Health insurance cover is the most talked about insurance in recent times.
The number of people infected by corona virus or its variants is not very large for a country with a population of 1.2 billion. However, there are many more who are quarantined, and have to bear quarantine costs. Income loss due to hospitalisation or quarantine is not covered by a major part of insurance policies.
The risk of people being exposed increases every day, as symptoms are not evident and many may not get tested at all.
May health and prosperity always be with us and our loved ones! Nevertheless, we need to be prepared for exigencies.
IRDAI has issued instructions for uniform coverage of corona virus and its variants by all health insurance provided. It also recommends speedy expedition of corona virus related cases.
Health Insurance providers that took the lead
SBI General Insurance, Edelweiss General Insurance and Bajaj Allianz General were the first to confirm coverage of expenses against the treatment of Covid19. They did it despite corona virus 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.
DO YOU HAVE AN ADEQUATE EMERGENCY FUND?
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.
Death benefits will be given to the nominee in case of corona virus deaths, in case of all existing life insurance policy holders.
Life insurance companies may not provide coverage to those who have already covered the disease, if a new insurance policy is being issued.
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 are concerned 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 a fair idea of the risk we are living with in current times.