Covid-19 and Insurance - How Virus Is Changing The Face Of Health Insurance Policies

Published: 20 November, 2020 14:35 IST | Partnered Content | Mumbai

Delivery of healthcare services is a critical component to Covid-19 patients, especially since quarantine is the only way to go

In one of its recent reports, PricewaterhouseCooper has said that, “Health insurance is expected to cushion the blow that this pandemic will deal. While being extremely relevant to society, using appropriate mitigation strategies, insurance companies may be able to support it further through product development activities and ensuring their reach is extensive.” In October 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) directed the insurer to include telemedicine consultation in the terms and conditions of the insurance policy contract. The direction comes at the right time since in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic; patients prefer to go for online consultation with doctors instead of physically visiting the hospital or clinics. The recent directions of IRDAI are going to be highly beneficial for the policyholders seeking treatment for various ailments.

Delivery of healthcare services is a critical component to Covid-19 patients, especially since quarantine is the only way to go. With the relentless manner in which COVID-19 has been moving across the country, it was a matter of time before it showed its impact upon the health insurance sector too. The most important reason for this impact is socio-economic. However, the insurance industry has also been quick in reacting to this situation and putting new products out there to provide protective cover to the consumers.

India has traditionally been an under-insured market, especially where health insurance is concerned. As per the current data, a minuscule population (14% rural and 18% urban) is availing insurance coverage. However, as per a Max Bupa survey, as compared to just about 10% of Indians interested in health insurance in the pre-COVID era, a staggering 71% of them now believe that they should get health insurance. At the same time, the smart Indian consumer also wants more value for money in terms of a health insurance policy.

What have also driven this change in the health insurance industry are also public expectations, which have undergone a sea change. With the consumer mindset changing, in tune with the growing uncertainties due to the pandemic, rising medical costs, and overall health matter the most while people decide upon a Covid-19 specific policy. In fact, a health insurance policy is as imperative to the lifestyle of an average Indian as eating right and exercising used to be before the virus hit us.

The two main things that a customer is looking for in a good health insurance policy, vis-à-vis Covid-19, is protection against excessive financial burden due to hospitalisation. Apart from the health risks that the virus poses, there is also a substantial financial component that becomes inherent with the disease. With the cost of quarantine, whether at the hospital or at home and regular treatment as well as the loss of working days, etc, it makes perfect sense to invest in a good policy that takes care, not only of the patient but also of the family. One such product, that signifies how far the Indian health insurance sector has come since the rise of Covid-19, is Max Bupa’s “Corona Kavach” plan. This Corona-specific health insurance package could be your smartest move against the deadly virus. This Family Floater Health Insurance Plan provides insurance coverage worth between Rs. 50,000-Rs. 5,00,000 and flexible tenure payments like 3.5, 6.5, and 9.5 months. Other benefits include – Co-morbidities cover, home-care treatment of the Sum Insured Value and Family Combination Applicable up to 2 adults, and four children.

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