The on-going global pandemic has surged the need of health insurance plans across the globe. The situation is no different in India. In March 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had issued a memorandum to all the insurers in India to cover the expenses related to testing, treatment, and hospitalisation of the disease.
Recently, IRDAI has allowed insurers to sell short-term COVID19 specific health plans to its customers. But if you ask us, having a comprehensive health insurance plan is much better compared to short-term health plans, especially during a pandemic.
So far, the things that we know about the short-term disease-specific health plan is as follows –
- Much like any other short-term health insurance, this health policy comes with a minimum coverage of three months and can be offered up to 11 months.
- Depending on the insurer, you can opt for add-on covers to enhance the scope of the policy. Note that add-ons are valid until the policy period only.
- The waiting period of short-term health insurance plans is not more than 15 days.
- Facilities such as lifelong renewability, migration, and portability are not applicable to short-term health plans.
Since the short-term health plans are available for a shorter period, the affordability of the product is quite high. As of now, having such a plan can be a sound strategy for people who cannot afford comprehensive health insurance plans.
But short-term health insurance plans cannot be a replacement for comprehensive health plans. It is always wise to have adequate health coverage during medical emergencies. In fact, the sum assured amount chosen should be sufficient to cover the medical expenses of all the members mentioned in a health insurance plan for the family.
On the other hand, you can buy a health insurance plan and keep renewing it lifelong. Comprehensive health insurance also allows you to enhance the scope of the policy with top-up covers.
Many insurers offer critical illness coverage with their basic health insurance plans. That way, you do not have to buy critical illness top-up cover to cover the treatment expenses of any critical health conditions.
A few benefits and features of health insurance plans in India are as follows –
- The insures in India offer bespoke health insurance plans that fulfil your medical needs.
- You can avail cashless claim settlements at the network hospitals enlisted by the insurer.
- Many insurers provide extensive coverage of up to INR 50 Lakh.
- Insurers also offer reinstatement benefits in case you exhaust the sum assured amount.
- The pre- and post- hospitalisation costs are covered under the basic health plans.
To Sum It Up
We understand that these are difficult times. Whether you have a short-term or a comprehensive health insurance plan, it is important to have a health policy under your name during a global pandemic.
The low-income families in India can consider checking their eligibility for Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) scheme. It is a government-funded healthcare facility that offers coverage of up to INR 5 Lakh per year per family.
Depending on your affordability, make sure that you buy a health policy as soon as possible. However, remember that short-term health insurance is not a replacement for extensive health coverage. When you regain your financial stability, consider investing in a comprehensive health plan.