The number of people infected by corona virus is not very large for a country with a population of 1.2 billion. However, there are many more who are quarantined, or expected to be quarantined soon. The risk of people being exposed increases every day, with revelations that those infected have visited public places.
May God and health always be with us and our loved ones! Nevertheless, we need to be prepared for emergencies.
IRDAI has issued instructions for speedy expedition of corona virus related cases. However, the scenario changes post declaration of the disease as a pandemic. Most of the insurance policies do not cover diseases declared as a pandemic, and ratified to be so by the Government of India.
Insurance companies providing health cover for COVID19
SBI General Insurance, Edelweiss General Insurance and Bajaj Allianz General were the first to confirm coverage of expenses against the treatment of Covid19, despite it being declared a pandemic, as per Business Line.
Digit Insurance launched a health insurance policy offering a coverage from Rs.25000/- to Rs. 2 lakhs which will cover 100% expenses for COVID19 treatment up to the maximum amount assured, and 50% of expenses for the quarantined cases. It needs a confirmation report of the disease from National Institute of Virology, Pune.
Subsequently, all insurance companies were asked to cover corona virus treatment, irrespective of the pandemic clause.
Terms and conditions for eligibility
The insured should not have been in contact with someone with a suspected history of the coronavirus disease till the policy ends.
The insured or their immediate family members should not have travelled to China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Italy, Iran, Bahrain, Kuwait and Taiwan since December 1, 2019. They should not be suffering from symptoms such as cough with or without sputum, cold/nasal block, fever with body pain or shortness of breath for the last six weeks, as these may be symptoms of the disease already contracted.
It is not very encouraging. The disease is likely to be contracted from someone who has travelled.
WHAT ARE OTHER OPTIONS AT YOUR DISPOSAL?
How much money do you have in your savings accounts?
What is the balance in your mobile wallets?
How many cards are still operational for withdrawal of cash, ecommerce transactions or use at merchant establishments? Remember these facilities have been disabled from March 16, 2020, if the same were not availed on the card so far. International transactions and contactless transactions are also covered under this.
Do you have a flexi-deposit account which will allow withdrawal from fixed deposits without going to the bank?
OVERDRAFT AGAINST SALARY ACCOUNTS
Are you eligible for this facility?
Calculate the total liquidity available with you as a family.
What happens if you need to go beyond this?
PROVIDENT FUND WITHDRAWALS
The following provisions are available for a withdrawal from provident fund for medical treatment.
- An employee is allowed to withdraw employee’s share with interest or six times the monthly salary (whichever is lower) from PF for medical treatment.
2. It is applicable for medical treatments of self, spouse, children, and parents.
3. There is no lock-in period or minimum service period for this type of withdrawal.
In case of existing life insurance policy holders, death benefits will be available to the nominee, if the insured dies due to corona virus.
In cases where the application for a new life insurance policy is under consideration, coverage may not be provided to those who have already contracted the disease.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OTHER COUNTRIES?
Around 8% of people in the US are not covered under health insurance.
Those who are covered by employer’s insurance might pay $1300 as out-of-pocket expenses, plus charges for protective gear. This is calculated on the basis of treatment given to pneumonia patients.
Business owners have expressed concern on the fact that they cannot claim insurance coverage for losses in business, unless the government declares closure of business establishment. The hospitality business is severely affected.
It gives you an idea of the risk we are living with in 2020.