Covid-19: Awareness about the importance of health insurance

With over one crore cases and 1.5 Lakh deaths, India is one of the worst-hit countries by Coronavirus Pandemic.  Though the government’s timely lockdowns helped control the infection rate to some extent, large swaths of population were hit by the pandemic. Most importantly, the pandemic has put a spotlight on the need for health insurance.

It is to be noted that India continues to be an underinsured country, with only 28% of the people have health insurance access. Though the government has taken earnest steps to ensure coverage for the poor and downtrodden through Ayushman Bharat, the sad truth is most of India continues to be underinsured when it comes to health. 

Most people out of their ignorance or reluctance to spend are considering health insurance as a needless expense without knowing its importance. However, having struck by the pandemic, which impacted several industries, people are now slowly understanding the importance of health insurance. According to a survey, more than 75% of Indians are more worried about health-related expenses, and 71% of them are willing to pay for health insurance.  Overall the awareness around insurance has increased dramatically. 

These figures indicate that health insurance is the need of the hour and no longer can be downplayed. Let us see the reasons as to why people considered health insurance as an essential investment after the Corona Pandemic.

  1. Rising Number of Cases

Despite the government’s best effort, the number of cases has steadily shot up during the lockdown. There were some instances of lockdown violations. However, for such a massive country like India, such violations are bound to happen. As the disease is extremely contagious, more and more people are prone to contract the infection. With the new strain of Coronavirus emerging from the UK, which is 70% more transmissible, people want to insure themselves under a health plan to meet hospitalization expenses.

  1. Hospitalization

What we noticed during this pandemic is that people are more willing to hospitalize themselves. It is indeed a positive sign. With the timely intervention of the IRDAI, most insurance companies cover Covid 19 treatment under a standard health insurance policy. People who already have health insurance could cover the hospitalization charge from day 1. Customers buying a new health insurance policy have to serve a waiting period of 15 days.  

It is no secret that people prefer private hospitals more than government ones due to the better infrastructure and numerous other factors. While treatment for Coronavirus could result in an expense of up to Rs. 50000 per day, and for a prolonged stay, the costs could become simply unaffordable by the common man. Health insurance, therefore, is essential to meet such expenses. 

  1. Job cuts and savings loss

In this pandemic, millions of people have lost their jobs in the service sector and hospitality industries. Several businesses have taken a hit. Migrants have returned to their natives, which resulted in a shortage of labour in some sectors. In these difficult times, people have realized it’s better to go for a health plan with a small premium rather than losing heavily in hospitalization. 

IRDAI has acted proactively directing all insurance companies to launch two standard COVID-19 health insurance plans – Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak. Both the plans cover the treatment expense for Coronavirus and comorbidities with tenure ranging from 3.5 to 9.5 months. Digitization has played a crucial role in the immense growth of the health insurance industry. People can easily buy a health insurance plan from their place in a few minutes instead of running behind agents or companies. 

Though the government is actively involved in weathering the situation brought about by this pandemic, it’s every citizen’s responsibility to take care of their health. If you have not yet purchased a health insurance policy, don’t delay any further. Sites like FinCover give you an option to compare health plans from different insurers. Choose the plan that suits your requirements and fortify your health.

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