COVID-19 has plagued the world for over 2 years now. While there is a level of normalcy around the world, the pandemic constantly creates more challenges for people. The number of COVID-19 cases across the country is growing at an alarming rate. India, just like many other countries in the world has periods of time where the number of fresh cases spike, making healthcare difficult. To add to the overall problem, coronavirus is a pathogen that quickly mutates into a new variant. The latest variant of the virus is called Omicron. The rise of this Omicron variant has further raised concerns among people regarding implementations of lockdowns and other restrictions. At such a time, anybody that has a health insurance policy can feel a sense of security against the pandemic. However, health insurance has been around for decades before this pandemic. This raises the question of whether people who have health insurance policies will receive financial coverage for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Health insurance policy for Omicron infections
The simple answer to the question is yes. Since April 2020, IRDAI clarified that all indemnity-based health insurance products, which cover the cost of hospitalization treatment offered by all general and health insurance companies, will cover hospitalization costs due to COVID-19. Since Omicron is only a variant of the same virus, the coverage status for it should be the same. However, there is a difference between deducing something yourself and having confirmation. When it comes to insurance, the topmost source of information is the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDAI).
The IRDAI has recently directed all general and health insurance companies to cover the cost of treatment of infections caused by COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. According to various industry experts, it is a step in the right direction and will bring relief to all policyholders by ensuring financial security and security against a spike in fresh Covid cases.
Following the IRDAI notification, the insurance companies will work in coordination with their network hospitals to provide a cashless facility and to facilitate the claim settlement process, keeping in view the terms and conditions of the policy agreement. All you would have to do is claim through the health insurance app.
Benefits of having health coverage for Omicron
- Extended coverage for hospitalization
Infectious diseases such as COVID-19 require serious and continuous treatment. In this case, the patient will need to be hospitalized. In addition, the patient may need to stay in the hospital longer than usual. This means that the cost of hospitalization is higher under COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. This cost might be even higher in the case of Omicron as it is a new variant of the virus and specific treatments may still be under development. With extended coverage for hospitalization, you can make sure you stay in the hospital as long as you need to.
- High coverage amount
Generally, a policy with coverage of ₹ 3 lakh to ₹ 5 lakh per person is considered satisfactory. Now, depending on how many dependents you have and their individual medical needs, you can multiply this amount to get total coverage for the whole family. However, in the case of infectious diseases, the policy should allow you to keep a greater amount of total coverage. If your insurance provider offers it, you should contact them to make changes to your policy. Now you can make health insurance claims without worrying about whether your plan would be enough or not.
- Vaccine coverage
For a disease like COVID-19 that has spread to a large number of people, the biggest solution to the problem is the vaccine. Although vaccine options are currently available in the country, the vaccination process is still in a phase where its effectiveness cannot be measured. In most places, if you want to get vaccinated, you have to pay a certain price. Whether you can afford that price is a different story. There is also the question of availability. Therefore, insurance plans have coverage so that you can get the vaccine and they will cover the cost of purchasing the vaccine.