The outbreak of COVID seems to not end any sooner especially with the arrival of its new variant every year. In such an unpredictable times of our life, when we simply do not know when one of us would be detected with Omicron virus, it is critical to stay prepared to deal with any emergency, both mentally & financially. Hence, a proper check on one’s existing health insurance plan is a must so as to ensure if one is financially equipped to face any emergency arising due to this new variant.
Furthermore, the last two waves of COVID-19 has made the need of a sufficient coverage all the more prominent. Nowadays, it’s not only important to have an insurance plan in place but it is also mandatory to have a well-covered health insurance plan, which can help you cover all your medical expenses or treatment costs during hospitalization.
Does your existing plan offer you adequate coverage?
This is the most significant question that one must ask themselves to check if they are prepared in case themselves or their family undergo any medical emergency due to this new variant. Since, the virus is new and there is no sufficient information around it, no assumptions could be made about the intensity this virus could be a threat to one. It has been observed that individuals who have been completely vaccinated with both the doses have also been diagnosed with this new variant. Since there is a very high uncertainty around this virus, it is advisable to take the necessary precautions in terms of plan coveragebeforehand to avoid any kind of unpleasant situations during emergencies or hospitalization.
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Review your Current Plan
As each one of us have clearly witnessed the need of a well-covered plan in the past two waves of COVID, it is highly significant to perform a deep assessment of your current plan to check whether it provides the sufficient coverage as per your or your family’s medical needs. Moreover, one must also check if the cover offers post treatment complications (which could be expensive in some instances). Make sure your insurance coverage covers not just COVID disease but also its aftereffects, since the experts are still learning about the disease’s implications.
Thorough Check of Your Current Floater Plan
As we all are aware infected people can be contagious and the virus could spread from one person to another quickly especially when you are at a conversational distance (more likely home). Hence, there are chances of multiple people getting infected with the virus at the same time in your home. So families who already have an existing family floater in place, must check if their plan is sufficient to offer the necessary coverage. It is also suggested to have a separate policy for elders as the complications could be higher in their case and an under covered plan would not be of any much help to them.
Co-Payment & Sub-Limit
If your existing health insurance plan has higher co-payment, it is advisable to switch to another plan or pay higher premiums as the co-payments can create a burn into your pocket owing to the inflated medical expenses. Same goes for sub-limits, if your current health plan has any sub-limits it is wiser to switch to another plan that has no sub-limits. Taking these factors into consideration can save you from the financial stress during medical emergencies due to this variant or other illness.
Is there a need of a COVID specific plan?
As per the IRDAI, all the health insurance plans that cover the cost of treatment of COVID would also cover this new Omicronvariant as per the terms & conditions of the policy contract, since it is a new variant of the same disease and not a new disease. In case you do not have any active health insurance plan or an adequate coverage health plan, then you can look out for a dedicated COVID plan as an additional coverage as it would cover from the very first day (based on the policy features). For inadequate coverage plans, the COVID plan could be used for its treatment (if ever diagnosed) and the rest of the basic plan could be utilized for the treatment of any other illness.
The bottom line is it is highly necessary to invest in an optimum health insurance plan as we have witnessed the adversity of mental or financial pressure this virus has brought in the past two waves. It’s sensible to take the past learnings into consideration and stay prepared for the worst. Upgrading the current plan or switching to the new plan should be highly considered if your current plan doesn’t offer you the required benefit. One can find well-covered and suitable plans by comparing the various available health plans and their features online.
Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of Rakesh Goyal, Director, Probus Insurance.