Written by Ved Prakash Mishra.
The Coronavirus pandemic has become a bitter reality across the world. More than 15 lakh people in India have been reported infected with this aggressive viral infection as of late July 2020, and over 33,000 deaths have already been reported.
Amid this impact of COVID-19, the IRDAI had mandated that all insurers launch a Corona Kavach health insurance policy as a standard policy created to provide health insurance for Coronavirus treatment for both individuals and families. In fact , Corona Kavach policy is important for the entire family as it provides coverage against COVID-19 related medical expenses. It offers financial protection to the insured and helps in managing the burden of medical costs. After the circular, health insurers responded, and by early July we saw a full line of products provided by health insurers in India. The important details of the policy are provided below.
Corona Kavach Insurance Policy
This comprehensive health insurance plan is designed to offer coverage to you and your family against COVID-19 treatment costs incurred while hospitalized. Any individual can purchase a cover for themself and family members, between Rs 50,000 – Rs 5 Lakh in multiples of Rs. 50,000. Family members’ ages can range from 1 day to 65 years, though the primary applicant should be aged 18 years or higher. The policy period can be 3 ½ months, 6 ½ months, and 9 ½ months i.e. 105 days, 195 days, and 285 days respectively – these periods include a waiting period of 15 days in each case.
The various insurers’ COVID Kavach plans have more or less identical benefits as they have been mandated to, by IRDAI. The key benefits offered to the insured under the Corona Kavach insurance policy for COVID-19 treatment include:
- Cover for bed charges, nursing charges, blood tests, medication, PPE kits, oxygen, ICU & doctor consultation fees during hospitalization.
- Pre & post-hospitalization expenses (15 days / 30 days respectively).
- Ayush treatment covered.
- Home care treatment is covered.
- Road ambulance charges are covered.
- No Room Rent limits.
- Pre-existing Co-morbid conditions covered.
- Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) expenses.
Just as there are multiple benefits under this policy, there are also exclusions that need to be understood. General exclusions for COVID insurance mainly are:
- Any claim for COVID treatment where the illness has been diagnosed before the policy’s start date will not be paid.
- Day Care treatment and OPD treatment are not covered.
- Expenses related to the treatment of COVID within 15 days from the policy commencement date shall be excluded.
- Testing for COVID done at a diagnostic center that is not authorized by the Government would not lead to insurance coverage for COVID treatment charges.
As a special benefit to Health Care Workers, IRDAI has mandated a 5% discount on premiums for this category of clients i.e., Doctors, Nurses, and Hospital staff. In case anyone is not covered by any health insurance, it would make a lot of sense to consider buying the specific protection under the Corona Kavach insurance policy.
As Covid-19 cases are rising continuously across both Tier 1 and lower-tier cities it is important to cover yourself with Covid insurance, especially if you do not have regular health insurance. The premiums of this policy are significantly lower than those of health insurance, although it is limited to paying for treatment costs for COVID-19 only.
An important point: Though you may have a health policy or Corona Kavach insurance policy, you may not get admitted to a network hospital as offered by your policy, due to the extremely high patient load being faced by hospitals during this pandemic. In such a scenario, patients may have to file for reimbursement of their expenses for COVID-19 treatment after being discharged from the hospital.