Should you increase your health cover due to the pandemic? Get all your health insurance queries answered

By: |
September 21, 2020 6:02 PM

It is always a good idea to periodically review the sum insured under your health policy and take steps to increase it on renewal to keep pace with increasing costs and the possibility of medical emergencies which might entail a heavy financial outgo.

group health insuranceGroup Insurance is not just offered by your employers only however even banks can offer a group health insurance plan to all its account holders

By, Subramanyam Brahmajosyula

Q. I am 22 years old and working currently. I have never opted for health insurance and was thinking of opting for the Arogya Sanjeevani policy considering it provides cover for Corona also but with the exclusive corona health product available in the market now. What makes more sense and more pocket friendly for the first time health insurance buyer?

A. Arogya Sanjeevani would be a very good product for a first-time insurance buyer. It is a standard health policy that has been introduced by all the insurance companies and for a person in his / her early twenties, the sum insured of 5 lakhs offered under the policy would be adequate. However, as you expand your family after marriage, it might be a good idea to look at other health insurance products that offer higher sums insured and greater benefits.

Q. I am 35 years old and working with a family of 5 members. We are located in the prime hotspot of Covid-19 infection. Which COVID specific plan is recommended to buy? And for how many days does the policy cover hospitalization?

A. You can consider taking the Corona Kavach policy which has been introduced in the market by all insurance companies following an initiative taken by the insurance regulator. This policy can be purchased by people between the ages of 18 and 65 and can also cover family members such as a spouse, children, and parents/in-laws.

You can opt for a sum insured ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 lakhs and the policy will cover COVID related hospitalization expenses as well as home care treatment expenses besides pre-and-post hospitalization expenses. A fixed benefit amount of 0.5 per cent of the sum insured for each day of hospitalization is available as daily cash cover on an optional basis. The policy can be purchased for short periods of 3 ½, 6 ½, or 9 ½ months.

Q. I already have a health insurance cover from my employer. However lately, I have been thinking of buying Corona Kavach. Please guide if it is worth having a dedicated Corona policy.

A. It would be worthwhile to examine the coverage provided by your employer before taking a decision on purchasing a Corona Kavach policy. For instance, the sum insured limit under the corporate health insurance policy provided by your employer might be on the lower side. Similarly, home care treatment may not be available. Under such circumstances, Corona Kavach might prove to be a good back up.

Q. For my dad (age 63, retired, Mumbai) I have bought a health insurance policy of Rs. 5 lakh. Next month it is up for renewal. Given the on-going pandemic, I have been thinking if I should increase the sum to Rs. 10 lakh. Please guide.

A. It is always a good idea to periodically review the sum insured under your health policy and take steps to increase it on renewal to keep pace with increasing costs and the possibility of medical emergencies which might entail a heavy financial outgo. In the case of your dad, given his age and the fact that he is in Mumbai where medical treatment is expensive, it is suggested that an increase in sum insured from the current Rs. 5 lakhs be considered.

(The spokesperson is the head of underwriting and reinsurance, SBI General)

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