People have become extremely cautious as the latest Covid-19 variant, Omicron, continues to spread rapidly. The previous wave of the pandemic has left us with lessons that are still fresh in the minds of most people. So that everyone recognises that it is prudent to prepare better for such circumstances in the future. Having appropriate Covid insurance is among the most basic things you can do as part of being ready.
If you already have health insurance, it’s a good idea to double-check it to be sure you’re protected in the event of an emergency. The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variety contains a higher number of mutations, implying that there is a greater chance of reinfection during this wave and that even those who have been vaccinated could very well be infected.
Does policies cover covid insurance
The good news is that new Covid variants will be covered by most of the existing health insurance policies. Gurdeep Singh Batra, head of retail underwriting at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance explained that pre-existing health indemnity policies cover hospitalisation costs related to infectious infection, hence, regardless of the variant, Covid-19 is covered by medical insurance policies. He added that if a person has taken a standalone Covid-19 medical insurance policy (such as Covid insurance), it too will cover the new variant, since the base – Covid-19 – is the same.
Founder-CEO of PolicyX.com Naval Goel agrees with Batra and adds that according to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), all medical insurance policies as well as single Covid insurance plans will be eligible to offer coverage for Covid-19 treatment. This is particularly true since Omicron is a new variant of the disease. He goes on to say that this confirms that the existing guidelines pertaining to Covid insurance coverage can be applied in the same manner for the new variant. Health insurance will consider any hospitalisation required for Omicron infection, treatments for any after-effects or any other treatments.
Preparing for Omicron
Along with staying away from crowds, wearing masks, frequently washing hands and maintaining social distance. There are a few secondary precautions that you can take to face the Omicron wave. One of the main things you can do is take a health insurance policy if you don’t already have one. And if you do, make sure that it covers certain specific parameters. So that it is a robust policy to meet the requirements of the pandemic. Goel says that you might want to check the total sum insured of your medical policy. And get an additional cover if required. Depending on the patient and the severity of the infection, Covid-19 treatment costs can run into thousands and sometimes lakhs. It’s important to check if your health insurance will be able to cover all your hospitalisation costs. Including pre- and post-hospitalisation.
He goes on to say that each person should evaluate their medical policies. And see to it that it is a comprehensive protection plan that covers a wide range of diseases. Covid-19 can be a troublemaker when it leads to other diseases with grave severity. Especially since long-term effects of the infection, if any, are still unknown to experts. Black fungus during the second wave of the pandemic is a good case in point. That’s why it’s extremely crucial that health policies be very comprehensive to cover various diseases and several more side-effects.
Covid Insurance policies: Yes or No?
IRDAI’s last circular from September 2021 permits the sale of standalone Covid-19 policies such as Covid insurance or Covid Rakshak insurance, until the 31st of March, 2022. Batra says there are two reasons why people would choose a covid insurance policy. On one hand, there are many who already have medical insurance, and simply add on Covid-19 coverage to it. In this case, if they get infected with the virus, they may choose to avail the home quarantine expenses as well as hospital cash insurance policy under the Covid-19 coverage. And later, if they face any long-term effects or other complications, they use their regular health insurance policy.
On the other hand, there are others who either think their sum insured is not high enough. To cover their treatment costs, or would rather save the benefits of the Covid-19 policy. For any medical emergencies that could occur in the future. For them, standalone Covid insurance policies will work great.
Irrespective of whether you decide to use the coverage during immediate treatment of the infection or whether you choose to hold on to it for a time if and when your health deteriorates due to side-effects, one truth holds good for all – getting Covid-19 insurance cover is certainly the way to go. No one could foresee the second wave of the pandemic, or the third. We don’t know if there will be more. But wouldn’t it be best if we could all be prepared for the worst?