The highly asked question in the current times is definitely about the right health insurance policy. People at large extent are having a tough time in making selection between a comprehensive health insurance policy and COVID 19 specific policy, or do they really require a COVID19 related policy even when they have a health insurance policy. These are some questions wandering in everyone’s mind to ensure that they make an accurate choice to safeguard them from this pandemic.

Foremostly, this is a crucial time when every individual should take a charge for their lives. As much as, healthy habits, good lifestyle and right eating practices are stressed upon, it is equally mandatory to buy a health insurance policy to give an extra shield to the health, despite age, gender or other factors.

No Health Insurance Policy?

India is a highly uninsured country which means a huge section of the society is still paying the medical care expenses from their pockets at the time of a health emergency. According to the report released by Statista Research Department on 1st March 2021, in the fiscal year of 2020, nearly 500 million people across India were covered under health insurance schemes. Of these, the highest number of people were insured under government-sponsored health insurance schemes, while individual insurance plans had the lowest number of people. Overall, the penetration of health insurance in India stood at just around 35 percent in financial year 2018.

There are several health insurance plans available in the market, designed for individuals, families, senior citizens and people dealing with some general diseases such as diabetes or critical diseases such as cancer or any other. Any comprehensive health insurance can be bought complimenting the needs of a person, offering various services such as pre & post hospitalisation expenses, free health medical checks, easy renewals and etc.

There are several companies offering these services at affordable premium and Star Health Insurance and HDFC Ergo Health Insurance are the two names from the list of leading health insurance companies.

Star Health Insurance Company is a foremost standalone insurance health care provider, offering a bunch of innovative insurance products such as Star Comprehensive Insurance Policy, Senior Citizens Red Carpet Health Insurance Policy, Family Health Optima Insurance Policy and many more. The Star Health Insurance’s policies come at an affordable price of INR 6718 on an average for a year, according to IRDAI data of 2019-2020. Star offers cashless treatment at more than 10,200 network hospitals panned across India with successful claim support ratio and reimbursement facility.

Next on the leader’s chart is HDFC Ergo Health Insurance which has marked its name in the industry with some really supportive and useful insurance policies such as Optima Restore Health Plan, My: Health Suraksha Health Plan, Health Wallet Family Floater Plan and etc. In INR 3623 approx annual premium, the company is ensuring services such as cashless claims, easy payment options i.e. installments & discounts, day care treatments and various other facilities in 170+ cities of the country.

Once you buy any comprehensive health insurance policy, they include the protection against COVID19 along with hospitalisation expenses incurred due to the cost of PPE kits, oxygen, ventilators, and consultation fees are covered and also home care treatment. Another big advantage of comprehensive health insurance plans is that they undertake the expenses related to long term effects of coronavirus left behind after the cure of the virus and also the side-effects of vaccination, in case of a hospitalisation. The comprehensive plans ensure long term safety from medical emergency bills.

COVID19 Specific Policies

This is a perfect example of an innovative product shaped to safeguard the lives of people in an unprecedented scenario such as pandemic which has created an emergency in the health care system. Especially designed to deal with coronavirus related illness by IRDAI, two new insurance packages have been created i.e. COVID Rakshak and COVID Kavach. Corona Kavach is available in both on an individual basis and on Family Floater basis but Corona Rakshak is offered on an individual basis.

So the question arises, who should take these policies and when? As mentioned above, in case of a health insurance policy is availed by a person, there is no emergency to rush to buy a corona specific p–olicy. But in a scenario when health insurance policy is not taken then these policies are pretty useful to gain an instant protection in the current times which is causing a huge financial pressure on people.

Corona Kavach Policy is an indemnity-based plan where hospital bill gets reimbursed and Corona Rakshak Policy is a benefit-based plan under that the 100 per cent of the sum insured is paid to the policyholder. The minimum sum insured for Corona Kavach Policy is Rs 50,000 and the maximum is Rs 5 lakh while for the Corona Rakshak Policy, the minimum sum insured is Rs. 50,000 and the maximum limit shall be Rs.2.5 lakh.

All insurance companies are offering these policies separately for the consumers at marginally different premium prices with almost similar or more benefits. For instance, Star Health Insurnace has two separate policies for COVID19 with the same name giving facilities for hospitalisation and home care treatments wherein HDFC Ergo has a Corona Kavach Policy offering complete treatment till recovery.

In case one already has a health insurance policy, he/she can purchase this policy as a supplementary cover where this will take away the additional pressure from the existing standard policy protecting it from this kind of an unplanned ailment.

Conclusion

A health insurance plan is quintessential in the current times. If a person is already insured with a satisfactory insurance plan giving protection against the required diseases and COVID19 then it is sufficient. Otherwise, buying a COVID19 specific policy can be really useful to get an aid against pandemic. Also, COVID19 specific policy can be taken as a supplement to secure the policy sum insured money.

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