COVID 19 Health and Life Insurance Plans in India 2020
Insurance is one of the key tenants for extending adequate public health services and protection to citizens. Since March 25, India has been serving lockdown (due until May 17) to contain the spread of the Corona Virus. With more than 55000 reported cases, the ongoing battle to combat the pandemic, which is much infectious like a Common Flu, seems a long-drawn one.
Amidst double whammy of financial and medical emergency, an Insurance Policy can play a significant role in protecting you & your loved ones against health & cash flow issues caused by the spread of COVID 19. From testing to in-hospital care, it may take more than 30 days to recover fully from the symptoms of SARS COV 2 VIRUS. Though a majority of patients may not require hospital care, the expenses could be nerve-wracking for those who may need treatment & care under the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), even for a few days. Young children and senior citizens, including those already afflicted by health ailments like blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, or any other, are particularly at risk.
An absence of insurance policy thus can play havoc on your bank balance. Amidst lockdown wherein your income sources are already hurt, you cannot afford to miss the premium of health policy.
The first-time insurance buyers must understand that they may require health as well as endowment benefit. Types of insurance policies to consider during CORONA VIRUS are:
- Individual Health Plan
- Senior Citizen Health Insurance
- Family Health Plan
- Life Insurance
- Term Life Insurance
- Top UP Plan
- Fixed Benefit Covers
Now, without further adieu; let’s take a quick round-up on best Insurance Policies for COVID 19 risk in India:
Best Insurance Policies for COVID Testing & Treatment
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has mandated all registered insurers to include medical cover for COVID-19 tests and treatment in all health & life policies without any exclusions. The claim should be offered purely as per the terms & conditions of the existing policy.
Thus, before you check the list of insurance plans for COVID 19 pandemic, identify your need for cover, which could be:
A) A new insurance policy for self and/or family.
B) Top-up on your existing policy.
C) A Supplementary fixed benefit plan.
Best COVID Insurance Plans in India in 2020
ICICI Lombard – COVID-19 Protection Cover
ICICI Lombard – COVID-19 Protection Cover is one of the most affordable COVID 19 insurance plans available in the market with a premium of Rs 149 for sum insured of Rs 25,000. It is a fixed-benefit insurance plan and pays out 100 % of the sum insured to the policyholder in case the insured becomes COVID-19 positive. The payout is 100%, irrespective of hospitalization expenses incurred. Being a COVID 19 specific plan, the initial waiting period is reduced to 14 days. Neither hospital expenses nor quarantine expenses will be reimbursed during the waiting period. Anyone who is 18 to 75 years can purchase the plan in India or abroad. Those with overseas travel history post December 31, 2019 are however non-eligible for the plan.
Other policy add-ons/ benefits include:
- Tele Consultation (4 free calls to a medical representative)
- Ambulance Assistance
Future Generali – Group Insurance Cover/ Mediclaim Policy
All Future Generali Health Insurance policyholders can claim for in-hospitalization expenses if they are found positive and are hospitalised for at least 24 hours for COVID 19 treatment.
Besides, the insurance company has also launched a Group COVID 19 health insurance plan. Under this plan, the insured will get a 100 % sum insured fixed-benefit cover if diagnosed with Covid-19. Also, 50 % of the sum insured is paid if the insured is prescribed quarantine.
Star Health Insurance Plan – Star Novel Coronavirus
Star Novel Coronavirus health insurance cover is another fixed benefit plan. It comes with a waiting period of 16 days and offered in two variants: A) At a premium of Rs 459+ GST, the sum insured is Rs 21,000 and B) At a premium of Rs 918+ GST sum insured is Rs 42,000. People between 18 to 65 years can apply. The dependents and children in the age group of 3 months to 25 years can also join along a parent. Star Novel Corona plan can be bought, despite international travel history.
Arogya Sanjeevani Health Insurance Plan
IRDAI has launched Arogya Sanjeevani policy in April 2020 for basic health cover between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakhs. This is a standard health insurance policy, and all registered insurance companies offer it with similar terms & benefits. To buy this policy, no health check-up is required up to 45 years of age.
The benefits include:
- Coverage for AYUSH (alternate) treatment.
- Family Floater plan.
- Road Ambulance Cover up to Rs 2000.
- Up to 50% Cumulative Bonus: 5% of SI for each claim-free year.
- Policy can be renewed life-long.
- Covers pre and post hospitalisation expenses for diseases including CORONAVIRUS.
Being an IRDAI backed policy, the premium is low. The policy is certainly a good pick for first-time buyers.
Max Life Insurance
All Term Insurance Plans offering in-hospitalization care will extend insurance coverage for COVID 19 pandemic.
Death claims (due to Corona Virus) can be made as per policy contract T&C. No exclusion is included for your Term plans. Policies such as Medicash, Medicash Plus, Healthy Family Floater plans will offer Hospitalization benefit for expenses caused due to COVID-19.
Please note that COVID is not included in critical illness rider/ Dread Disease Rider/ WOP Riders.
You can make the Claim through email: firstname.lastname@example.org and WhatsApp at 9999199982. Visit http://bitly.ws/87yI
You can check claim status here: https://www.maxlifeinsurance.com/customer-service/claims-tracker
Or, email at email@example.com
Max Bupa Health Plans
All Max Bupa hospitalisation plans including Heartbeat, Health Premia, Health Companion, and GoActiveTM are covering lab testing and hospital in-care and treatment for policyholders afflicted by Coronavirus. There are no alterations in terms & conditions for a standard waiting period of 30 days. The claim will be issued absolutely as per the policy. Factors such as overseas travel history, contact with COVID patients, or others will not hinder the claim process.
You can renew and apply online.
For cashless claims and pre-authorisationn, call on helpline 1860 500 8888
or write at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No reimbursement claims will be denied due to delay in document submission, and you can send documents later as courier services resume.
You can contact digital contact forms on the website, use the instant chatbot on the website, or email customer care. Write to email@example.com
What is the Cost of Treatment for Coronavirus?
The total cost of treatment for COVID 19 will vary as per several factors. Depending on the severity of infection, hospital-specific costs, age, and mortality of the patient, the situation may be at low to severe risk. The cost of the treatment escalates as the patient requires ICU care. In most cases, an otherwise healthy person in the age group of 30 to 45 years, the treatment may rarely require hospitalisation care. So the expenses may vary from Rs 25000 to Rs 4 Lakh, subject to the hospital chosen. If the patient is already suffering from some disease or has low immunity, the infection may get severe, and the highest exposure to ICU for up to 7-10 days may be required. The cost of treatment thus may even tough up to Rs 10 lakh in an extremely complex situation.
According to a News Report, 900 claims have been received by general insurance companies for over Rs 18 crore towards COVID-19 treatment after 40 days of lockdown when total CORONAVIRUS Patients were 42000. The average claim made is Rs 2 Lakh in a different location in the country, said General Insurance Council.
Let’s take an example to understand this. A family of 4, with parents in the age group under 45 and 2 kids under 15 years of age with no past history of medication with anyone, may suffice with a sum assured of 8-10 lakh offered under a Family Floater Plan.
As for elderly and people with health conditions, a sum assured of at least Rs 4-6 Lakh per person may be required. A family should also consider buying a corona virus-specific sum assured policy per person as it will be an affordable backup option for a crisis situation.
A family with an annual income of Rs 3 Lakh to Rs 5 Lakh should opt for a family floater plan of Rs 5 Lakh and pay a monthly premium, which would cost between Rs 600 to Rs 1000 per month and buy COVID protection for their household.
What are COVID specific Insurance policies? How do they work?
In the wake of unprecedented health risk, insurers are offering small fixed benefit covers as individual plans as well as group plans for COVID 19 health cover & indemnity benefit. These can be availed as supplementary plans as they offer a 100% lump sum amount to the beneficiary in case of being tested positive. The sum assured could range from Rs 25000 to Rs 2 lakh. The plans are affordable with the premium cost ranging from Rs. 1500 to Rs 3900 annually. As much as 50 percent of sum assured is offered for quarantine. These are disease-specific plans, and thus the waiting period is also shorter, i.e., 10 to 15 days.
What documents are required to claim cover for COVID 19?
The regular list of claim documents is required, however, due to lockdown and affected postal services the IRDA has directed insurance companies to follow some relaxation.
The documents required would include:
- Claim form, duly filled
- Policy holder’s ID proof
- Insurance card or original policy document
- Treatment records prior admitting to hospital
For reimbursement claim-
- All hospitalization expense bills
- Discharge summary
- Payment receipts for tests, medicines etc
- Diagnostic reports including Covid-19 test report
- Claim form
- The hospital will file the claim directly with the insurer
- You must provide all documents & bills in order
Ayushman Bharat Scheme for COVID 19
According to the notification released by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, testing and treatment for COVID -19 will be available for free to more than 50 crore people under Ayushman Bharat Scheme (Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana or AB-PM JAY). The treatment at empanelled hospitals can be claimed from the insurer. Many private labs have coordinated with empanelled hospitals for best diagnosis and support for COVID 19 treatment to all sections of society, including the economically weaker section.
✅ How do I know if my existing policy cover COVID-19 claims?
All Health and Life Insurance Policies falling under the purview of IRDA, cover “loss of death” as well as “in-hospital treatment & post care expenses” as per the existing policy terms. Anyone having an active insurance policy can claim for Coronavirus infection costs.
✅ How do I contact the insurance company for a claim during COVID lockdown?
You can contact your insurance company through email or SMS. Some insurers are also communicating through Whatsapp and Customer Care numbers. Visit official websites for specific information.
✅ How do I check my claim application status?
To check the status of your claim request, contact the customer service number or visit official website.
✅ How do I pay policy premium under lockdown?
Due to nationwide lockdown, insurance companies are working with limited staff and practicing social distancing. You should use digital mode for premium payment. Consider paying online through the official website, insurer’s app, or through internet banking.
✅ Is there an extension to the Policy grace period due to COVID19?
Yes, as per IRDA’s guidelines, a 30-day extension is granted to fulfil premium payments due in Mar’20 and Apr’20 .
✅ How to surrender or cancel my policy during a lockdown?
You can request digitally or contact through email.
✅ What type of coverage is offered for Coronavirus Infection?
The coverage is as per your existing policy. IRDA has ensured that no insurer would include exclusion in the current policy for COVID related 19 claims.
Briefly, you can claim cover, in the following situations:
- For expenses related to hospitalisation for more than 24 hours. This is available for up to 30 days in hospitalisation & 30 days after the hospital care.
- Expenses on COVID Testing as well as other tests & hospital expenses such as x-ray and ambulance expenses.
In case of sum assured COVID specific plan, you will get 100% sum insured amount, irrespective of the hospital expenses.
✅ How do I cover self and family from COVID if I do not have an Insurance Policy as yet?
You should buy the latest COVID specific insurance policy with minimum holiday period. These are disease-specific plans and offer a lump-sum amount on diagnosis of coronavirus infection. These are affordable plans and come packed with a fixed insured sum for COVID-19.
✅ What is the claim settlement rate for COVID Insurance?
IRDAI has directed all insurance companies to make fast, a two-hour decision for health insurance claims related to COVID treatment. Thus, as long as your insurance company is under IRDA you can expect a same-day recovery of funds for the treatment & care.