What makes a cashless health insurance policy a must-have during COVID-19 pandemic?
Updated: February 17, 2021 11:58 AM
The concerns of those who are getting hospitalised are being compounded due to the prohibitively high costs of treatment. This has taken a toll on the financial health of such individuals and their families.
Coronavirus in India (Representative image)
India recently crossed the grim milestone of 1 crore Covid-19 cases. Although the fatality rate is low, the number of fresh and active cases is increasing. The concerns of those who are getting hospitalised are being compounded due to the prohibitively high costs of treatment. This has taken a toll on the financial health of such individuals and their families.
Cost of hospitalization – Coronavirus
Since hospitals are required to follow specific procedures for medication and use PPE kits extensively, treatment costs of coronavirus has turned out to be significantly expensive.
As the hospitalization period for the treatment of coronavirus is generally for a 14-day period, expenses may run into a few lakhs.
In order to maintain clarity and transparency, the General Insurance Council has put in place a schedule of rates for COVID-19 claims.
There could be certain out-of-pocket expense during hospitalization. Unless one has an emergency fund in place, one may have to dip into savings or arrange for the same from friends or relatives. Inadequate coverage provided by an existing health insurance policy may also result in out-of-pocket expenses for the policyholder. As per the standard rates, a single day’s hospitalization cost is about Rs 15,000 for any severe sickness due to coronavirus. This means for a 14 day period, the cost of hospitalisation could be nearly Rs 2.10 lakhs. At times, one may develop critical illness due to Acute Respiratory Failure in which the lungs gets damaged and the cost may increase manifold. The actual cost, however, will depend on the type of stay and the treatment during hospitalization, the city of residence and the type of hospital.
Importance of health insurance policy
The pandemic has significantly impacted our lives. It is no longer uncommon to hear about an erstwhile healthy acquaintance get infected with Coronavirus despite taking suitable precautions.
Therefore, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of owning a comprehensive health insurance policy.
By paying a fraction of the health insurance coverage (sum insured, in insurance parlance) as premium, one can ensure that the hospital bills are taken care of by the insurance company in the case of hospitalization.
There are specific and dedicated health insurance plans such as Arogya Sanjeevani and Corona Kavach Policy for meeting hospitalization expenses arising out of coronavirus treatment. Such plans include cost towards room rent, doctor’s fees, ICU charges etc. One can buy them for specific tenure of 3 ½ months, 6 ½ months, and 9 ½ months and the coverage is till the period opted for unless renewed. One is allowed to buy them with an upper cap of Rs 5 lakh and is being offered by insurers till March 31, 2021. However, relying solely on these plans may not be enough, especially during these times when rising hospitalisation expenses have the potential to dent one’s financial well-being.
Expensive hospitalisation bills can be comfortably managed by owning a comprehensive health insurance policy, subject to terms and conditions in the policy document.*
Any hospitalization for a medically mandatory treatment of coronavirus is covered under a health insurance policy. And, that’s not all, a health insurance plan also provides extra-protection by meeting the hospitalization cost arising from other ailments as well.
Role of Cashless Hospitalization
For a smooth, seamless and hassle-free hospitalization, it is important to ensure that your health insurance policy offers a cashless experience.
It may be tempting to dip into your emergency fund for a medical emergency, however this wouldn’t be judicious and goes against the tenets of personal finance. You could rather keep growing the emergency fund and transform into a significant corpus. It could be used when you don’t have any other source of funds.
Rather, you could avail cashless hospitalisation which ensures that hospitalisation expenses can be managed seamlessly without any need to withdraw funds.
Simply put, under Cashless Hospitalization, the insurer takes care of the hospital bills at the time of discharge without you or family member to worry about them. The hospital bills are reimbursed by the insurer directly with the service provider. You just need to ensure that it is a network hospital as per the insurer’s empaneled list of hospital. Irrespective of whether it is an emergency situation or a planned hospitalization, the comfort of meeting hospital cost with ease is possible through Cashless Hospitalization.
The repercussions of this global pandemic has impacted the financial well-being of almost all sections of the society. Therefore, it may not be appropriate to request assistance from family members, friends, professional colleagues or acquaintances
Thankfully, cashless health insurance enables you to remain independent and not seek funds from anyone. You can happily bid goodbye to the multiple hassles of hospitalisation after purchasing a cashless health insurance policy.