulizer.

[Note: Covering home treatment is tricky, and all these expenses would be covered against documented proof of these expenses.

Ayush Treatment:

A policyholder may choose to go for Ayush (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy) treatment for Coronavirus. Any Ayush treatment expenses up to the sum insured in the COVID-19 health insurance policy are covered. 

Pre and Post Treatment charges: 

Any costs related to the treatment 15 days before the hospitalization or home care treatment, and expenses incurred 30 days after the discharge or completion of the home care treatment, will be covered. For instance, this includes the cost of COVID tests or swab tests you would have taken for diagnosis. 

Optional Cover in Corona Kavach:

Corona Kavach also provides an additional “Hospital Daily Cash” wherein the insurer provides 0.5% of the sum insured per day to the policyholder for continuous hospitalization for COVID-19 treatment. This is payable for a maximum of 15 days during the policy period. Needless to say,  “Hospital Daily Cash” adds additional cost to your premium. 

What is the tenure of Corona Kavach health insurance?

According to government guidelines, insurance providers must keep the term of COVID-19 health insurance short. This helps in keeping the premium costs for the insurance affordable. 

Three options for the tenure are 3.5, 6.5, and 9.5 months payable with a single premium.

What is the Sum Insured for Corona Kavach health insurance?

The minimum sum insured amount is Rs.50,000, while the maximum is Rs.5 lakhs for the COVID-19 health insurance under the Corona Kavach policy. 

How much will the premium for Corona Kavach health insurance be?

The premium cost for Corona Kavach varies for different insurance providers. You must note that you pay the premium for the Coronavirus policy only once. The premium cost can vary from ₹500- ₹5000 depending upon the sum insured and the policy’s tenure. Here’s a comparison of the premiums provided by different insurance providers: ‍

COVID-19 Health Insurance Type 2- Corona Rakshak: 

Another option for COVID-19 health insurance to cover specific requirements is Corona Rakshak. This does not work like a standard insurance policy. Instead, the insurer provides you with a lump-sum amount of the sum insured after 72 hours of continuous hospitalization. This will be paid to you irrespective of the treatment expenses. Once this payment is made, your policy will cease to exist. 

What does Corona Rakshak cover?

As the Corona Rakshak plan is benefit-based and ensures you a lump sum, the details of what is covered are insignificant. After 72 hours of continuous hospitalization due to coronavirus, you get the entire amount. 

What is the tenure of Corona Rakshak health insurance?

Like Corona Kavach, the three tenure options are 3.5, 6.5, and 9.5 months payable with a single premium.

What is the Sum Insured for Corona Rakshak health insurance?

The minimum sum insured amount is ₹50,000, while the maximum is ₹2.5lakhs for the COVID-19 health insurance under the Corona Rakshak policy. 

How much will the premium for Corona Rakshak health insurance be?

Similar to Corona Kavach, the premium cost for Corona Raksha too can vary from ₹500- ₹5000 depending upon the sum insured and the policy’s tenure. The nitty-gritty of Corona Rakshak is still being discussed and formulated by IRDAI and insurance providers, so exact premium costs are yet not public. 

Comparing Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak Insurance

Comparing COVID-19 Insurance Plans and Health Insurance Plans That Cover COVID-19 

Another consideration that people have is whether to add COVID-19 cover to their existing Health insurance plan as an added benefit or to buy separate COVID-19 health insurance, essentially Corona Kavach. Here are the differences between the two to help you make a better choice:

Understanding Waiting Period For COVID-19 Health Insurance Policy

Considering the possibility of adverse selection, IRDAI mandates a 15-day waiting period for all Coronavirus health insurance. This is required because there is a chance that someone chooses to go for the insurance post-diagnosis of COVID-19. A mandatory 15-day waiting period is added to all COVID-19 insurance to ensure this does not happen. 

Plum COVID-19 Health Insurance For Your Employees

In these uncertain times, the concern and anxiety of soaring COVID treatment costs and the lack of financial security are probably irking your team too. As an employer, providing COVID-19 Health Insurance to your team gives them a sense of security and peace of mind and conveys that they are valued at the company and their health matters to you. 

At Plum, we offer group Corona Kavach COVID-19 Health Insurance for your employees, with up to ₹3,00,000 as the sum insured. We’ve kept the option of extending the coverage to your employees’ families, too, with premiums starting at just ₹443 per member per year.

We also realized that, more often than not, the first cause of worry related to Coronavirus starts when a person observes some symptoms. So, our COVID-19 Health Insurance includes a free doctor consultation for your employees regarding their Coronavirus symptoms. 

If you are considering providing COVID-19 insurance coverage to your team, explore our Coronavirus Cover now.

Hi everyone! I'm a growth marketer at Plum Insurance. I specialise in crafting functional and structural articles for search engine optimisation. I joined the insurtech space in 2018 and have been writing ever since. Also, I'm fluent in intermediate Python 🐍 as well.