Air Pollution in Delhi: Does your health insurance cover this?

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Published: November 18, 2019 5:44:52 PM

Other than lungs getting affected, doctors say high levels of pollutants cause inflammation in blood vessels, which leads to the hardening of arteries. This triggers a stroke or heart attack among individuals already at risk of the disease.

Air pollution, delhi air pollution, insurance, health insurance, health insurance products, health risks, IRDAI, exclusions, health insurance policies, smog break, Delhi, Delhi-NCR,LocalCircles,Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA),Children's day,Prime Minister Narendra Modi,air quality index (AQI),"severe" category,"poor" categoryA policyholder must understand the hidden clauses before opting for a policy or even before making a claim.

It’s almost a month since the air quality in Delhi has been hazardous and people are chocking. Most people in the city can be seen wearing pollution masks to avoid breathing the poisonous air, but most of them are not suited for this level of pollution. Experts say, most people don’t know what kind of mask they should wear to help fight such air pollution.

According to a PTI report, Delhi hospitals have seen a sudden spike in the number of patients coming in with respiratory and breathing complications. Experts believe the current factor, like the major change in weather caused due to air pollution, has led to an increase in hospitalization. Severe air pollution can cause eye burning, eye-watering, breathing and respiratory difficulty, asthma problems, and allergy, along with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

Experts say environmental changes, air pollution, and dietary influence have led more and more people to end up in the hospital. Paying for these health complications and diseases is burning a hole in the pockets of those without a health insurance cover. Hence, in a situation as such, it is important to be financially prepared for planned and emergency hospitalization and medical care, and a health insurance cover in such cases serves as a financial shield against all odds.

Anurag Rastogi, President, Accident and Health Business, HDFC ERGO General Insurance, says, “Air Pollution can transfer pollutants very fast and in no time. This makes it almost impossible, for any person breathing the polluted air, to avoid infections.” Other than lungs getting affected, doctors say high levels of pollutants cause inflammation in blood vessels, which leads to the hardening of arteries. This triggers a stroke or heart attack among individuals already at risk of the disease. According to reports, along with infectious illnesses, malaria, pneumonia, TB, and Heart Disease which have become the most common ailments in India, other respiratory and lifestyle-related common diseases, such as lungs and liver-related diseases, are not far behind.

Does your health insurance help?

Most health insurance policies from big brands and private insurers are all-inclusive. However, the policyholder must understand the hidden clauses before opting for a policy or even before making a claim. Hence, it is suggested by industry experts that policyholders should go through the fine print of their policy document, and read in between the lines and understand things carefully.

Rastogi of HDFC ERGO General Insurance says, “Common airborne ailments like bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) that require hospitalization and active management of the diseases, are covered under a health insurance policy as per the terms and conditions mentioned in the policy.”

While going through the fine prints make sure that the insurance policy gives optimum cover, and includes the most common diseases in India, along with the obvious critical illnesses. Additionally, individuals going to buy a new cover, “can get a hospitalization policy with indemnity covers, which will provide cover for Airborne disease under the policy,” adds Rastogi.

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