With monsoons around the corner, there are a host of illnesses that are lurking around. It is that time of the year, when a runny nose, possibly a migraine cold/cough and every other sign of influenza become unavoidable. There are other specific illnesses which occur during the monsoon. The possibility of medical expenses during the monsoon/winter season is typically higher. Insurance coverage for vector-borne diseases seems to bring relief. Here we understand the nuances of such insurance coverage.
What are vector-borne diseases?
Vector-borne diseases are those illnesses or diseases which occur in humans and are caused by parasites, bacteria or viruses. These are typically spread by vectors. Vectors include fleas, mosquitos, ticks and others which are generally known spreaders of pathogens. Any person who is bitten or is in close contact with any of these vectors is likely to contract a vector-borne disease.
What does vector-borne insurance cover do?
Malaria, dengue, filariasis, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, and kala-azar all occur in higher frequency in monsoon. The origin of these illnesses is mosquitos which tend to breed in monsoon. This is true despite the best precautions to ensure there is no stagnant water around, there are high chances of mosquitos plaguing your home.
There is a host of insurance companies offering coverage for vector-borne diseases. This is especially true given that the frequency of occurrence of diseases such as dengue, and chikungunya have drastically increased in the last few years. The average hospitalisation cost for such illnesses could range between Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 75,000. It could potentially cause a dent in your budget and be a potential setback in your financial planning. Hence, it would make sense to avail coverage for vector-borne diseases through these specialised health insurance plans.
During which period the vector-borne illness insurance is most required?
While you could potentially fall ill throughout the year, specific illnesses tend to occur more during monsoon. There are viral infections which occur more during monsoon and winter. Thus, it is imperative to avail yourself of these specialised insurance plans during this specific time of the year to safeguard yourself from any unnecessary expenses.
However, given the waiting period of typically 15 to 60 days, it is best to avail of the plan during the fag end of summer. So, you can opt for it just before the onset of monsoon and ensure that all types of waiting periods have elapsed and you can enjoy complete coverage during the most vulnerable months.
Who should avail these plans?
There are regions in and around India where water logging is more frequent. This is prevalent either due to the basic nature of the geography or due to poor infrastructure. If you are someone who needs to work or stay around places where vector-borne diseases occur with more frequency, then it is a must-have in your insurance portfolio.
There are also volunteers of non-government organisations (NGOs) who are committed to improving the lives of the underprivileged and often end up working or visiting places which are prone to vector-borne diseases, they may also be vulnerable to falling sick. These are individuals who will require such insurance, to ensure that such illnesses do not cause a setback to their financial milestones.
Where in India do vector-borne diseases occur more?
Vector-borne diseases occur in tropical and subtropical regions. It affects several states in India. The prominent states prone to vector-borne diseases are:
- West Bengal,
- Uttar Pradesh (UP),
- Andhra Pradesh,
- Madhya Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu,
- Union territories of Pondicherry and Goa.
In fact, many states in India witness epidemic activity almost every other year due to vector-borne diseases, especially in the central and northern parts of India. Many of them are closer to water bodies. This increases the humidity in the environment which is conducive for pathogens to thrive. There are others where the awareness about stagnant water and its ill effects is low, also poor infrastructure leads to frequent waterlogging.
Importance of Vector-Borne illness insurance – Features and Benefits :
There are many benefits from vector-borne disease coverage, here is a look at how it could be advantageous:
- These specialised plans are cheaper as compared to a complete comprehensive health insurance plan
- The policy offers coverage between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 75,000
- Family floater plans are available that offer combined coverage for oneself and dependent family members
- Medicine costs during the treatment could be significantly high
- Hospitalisation cost, doctor consultation fee, OPD consultation, diagnostic tests, ICU charges, blood transfusion and other such extreme treatments come under the coverage of these plans
- More often than not, you would need care before and after the actual hospitalisation, especially for malaria, dengue and chikungunya. So, a 15-day to 60-days of pre and post-hospitalisation expenses are covered under this plan.
These specialised plans are often independent of your regular indemnity health insurance plans. Thus, in that case, if you claim against vector-borne diseases, you would not stand to lose your no-claim bonus on your regular health insurance plan.
In a nutshell:
In a country like India, where we are all vulnerable to vector-borne diseases even within the best of households and workplaces, it makes ample sense to avail of a specialised plan that protects us against any potential financial setback. However, you need to check if your basic health plan (often offered by companies) offers coverage for vector-borne diseases. In that case, you might need to avail yourself of this plan. Like in the case of all other types of insurance, it is always advisable to make an unbiased, independent assessment of your insurance requirement. Remember to compare across plans to avail of the one that aligns best with your requirement. SecureNow provides you with a comprehensive comparison across all plans available in the market and helps you make an informed decision.