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Omicron: Is Your Health Insurance Immune To It?

Updated on: Apr 21, 2022

Towards the end of 2021, the new variant of the novel coronavirus, Omicron, spread across the country uninterrupted. Infections rose rapidly in the third wave of COVID-19. Many dismissed Omicron as a “mild variant,” solely based on low death rates. But experts have warned over and over again not to take such issues lightly. This is not the time to get complacent and dismiss safety protocols imperative in fighting the virus.

The second and third wave is still fresh in our minds — those months of living with fear and anxiety as hospitalizations surged and the death toll mounted was nothing short of a nightmare. It made us realize the importance of always being prepared to combat the new variant. It would be unwise to equate Omicron with the common cold or fever, as we might need more than just OTC medications for its treatment. So while we still make use of masks and sanitizers, it’s not too late to take a close look at both your personal and company-provided health insurance policies. And when you do, here’s an important question to ask.

Does your health insurance cover Omicron?

The latest announcement [1] by India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) that COVID health insurance policies will cover Omicron serves as a reminder for many individuals to check whether their health insurance policy covers the disease.

“All health insurance policies issued by all general and health insurance companies that cover treatment costs of COVID-19 also cover the costs of treatment towards the Omicron variant of COVID-19, as per terms and conditions of policy contract,” the IRDAI said in a release.

Moreover, the IRDAI has also notified insurance companies to have a proper mechanism in place that ensures hospitals that are a part of an insurer network must make available cashless facilities to policyholders seamlessly. This is to ensure that the process doesn’t take too long, especially in the face of this crisis.

In April 2020, the IRDAI also clarified that all indemnity-based health insurance products covering hospitalization costs would also cover COVID-19.

The good news is that most health insurance companies are likely to cover costs related to the virus. But certain factors must be kept in mind to prepare yourself for any future COVID wave.

Do you need to re-evaluate your health insurance policy?

Yes. The first thing you must do is review the sum assured of the plan so that all your medical needs around COVID-19 can be covered without any hassle. For example, in some instances where hospitalization is required, medical bills can run up to lakhs. This is precisely why your health insurance plan must cover everything, from hospitalization costs to other medical expenses. The aim is to ensure that out-of-pocket costs are reduced.

It is also essential to have a comprehensive health insurance plan that covers various complications associated with COVID-19. By now, the after-effects of the virus and how it impacts crucial organs in the body are common knowledge. Many might even recall the occurrence of black fungus during the second wave of the current pandemic. In such situations, re-hospitalization cannot be ruled out, nor can the recurrent expenditure involved with it.

Next, ensure that your health insurance plan must not only cover you for COVID-19 but must also include domiciliary treatment expenses and other additional charges. Domiciliary treatment involves a patient choosing to get treated at home, even when there is a need for hospitalization. It could be due to unavailability of hospital beds or the patient suffering from certain specific comorbidities. Also, check with your insurance provider about the coverage of additional costs, such as doctor consultations, check-ups, tests, OPD, and ambulance charges. *Standard T&C Apply

You could also opt for standalone COVID-19 policies if your existing plan has a low sum insured and you need urgent coverage.

Can a family floater plan work?

COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease and can spread to your family members, especially if you are living under the same roof. So, if you already have an existing family floater plan, you need to ensure adequate coverage for all the members. You can also get a separate policy for your elderly parents. If the sum insured is meagre, you can go for a top-up plan to take care of any complications and emergencies associated with the coronavirus.

You need not worry about any such situations when signing up for any Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company’s Family Health Insurance Plan. Under them, each of your family members can avail of an individual sum insured or opt for a family floater plan. Everything from hospitalization expenses, daycare procedures, AYUSH treatment, doctor consultations, ambulance services, and treatment charges are covered. Kindly confirm the add-ons and standard offering before buying the policy. *Standard T&C Apply

As part of the Bajaj Allianz Family Insurance, you can receive the following benefits:

  • Multiple sums insured options
  • Immediate family cover
  • Recharge benefit
  • Daycare procedures cover
  • Cashless claim facility at over 6,500+ hospitals across the country
  • Cashless claim settlement within 60 minutes
  • Maximum coverage at affordable rates
  • Simple process of renewing/buying a policy online
  • Ayurvedic and homoeopathic treatment
  • Convalescence benefit
  • Road ambulance cover
  • Pre and post hospitalization
  • Organ donor expenses cover
  • Maternity/newborn baby cover
  • Preventive health check-up

*Standard T&C Apply

The last word

Investing in a good health insurance policy is imperative today, especially with the pandemic refusing to let up. While one cannot control the circumstances, one can be better prepared. As they say, a stitch in time saves nine. So hesitate no more and get a health insurance plan that protects you and your family against Omicron and any other variant.

‘Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms and conditions, please read sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

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Published on April 21, 2022
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