The on-going pandemic has done significant damage to the human race as of now. With the number of cases in India increasing by the day, the importance of having adequate health insurance becomes beyond explainable.
At the beginning of the nationwide lockdown, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) issued a memorandum to all the insurers to cover the testing, treatment, and hospitalisation expenses of the patients affected by the disease. This rule was made effective immediately to ensure that the people suffering from the virus are given appropriate care and attention.
Further ahead in the lockdown, the Government of India has offered coverage of treatment and hospitalisation expenses under its health schemes as well. Lately, the IRDAI has allowed insurers in India to sell short-term coronavirus-specific health insurance plans. The objective of this policy is to offer some relief to the affected patients across the country. The policy is available to individuals as well as groups.
On June 23, 2020, the IRDAI circulated guidelines related to the coverage of this short-term health plan. These guidelines are said to be effective till March 31, 2021, unless extended by the government. As per the circular, the short-term health plan has a coverage period of three to eleven months. The guidelines to be followed by the insurer for this policy include –
- As per IRDAI, short-term health insurance plans are policies that have a duration of less than 12 months.
- This policy is put together solely to offer coverage to people who are affected by the disease and is available in single or group plans.
- As mentioned earlier, the policy has a coverage period of three to eleven months.
- Any optional benefit provided to enhance the scope of the health insurance plan is permitted for the same duration as that of the primary health plan. No separate add-ons are allowed.
- The waiting period for this health insurance plan should not exceed 15 days.
- Insurers selling life insurance products are allowed to offer benefit based short term health plans only. Whereas, general and health insurance providers have to offer both indemnity and benefit based short term health plans to their customers.
- Regulations related to lifelong renewability, migration and portability under Rule 13 and Rule 17 of the IRDAI (Health Insurance) Regulations are not applicable to short-term health plans.
Based on these guidelines, the short-term COVID-19 health insurance plan is available for the masses. However, note that one can avail the policy benefits only in case you contract the disease after buying the plan. The claims can be made after the completion of the 15 days waiting period. For further inquiries, you should get in touch with the insurer and understand the coverage and exclusions of the policy in detail.
In The End
Understand that short-term health insurance is not a replacement for comprehensive health insurance plans in India. If you are looking to buy a health plan for you and your loved ones, consider Bajaj Health Insurance at Finserv MARKETS.
In fact, health plans are now quite affordable for everyone when bought on EMI. Buying health insurance on EMI has made it easier for people to obtain sufficient coverage for themselves and their dependents. So, whether there is a pandemic-like situation or not, having adequate health insurance to cover the medical expenses of your family is necessary.