coronavirus health insurance

Coronavirus Health Insurance: How to apply for COVID Health Insurance

Health Insurance

Last Updated on 20/07/2020 by Deepak Singla

With every passing day, the number of Coronavirus cases is rising like wildfire. As of now, 9.07 lakh Coronavirus cases have been reported in India.

As a matter of fact, we are continuously losing lives owing to this disease. 23,727 deaths due to coronavirus, have been reported till 14th July 2020, in India.  This has become a wake-up call for people who do not have health insurance plan as the cost of treatment is quite expensive. It is from 20k to 25k per day per bed in private hospitals

Hence, awareness about health insurance has increased and more and more people are buying corona health insurances. Besides, people are quite concerned if their health insurance policies will cover coronavirus related costs or not? Worry not, because more or less, all the Health Insurance Providers in India have launched special corona health insurance plans to tackle Coronavirus.

What is COVID-19? How is it dangerous to human life?

Coronavirus, as a whole, is a type of virus that affects the immune system of human beings and leads to diseases such as SARS, MARS, etc. In December 2019, a new strain of coronavirus was infecting people in China. This new strain of the virus was named the novel Coronavirus or COVID-19.

Currently, the world is suffering from a pandemic caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. The coronavirus disease is quite dangerous because, in the case of old people or people with pre-medical illnesses, it can be fatal. It may give rise to some major respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, or even cause multiple organ failure. Besides, being a new virus, it does not have a cure or vaccine as of now. 

What is COVID or Coronavirus Health Insurance?

Coronavirus Health Insurance is a type of health insurance policy that will provide cover for the expenses you have to incur on the COVID-19 treatment. This is an elaborate health insurance policy that pays off both your in-patient and out-patient expenses incurred in the COVID-19 treatment.

Besides, this policy will provide cover right from the day you get diagnosed with the coronavirus disease.

What is covered in Coronavirus Health Insurance?

Different companies will cover different expenses related to COVID-19 disease. But, some general covers are provided by all the institutions that are issuing Corona Health Insurance policies. The same are listed below:

Important Covers:

  1. All hospitalization expenses for coronavirus: in-patient hospitalization and pre-hospitalization expenses, critical illness hospitalization, and accidental hospitalization
  2. Daycare procedures

Standard Covers:

  1. Room rent capping
  2. Road Ambulance charges
  3. ICU Room Rent
  4. Complimentary Health Checkups
  5. Post Hospitalization Lumpsum
  6. Daily hospital expense
  7. Organ donor expense
  8. Alternate Treatment (AYUSH)

Added Cover:

  1. Maternity benefit with a newborn baby
  2. Zone Upgrade

However, all sorts of medical expenses will not be covered by the Coronavirus health policy. The following conditions are not covered under the Corona health policy:

  1. Pre and Post Natal Expenses
  2. Home Quarantine expenses
  3. Pre-Existing Diseases
  4. Hospitalization without doctor’s recommendation
  5. Expenses at a non-recognized quarantine centre

How to apply for Coronavirus Health Insurance?

Applying for Coronavirus Health Insurance policy is similar to applying for any other health policy. However, there are some minor things you need to be aware of. The following step-by-step approach will guide you through the application process:

  1. Choose the insurance provider. You might want to look into the details of the plans an insurance provider offers. For example, go through the list of network hospitals they have, whether those hospitals are nearby, or if they suit your needs, etc. Other things you might want to consider while choosing are the waiting period and the coverage details.
  2. For online application, go to the insurance provider’s website or you can also apply through a partner website.
  3. You need to register yourself and provide some basic details.
  4. Then, you need to select the plan type and proceed with uploading the required documents.
  5. Finally, make the premium payment and you would have successfully bought a Coronavirus health insurance policy. The policy document will be instantly mailed to your email address.

Best Coronavirus Health Insurance Policies in India

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Coronavirus Health Insurance benefits

Pre and Post Hospitalization expenses

Your pre-hospitalization expenses up to 60 days after the admission and your post-discharge expenses up till 180 days will get covered, for example, the diagnostics, investigation, and more.

Ayush Benefits:

This policy will also cover the costs if you seek Ayurveda, Unaani, Homeotherapy, and other alternate therapy as a treatment for Coronavirus.

Hospitalization Expenses:

Alike other health insurance plans, coronavirus health policy also covers for your medical hospitalization expenses arising due to COVID-19 disease.

Home Hospitalization Expenses

The current situation is as such that hospitals cannot accommodate all the patients. So, there is a provision of treatment at home or home hospitalization. The coronavirus health policy will cover this as well.

Added benefit like maternity benefit is also provided under the coronavirus policy.

Important points to consider while applying for COVID Health Insurance

  • Insured sum: We would advise you to get insurance for a higher sum because the COVID-19 disease might lead to severe lung diseases and even multiple organ failure. Treatments for these could get very expensive and so you must be properly covered under your insurance. 
  • Cover provided: Go through every line of the insurance information. You need to know all about the coverage provided by the Coronavirus insurance before purchasing it.
  • Waiting Period: Check the built-in waiting periods under the policy. More or less every health policy has a waiting period of 30 days. But, some insurance providers, offer 16 days waiting period only under their COVID-19 health policy. This means that in these 16 days, your claims will not be covered.

How to apply for Coronavirus Health Insurance Claim?

There are two types of claims you can file for a coronavirus disease. Read the following to know more about the same:

Cashless Claims

Most health insurance providers have the option of cashless treatment. What this means is that you won’t have to make any payment anything for the treatment if you receive it from one of the network hospitals.

You need to choose a network hospital under the insurance provider. Do this after you have been tested positive for Coronavirus and need to be admitted to a hospital. Ask for a cashless request form. If things go well, your claim will be processed right there.

Reimbursement Claims

If you receive treatment from a hospital that is not a network hospital of your insurance provider, then you will have to pay the hospital expenses yourself. In order to reimburse the medical costs, you need to lodge an application to your insurance provider for a refund.

The process is simple: Duly fill in the reimbursement claim form. Then submit it along with all the documents needed including your hospital bills, test reports, prescriptions, etc. to the insurance provider within the given time limit.

Then, the insurer will start the verification process for your claim. Upon successful verification, they will have the reimbursement amount credited to you.

Documents Required to file Coronavirus Health Insurance Claim:

  • Discharge summary (Hospital bill payment receipts and other docs)
  • Consultation papers
  • A report stating that you are COVID-19 positive (approved by ICMR authorized labs)
  • Other test reports
  • Bank Details (NEFT details/ Cancelled Cheque)
  • Valid ID proof
  • Original bills (final hospital bill, pharmacy, test bills, etc.)

Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak Health Policies

The IRDAI has mandated for all general and standard health insurers to provide a standard reimbursement-based health insurance policy called Corona Kavach. The benefit based policy, Corona Rakshak can also be offered but it is optional.

These two new policies are available from 10th June 2020. Both these COVID-19 health insurance policies follow uniform features, conditions, terms, and guidelines. The aim of launching these two policies is to help people fight better with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Corona Kavach is an indemnity based health insurance and the Corona Rakshak is a benefit-based health policy. 

Check out the following table to know about the features of the two Coronavirus health policies:

Features Corona Kavach Corona Rakshak
Coverage provided Family Floater Individual 
Cover type Indemnity Basis Benefit Basis
Insured sum INR 50k to INR 5 lakh INR 50k to INR 2.5 lakh
Premium Cycle Single-Premium Single-Premium
Tenure 3.5/ 6.5/ 9.5 months 3.5/ 6.5/ 9.5 months
Entry age Dependent children: 3 months to 25 years

Adults: 18 years to 65 years

Dependent children: 3 months to 25 years

Adults: 18 years to 65 years

Compensation provided Depends on hospitalization Provides a one-time settlement
Deductibles Not permitted Not permitted
Pre-existing diseases Comorbidity or pre-existing comorbidity conditions covered Comorbidity or pre-existing comorbidity conditions covered
Waiting period 15 days 15 days

Corona Kavach Inclusions:

Corona Kavach is a health insurance policy that provides coverage for the treatment costs of coronavirus, comorbid and any pre-existing conditions. 

The Corona Kavach plan will cover the following costs:

Hospitalization expenses due to Coronavirus Home Treatment Expenses
  • Pre-hospitalization (cost incurred 15 days prior to hospitalization/ home care)
  • Post-hospitalization expenses (Expenses incurred 30 days after the discharge)
  • Room boarding costs and nursing
  • Surgeons, anaesthetists, medical practitioners, specialists, consultant fee, etc.
  • Blood, OT, surgical appliances, ventilator charger, drugs, medicines, etc.
  • Diagnostics, gloves, masks, PPE kits, and related expenses
  • ICU or ICCU costs
  • Ambulance charges (Maximum of INR 2k)
  • Provided for a period up to 14 days of being diagnosed positive for COVID-19
  • Covers the prescribed treatment costs
  • Diagnostic tests and related costs
  • Prescribed medicines
  • Consultation charges of a doctor or a medical practitioner
  • Nursing charges
  • Oxygen cylinder charges, pulse oximeter, and the nebulizer.

Corona Rakshak Inclusions:

Corona Rakshak is a benefit-based policy that fulfils specific requirements. The insurance provider will pay out a lump sum (that is the sum insured by the policyholder) to you. This is paid out if you are hospitalized for at least 72 hours/ 3 days after being tested positive for coronavirus. 

The coverage provided includes the following:

  • 100% lump sum payment of the insured sum if the patient is tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The lump-sum payment does not depend on the actual expenses arising due to the hospitalization due to Coronavirus infection.

Some important points about the COVID-19 policies

  • Usual health insurance norms like migration, portability, and renewability are not applicable to Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak.
  • These policies will not exist any longer once the claim amount has been paid out. 
  • No claims will be accepted during the waiting period, i.e. 15 days from the purchase of the policy.
  • If you are tested positive for COVID-19 from a non-authorized testing centre, then your hospitalization claim might stand rejected.

Difference between Basic Health Insurance & Coronavirus Health Insurance Policy?

Coronavirus health insurance policy is specially developed to beat the current pandemic. Once you contract this virus, you will be burdened with several expenses. The illness could also become severe where patients get pneumonia and other diseases. This calls for a huge expense. A coronavirus health insurance policy will help you deal with such costs in a stress-free manner.

If you have any pre-existing policy, then you are good to go. This is because it will provide cover if you contract the Coronavirus. But, if you don’t and get health insurance after being tested positive for COVID-19, then the insurance won’t provide any cover for the same.

Another point of difference is that some coronavirus health insurance providers might not provide coverage for treatment for illnesses. But, your pre-existing health policy will. 

The Coronavirus health insurance will also bear your expenses arising out of staying at a recognized quarantine centre (not in case of home quarantine). A general health insurance plan might not do the same.

The following table lists down all the differences between basic health insurance that covers Coronavirus and Corona Kavach health insurance policy:

Features Corona Kavach Basic Health Insurance Plan
Coverage Exclusively covers Coronavirus treatment only (as reimbursement or lump-sum payout) Covers coronavirus and other illnesses too
Safety equipment costs Covers costs of PPE kits, masks, gloves, etc. Does not do so
Premium Single premium payment Instalments allowed
Coverage tenure Coverage for 3.5, 6.5, and 9.5 months Minimum Coverage tenure is for 1 year
Comorbidity costs Covers comorbidity and pre-existing comorbidity Might not do so
Maximum sum insured INR 5 lakhs Can be more
Deductibles Deductibles not permitted Deductibles considered while claim settlement
Home Care Treatment Covers home care treatment costs Might not cover home care treatment costs
Premium Premium is pan-Indian. Not geographical location or zone-specific. The premium could be based on a geographical zone or location.

More about COVID 19 or Coronavirus

What is the impact of coronavirus on human health?

Coronavirus has infected lakhs of people worldwide. The initial symptoms of Coronavirus are fever, dry cough, tiredness, sore throat, diarrhea, runny nose, etc. In the latter stages, it might lead to shortness of breath and eventually pneumonia to multiple organ failure.

How is COVID-19 transmitted?

Coronavirus disease is spread from one person to another. You can catch the disease from other people infected with the virus. It generally spreads via droplets from the nose or mouth of the patient while they cough or sneeze, touching objects which were previously touched by the patients, and touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. It is important to maintain social distancing and other prevention measures to stay safe.

How to prevent coronavirus or COVID-19?

  1. Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  2. Maintain at least 3 feet distance with people.
  3. Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
  4. While coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or a bent elbow.
  5. Eat and drink healthy to strengthen your immunity power.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The symptoms of coronavirus disease can vary from one person to another. It generally includes fever, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty in breathing. But in severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia and other serious disorders.

How to practice coronavirus home isolation?

If it is suspected that someone might have caught the coronavirus disease, then they can isolate themselves from others. You have the option of home isolation or there are isolation centres too. This is a protective measure so that you don’t spread the disease to someone else if you have contracted it. This preventive measure is also done in case you have travelled from somewhere impacted by the COVID-19 disease.

FAQs about corona health insurance

1. Will my existing health insurance cover COVID-19 expenses?

Ans. Yes, it will. You can file a claim for the treatment of Coronavirus disease. But, if you buy health insurance after being tested positive for Coronavirus, then your newly taken insurance will not cover the coronavirus treatment expenses.

2. How can I purchase Coronavirus Health Insurance policies online?

Ans. Yes, you can. Just choose the Coronavirus health policy that you wish to purchase. Then, fill in the required details and information. Make the insurance premium payment online. That’s it and after you’ve paid the premium your Coronavirus health insurance will be issued.

3. Will my coronavirus insurance cover home care expenses?

Ans. Most of the insurance providers don’t cover home treatment expenses or the quarantine/ isolation related arising due to Coronavirus disease. But, some might and so, we would advise you to check this point with your insurance provider.

However, Corona Kavach health insurance does cover all costs of your home care treatment for a maximum of 14 days.

4. Is there any waiting period applicable to the COVID-19 disease?

Ans. Coronavirus health insurance has a waiting period or 16 days or 30 days just like other health insurance policies. So, check how much of the waiting period is applicable in your case before buying any policy. But, Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak have 15 days waiting period.

5. Will the loss of life due to Coronavirus be covered under my policy?

Ans. No, a health insurance policy only covers hospitalization and other medical expenses.

6. Can I get a cashless and reimbursement claim under the Coronavirus Health Insurance?

Ans. Yes, more or less all the coronavirus health insurances come with the option of both cashless and reimbursement claims. 

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