Non Life Insurance - Will health insurance policies cover the Omicron variant?

Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak are health plans designed specifically for Covid-19. A comprehensive health insurance policy covers hospitalization expenses incurred for all illnesses.

The instances of Covid-19 and its new variant Omicron have been increasing at an alarming rate across the country. Face masks, hand sanitizers, social distancing apart, getting a health insurance policy have become more crucial now. A health insurance policy will ensure that we don’t face any financial emergencies and our healthcare expenses are taken care of.

Health insurance options that cover Omicron

Looking at the growing number of cases of the Omicron variant, the IRDAI announced that all health insurance policies covering Covid-19 will also cover its new variant, Omicron.

Comprehensive Health Insurance

A comprehensive health insurance policy covers hospitalization expenses incurred for all illnesses and injuries, including Covid-19 and its variants. This policy is renewable for a lifetime, and hence, will take care of your healthcare needs both in the short and long term. There, however, might be some restrictions that come with comprehensive health insurance, such as - a waiting period for pre-existing and other conditions, sub-limit or eligibility cap on rent limit, etc. You must be aware of these conditions before making the purchase.

COVID-19 special policies: Corona Rakshak & Corona Kavach

Introduced in March 2020 by IRDAI, Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak are short-term health plans designed specifically for Covid-19. Both these policies will cover treatment costs of COVID-19 and all its variants including Omicron.

Corona Rakshak is a fixed cash benefit policy that will pay up to INR 2.5 Lakhs if you’re infected with Covid-19 or any of its variants and are hospitalized for 72 hours or more. Corona Kavach, on the other hand, will reimburse the actual expenses incurred if you undergo hospitalization for Covid-19 or its variants for more than 24 hours.

You might find it a bit difficult to get either of these policies because they turned out to be loss-making products for the insurers, which is why many have stopped selling them. Even if you do get one, you should know that these plans are not a substitute for comprehensive health insurance. They are just short-term health insurance plans that cover Covid-19 and its variants.

It is important that you and your family have a comprehensive health insurance policy that will cover hospitalization expenses of all kinds of ailments, infections, and injuries - and not just Covid-19. And it is important that you get it NOW.

Criticality of health insurance

Health insurance to become more difficult to get 

The last two years were very hard on the insurers. They faced huge losses as they had to pay out more in claims than they collected in premiums. Now, the only way to make up for these losses is by increasing the premium rates, making the underwriting guidelines even stricter, and being more cautious before issuing a health insurance policy.

You might not get health insurance later 

Health insurance works like an emergency loan. Like you cannot get a loan when you have a bad credit score, if you’re diagnosed with a serious disease and desperately want a health insurance policy, it might become very difficult for you to get one. This is because insurers are under no obligation to offer you coverage. They are for-profit companies and if you’re too risky for them to cover, they may straightaway reject your proposal - or issue you a cover but with a lot of restrictions and expensive premiums.

Healthcare inflation is increasing

Healthcare inflation is another factor why you should consider purchasing a health insurance policy immediately. In India, healthcare inflation is way more than retail inflation. And, healthcare costs are increasing exponentially too. If you or anyone in your family undergoes hospitalization, it would create a huge hole in your pocket and all your personal savings would be gone in the blink of an eye.

So, not only is it important that you have health insurance, but it is also crucial that you have a cover that will be sufficient 20 to 30 years down the line (considering healthcare inflation of 5-8 percent).


Source : Money Control back