February 21, 2024


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Step-by-Step guide to choosing Health Insurance- The New Indian Express

3 min read
Step-by-Step guide to choosing Health Insurance- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

It is amazing to see the kind of risk that people take with medical insurance! Or rather the kind of insurance that people take! Let me enumerate them…  I know of couples who gave up their own medical insurance when their son / daughter joined a big company which covered them. Now the son/daughter have left that job and have zero insurance. His age is 73 and she is 69. Both of them have some complications and are uninsurable.

 I know of people who have taken a lot of cancer cover – but not enough medical insurance. How is one to know that one will not have other problems – like Covid-19, liver failure, kidney failure, etc.? A general big insurance is much better than Cancer cover. Not knowing how to buy medical insurance – people go and buy a big (its relative, is it not?)  People who have general medical insurance run the risk that their claim will be paid only partially. This is because of the room rental restrictions, not paying for the PPE that the doctor and other staff wear, etc. So in a bill of I22 L you may find that only I6L was eligible – and if you had a Rs 5L cover, the claim settled could be in full, but that may not be good enough.

The last 3 bills that I have seen for Covid-19 treatment in private hospitals have been I22L, I25L and I35L. In all 3 cases, there was usage of ventilators, all 3 were senior citizens, and all were private deluxe hospitals. When I speak to doctors they keep saying that the bill should be much lesser – they in fact say that there should be a decimal in between! However, the facts are different! Many of the health insurers have now come up with the standard Covid-specific indemnity plan, Corona Kavach.

The Covid Kavach is an indemnity type insurance plan that is available for individuals and families. It will offer a sum insured of up to I5 lakh for hospitalisation expenses related  to Covid-19.This was launched after a diktat by the Insurance regulator IRDA. However, there is no benefit plan as of now. However, I guess if you had a medical benefit plan, the same will work if you are hit by Covid-19. I suggest that you take a Corona cover over and above the regular medical insurance that you have.

Your regular medical insurance is likely to have limits like room rent, not willing to pay for the PPE kit that your doctor and others use – and such expenses. It seems to be an escape route and a great route to make some money by the insurance companies, but we do not have a choice. As the epidemic is likely to last for just 1 year – I guess you will have to renew it at least once. I hope we do not have to renew it twice!!  It makes sense to take the Covid-19 kavach, for I5L (max) for a period of 285 days. Remember that the policy comes into play only after 30 days, so 255 days.

PV subramanyam
writes at www.subramoney.com and has authored the best seller ‘Retire Rich – Invest C 40 a day’

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