With the detection of the new variant of Covid-19 known as Omicron, people are once again raising their heads and becoming alert. The lessons of the second wave of the pandemic are not far behind us. Hence, it makes perfect sense to be ready for any development this time.
One of the most basic things you should ensure is having adequate health insurance. If you already have a health insurance policy, it makes sense to check it thoroughly to make sure you are covered against specific medical events. The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has a large number of mutations. This indicates that there is a risk of re-infection and that even those who have already been vaccinated may become infected.
The good news is that most existing health insurance policies cover new forms of COVID-19. Existing health insurance policies cover hospitalization costs due to infectious diseases. You can buy health insurance online if you haven’t already. Newer variants of COVID-19 are covered under health insurance policies. Independent COVID-19 health insurance policies also cover this new version of the virus. This is because the premise of coverage against COVID-19 remains the same.
Be prepared for Omicron
You need to remember certain criteria in order to design their health insurance plan to suit the current situation. Ideally, the sum insured of a health insurance plan is sufficient to meet the total expense of the treatment. The cost of treatment can range from thousands to lakhs depending on how severely affected the patient is. Therefore, the health insurance plan must be able to fully manage pre- and post-hospital expenses. Health insurance apps can help in making claims right from your phone in difficult situations.
Policyholders should make sure that their health insurance has comprehensive coverage that allows you to cover most diseases. This is because COVID-19 and the full extent of its implications are still unknown within the medical community. For example, in the second wave, COVID-19 patients were diagnosed with black fungus. Therefore, health insurance should be comprehensive covering all types of diseases including COVID-19 and its consequences.
Should you go for COVID-specific policies?
Medical insurance is something that is often promoted as a must-have product. Hence, regardless of whether there is a pandemic or not, you should have adequate coverage through a health insurance policy. The current COVID-19 pandemic is further proof of how important health insurance is. Existing health insurance policies have been a great help for individuals that were infected with COVID-19 themselves or had their family members infected. For such individuals, the high cost of treating COVID-19 was managed by health insurance policies. However, there is no guarantee that it will be the same case going forward. While comprehensive health insurance policies can cover you against COVID-19, there are also COVID-19 specific health insurance policies. As per IRDAI guidelines, there are many insurance providers that offer specific coverage for COVID-19.
Currently, COVID-19-specific policies are available until March 31, 2022, according to IRDAI’s September 2021 circular. If someone chooses a COVID-19 specific insurance policy in addition to their current health insurance plan, they can get coverage for the treatment cost whether the treatment is through home quarantine or hospitalization. Now the obvious question is what if the COVID policy runs out before the treatment is finished. It’s simple, the regular insurance policy that you have can augment the COVID specific policy. Hence, if the latter runs out, you will still have ample coverage.
If you feel that the sum insured of you regular health insurance policy is too low for the possibility of a COVID-19 infection, you should definitely take measures to avoid getting stuck with towering medical bills. If you can, speak to your insurance provider about ways you can raise your coverage. He safest bet you have in such a situation is to have a separate policy for COVID-19 coverage. This way, you will be ready for any and all possibilities. While buying the policy, ensure that it covers treatment for COVID-19 and all its complications.