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What is your Health Insurance plan for Covid-19 Treatment?

The second wave of Covid-19 has hit India hard. This time around, hospitalization due to Covid has increased dramatically with newer strains of the virus causing severe difficulties in old and young alike. As per statistics reported by the Health Ministry on 30th April 2021, 4.5% of the active Covid cases were on oxygen support, 2.3% in the ICU, and 0.4% on the ventilator[1].

With the rising incidence of Covid hospitalization, the inflicted are looking for oxygen supply and hospital beds and the healthy are looking for Covid-19 specific health plans to secure against future contingencies. What, do you think, would be the ideal coverage solution for Covid? If you were to buy a health plan to cover the possibility of a hospitalization, which policy should you choose – a normal health plan or the Covid-specific plans available in the market?

Regular health plans or Covid specific plans?

If you are looking for a new health insurance plan, then the ideal scenario is to go for a comprehensive plan which covers you for all illnesses along with Covid-19. However, if you are looking for a quick fix solution to ride over the Covid hospitalisation scare, then you can opt for any of the two Covid Specific Health Insurance Plans.

There are two standard short-term health insurance plans for Covid-19 that had been introduced at the time of the first wave by the IRDAI. The plans are Corona Rakshak and Corona Kavach Plan which you can avail of for a tenure of 3.5 months, 6.5 months, or 9.5 months. As of now, you can buy/renew the same till 30th September 2021. But, the question is: Do these plans make any sense? If yes, which health insurance plan should you buy and why?
Corona Kavach is an indemnity health insurance plan which basically pays for your hospitalization expenses on actuals up to the sum insured or the coverage amount chosen. Whereas Corona Rakshak is a fixed benefit health insurance plan, wherein a fixed amount of money as chosen would be paid to you if you need to be hospitalized for coronavirus.

However, remember that these plans are temporary solutions for the time being for you to ride the second wave of Covid-19 with ease but not a permanent health insurance solution. 
Let us weigh both the plans alongside a regular health insurance plan.

Comparison of plans that support Covid-19 treatments

Corona RakshakCorona KavachRegular Health Plan
Type of PlanFixed BenefitIndemnityIndemnity
Hospitalisation Requirement72 hours24 hours24 hours
Covid Claims (cashless & reimbursement)YesYesYes
Non-Covid Claims (cashless & reimbursement)NoNoYes
Customise the coverage as per requirementNoNoYes
Additional Benefits (riders)NoOnly Hospital Cash BenefitYes,
Depends on the plan
Day-care TreatmentNot availableNot availableUsually available
Cashless (in the network hospitals)YesYesYes
An important document for cashless claimPassport (all pages) + Covid positive report + regular documents Passport (all pages) + COVID positive report + regular documentsRegular documents like Doctor’s advice for admission + Policy Health Card + KYC of the insured
Pre-existing Illness and Co-MorbidityNoYes, only with Covid treatment and not separatelyPlans cover PED after a certain waiting period
Room Rent Cap/Sub-limitsNot ApplicableNoDepends on the specific plan, but some plans do have sub-limits and caps
Home Treatment for COVIDNoYes, for severe cases where hospitalisation would be necessary under normal circumstances and not regular quarantine casesYes, under domiciliary treatment
Lifelong RenewabilityNoNoYes
PortingYes, only if the insurer gives the optionYes, only if the insurer gives the optionYes
Pre and Post HospitalisationNoYesYes
Tax Benefit (Section 80D)YesYesYes
AYUSH TreatmentNot ApplicableYesYes,
Depends on the plan
Co-paymentNoNoYes,
Depends on the plan
Consumables coverage (PPE Kit, Mask, Inhalers, Nebulizers, etc.)Not ApplicableYes coveredDepends on the plan, but usually excluded if billed separately
Coverage LimitUp to Rs 2.5 Lakhs onlyUp to Rs 5 Lakhs onlyUp to Rs 6 crores
Treatment LimitationWithin IndiaWithin IndiaDepends on the plan, but can be availed outside India as well, if mentioned
Waiting Period15 days15 days30 days except for accidental cases
Family Floater OptionNot availableAvailableUsually available
Pre-Policy Medical Check-upNot neededNot neededDepends on a plan to plan, but usually needed for higher coverage and higher age

Does Corona Kavach pay for Home Quarantine?

Both Covid-19 specific health insurance plans, as well as regular indemnity health plans, do not pay for home quarantine expenses. Corona Kavach Plan covers expenses for home treatment as well up to the coverage limit. However, only home treatment expenses up to a maximum of 14 days would be paid which would otherwise require hospitalization. Due to lack of hospital beds or if the patient is not in a position to be transported, or if the treatment is being done at home under the medical supervision of a doctor. Such treatment could also be covered under a regular health insurance plan under the clause of domiciliary expenses.

Which health plan to buy?

If you are looking for a temporary health insurance plan ONLY for Covid-19 at a cheap rate, then you can opt for Corona Rakshak or Corona Kavach Plan. But considering the rise in premiums, you need a comprehensive health insurance solution for the rest of your life, you need to opt for a regular indemnity health plan. This you can add all your family members and customise the same as well.

To wrap it up

However, for comprehensive coverage, you need to have overall protection from all illnesses. A regular health insurance plan also provides coverage for Covid-19 as well as non-Covid claims. It can also be renewed lifelong as long as you wish. You can also customize your coverage with add-ons, other members, etc. to suit your needs. So, a coronavirus health plan cannot replace the requirement of an indemnity health plan, but it can surely supplement the requirement and give you a solution for the immediate requirement!

Reference:

[1] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/covid-19-in-this-wave-share-of-seriously-ill-in-hospital-is-up-significantly/articleshow/81996799.cms


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