COVID - 19 pandemic shook the world with its vast spread and fatalities. All businesses including insurance sector were greatly impacted by the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many insurance policies like life, motor and travel witnessed a heavy downfall in their market value. Similarly, health insurance plans were also heavily affected by this pandemic. In the light of the current status of the healthcare and economic state, the Indian Regulatory and Development Authority of India ( IRDAI) has launched a new health care policy for the general public to safeguard themselves against the deadly claws of COVID - 19 virus. The health plan for coronavirus is named after the virus itself and is called a Corona Kavach Policy, along with this there is also another similar policy named Corona Rakshak Policy. Both of these policies are modelled to fulfil all the requirements of a corona patient.
However, due to the unavailability of proper resources and data, the pricing of this product cannot be fixed. There is no vaccine developed for the virus yet, hence, it is difficult to assume the average amount that might be consumed during the treatment of the virus. Due to this, the sum assured of the policy cannot be gathered. The prices are still discussed to be set at an affordable yet feasible rate so that both the insurer and the insured are not under loss.
The objective of this product is to aim at all the corona related treatments and procedures as well as, the product is managed to have the common wordings across all insurance firms so that all different products have the same features.
The guidelines issued by IRDAI states :
- The corona product should be based on Indemnity. However, the other covers should be based on a benefits basis.
- The pricing of the corona product is to be fixed considering the issued IRDAI health regulations,2016.
- The corona products should have a policy term of 3.5 months, 6.5 months and 9.5 months ( waiting time included)
- All Health Insurance providers in the country are ordered to launch this corona product.
- For all healthcare workers in the country, the policy will be given at a 5% discount.
Features of Corona Kavach Policy
1. Coverage - The corona kavach policy aims to offer security to the insured against the infectious virus similar to a health insurance policy. The coverage of this corona policy is also no different from the regular health insurance policy as the policy has a family floater option along with the individual cover.
2. Types of Cover - The corona policy has two basic categories for coverage. There is a base cover and then there is an optional cover. The customer can choose either one of the covers or both if required to enhance their policy. The basic cover is served on Indemnity basis while the optional cover is served on a benefits basis.
3. Policy Term - The duration of the policy is hard to fix as different patients infected by the coronavirus show different symptoms. Even the treatment period for every individual is different, therefore, to identify the fixed policy period is a difficult task. However, for now, the policy term, including the waiting period is 3.5 months, 6.5 months and 9.5 months.
4. Sum Assured - As mentioned earlier, the sum assured of any health insurance policy is fixed considering various features such as the medical history of the insured, the age of the insured and if there are any pre-existing illnesses which might add to the medical expense. Thus to fix the sum assured for corona without any primary vaccine is complicated. Still, the fixed sum assured for the policy is Rs. 50,000 minimum to Rs 5 lakh maximum.
5. Payment Option - There are no multiple payment options for this particular health policy. Single payment mode is available for the corona plan.
6. Age Limit - The age criteria for the corona kavach policy is quite to that of any other health insurance policy. the minimum entry age for an individual plan is 18 years while the maximum entry age for the policy is 65 years.
In the case of a family floater plan, the age limit for dependant children is 1 day to 25 years.
7. Price - The pricing for the corona policy in uncertain, although, the guidelines of IRDAI states that the price of corona specific policies should be based on a PAN India basis. Also, unlike other health insurance plans, there is no demographic restriction for this policy.
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