THE WEEK|July 12, 2020
PEARLY GUPTA, a Mumbai-based media professional, was relieved when her 31-year-old brother returned home after being cured of Covid-19. The hospital bill, however, came as a rude shock. Her brother had spent nine days in a private hospital, and his treatment was covered by a group insurance plan provided by his employer. The plan, however, did not cover the cost of consumables—single-use items like masks and personal protective equipment.
“The total cost of the treatment was ₹2.59 lakh, in which consumables accounted for more than ₹1 lakh,” said Gupta. “This had to be borne by us. I feel one should carefully go through the fine print before finalising any health insurance cover.”
With Covid-19 cases surging across India, insurance companies are offering a range of plans to offset the rising cost of treatment. There are plans that cover the cost of PPE kits and even outpatient bills. Companies are developing new products as per the guidelines recently issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. The IRDA has asked all general and health insurance companies to offer a standard, short-term policy—called Corona Kavach—with a minimum sum insured of ₹50,000 and a maximum of ₹5 lakh. The new plans, which will also cover home treatment expenses, will be valid till March 31, 2021.
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July 12, 2020