In the backdrop of surging Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has brought in `Corona Kavach’, a Covid Standard Health Policy.
Significantly, it also said the home care treatment expenses should also be covered under Covid policies.
All general and standalone health insurers have been directed to mandatorily offer the product on or before July 10, 2020.
As per the guidelines, for general and standalone health insurers who will have to mandatorily offer the policy which covers 14 days of expenses incurred for home treatment.
This is in addition to the hospitalisation expenses, which will also be covered. The hospitalisation expenses have also been broad-based and includes Intensive Care Unit (ICU) cost, among others.
The Authority has allowed the insurers to fix the price of the Covid Standard Health Policy.
It, however, said the insurers should broadly adhere to the IRDAI (Health Insurance) Regulations 2016 depending on the covers being offered.
It should have a specific basic mandatory cover and one optional cover.
The premium payable for the optional cover should be specified separately to enable the policyholders to choose and pay as per the need.
The tenure of the policy will be made available in three categories, including the waiting period.
“It should offer a policy period of three and a half months, six and half months and nine and half months,” the Authority said.
The guidelines for a Covid Standard Benefit Based Health Policy have also been released. All insurers can offer this – general, health and life who are transacting health insurance business, it said.
The minimum sum assured will be Rs 50,000 with a maximum limit of Rs 2.50 lakh. The single premium payment mode will only be allowed.
While welcoming the move, some insurers have also sounded cautious on the financial implications of the mandatory Covid19 policies.
When contacted Milind V Kolhe, Chief Underwriting & Reinsurance Officer, Bharti AXA General Insurance told BusinessLine that his company `welcomes” the regulator’s move to bring the Covid insurance products at the time when it is needed the most.”
Stating that customer-centricity is the central theme of these products during the unprecedented times, Kolhe said: “Claims management will be an important aspect of these products and insurers are working closely with the General Insurance Council to bring some rationalisation in the treatment costs.”
A top executive of a health insurance company, however, albeit there is an `undeniable’ need for Covid19 cover, it is like entering the water without knowing the depth as the nature of the spread of the pandemic is still not known.
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