Is COVID Health Insurance necessary?
One of the major outcomes of the pandemic is the growing appreciation for health insurance. Naturally, people want to guard their health and ensure they have access to quality healthcare when the need arises. However, the lack of reliable information makes it difficult to decide on the type of health insurance to choose and whether one should go in for COVID health insurance during these times.
In this post, I will cover:
- What is health insurance
- Why health insurance is necessary
- What is COVID Health Insurance?
- What you should know before you buy COVID health insurance online
- What is the Arogya Sanjeevani Policy and its benefits
Knowledge is always power and it is best to decide based on facts, especially when it comes to health insurance.
What is Health Insurance?
Health insurance is an insurance product that covers medical and surgical expenses of an insured individual. It reimburses the expenses incurred due to illness or injury or pays the care provider of the insured individual directly.
Why is health insurance necessary?
Now, more than ever, getting health insurance is necessary to manage healthcare expenses and ensure you aren’t faced with any financial emergencies.
The most important reason to buy a health insurance policy for self and family is because medical care costs are exorbitant especially in private hospitals. If one needs to be hospitalized, the expenses can quickly burn a large hole in your pocket and deplete your savings. Even worse if it is the main breadwinner who needs medical care. Investing in a health insurance policy and paying an annual premium, can make the stress less when there is a medical emergency.
A good health insurance policy should cover doctor’s consultation fees, medical test costs, ambulance charges, hospitalization charges and post-hospitalization recovery charges to some extent.
The health insurance plan also covers medical bills in a health emergency. Depending on the type of policy it may reimburse costs or provide cashless treatment in hospital. Several factors such as age, income, medical history decide premium amount and sum insured.
Of course, there is always the worry of whether you can afford the premium but it is usually sensible to invest in health insurance early in life even if you are convinced you don’t need it. While it seems like an unnecessary expense, a lack of health insurance can play havoc with your savings in a medical emergency.
Besides having expenses covered, health insurance is also eligible for tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.
What is COVID Health Insurance?
This is a customized health insurance policy that covers hospitalization and treatment costs of the COVID-19. Some insurance plans also cover the coronavirus among other illnesses, diseases and healthcare benefits.
What you should know before you buy COVID health insurance online
With the convenience of digitalization in the health insurance sector, you can now buy or renew a health insurance policy instantly without any paperwork. But here is what you must keep in mind before you digitally sign that dotted line, especially for COVID health insurance.
- What are your requirements? Decide on your policy based on this, the number of family members and their age.
- Is the insurer credible? Look at their experience, number of years in business, financial strength, service record and types of policies.
- What is the sum Insured? Coronavirus can result in critical illnesses and the treatment gets increasingly expensive. Find out the best option for sum insured to ensure appropriate coverage.
- What about coverage? Read the fine print carefully in the policy documents. Be aware of the inclusions and exclusions in the plan you choose. Check for coverage of hospitalization, quarantine periods, expenses incurred during quarantine, number of days in quarantine, quarantine locations covered, diagnostic expenses for COVID tests, will parents/in-laws be covered?
- What is the waiting period? While buying COVID health insurance check the in-built waiting periods under the policy. This can vary among the insurance providers. During this period, the policy will not cover any claim filed by you.
What if you don’t make a claim? The good news is there is a reward via cumulative bonuses and for every year without a claim, the total sum insured is increased at no extra cost.
What is the Arogya Sanjeevani Policy?
You have probably been bombarded by innumerable emails and texts about the Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, a standardized health insurance plan introduced by the IRDAI for individuals and families. This affordable policy is for one year with a sum insured ranging from from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.5 lakhs.
With India being one of the worst hit countries in this pandemic, this policy offers an affordable health insurance option with comprehensive cover. Besides hospitalization expenses (includes ICU, room rent, ambulance services, plastic surgery, dental treatments, cataract), it also covers AYUSH—Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and/or Homeopathy—with most seniors preferring alternative treatments. For every claim-free year, a 5% bonus is credited to the sum insured (Refer T&C)
The policy covers the cost of treatment up to 50% of the sum insured for new age treatments as well, such as stem cell therapy, robotic surgeries and many more.
The policy also comes with lifelong renewability, low copayment and includes individual and family floater.
If you are a first-time health insurance buyer, and looking for a basic affordable health plan, the Arogya Sanjeevani Policy is for you, especially if you don’t want to spend a fortune on health insurance. If you are looking at COVID health insurance coverage, this policy covers it.
Several health insurers like Royal Sundaram now offer the Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, customizing it to cover all illnesses including the Coronavirus. Based on your own healthcare and financial needs, weigh your choices before you decide.
A health insurance plan that provides health cover for you and your family protects your savings in a medical emergency, besides bringing mental peace. Since you are faced with a huge choice in plans, pay attention to what is covered based on your own needs and make an informed decision.