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Corona Kavach Policy or Top Up Plans: Which should you consider for your existing Health Insurance Policy

As of September 2020, the number of active cases suffering from COVID-19 in India has crossed over 9 lakhs. Considering this, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has mandated 30 general and health insurance companies to provide a new insurance coverage plan, the Corona Kavach policy .This plan covers medical expenses in the event of the insured being tested positive for coronavirus, exclusively.

But health insurance providers also offer Top-up plans, which can help in meeting the cost of COVID-19 treatment as well. So do you really need to apply for a separate Corona Kavach or taking a top-up would suffice? To respond to this, let us first learn what these two types entail.

Salient Features of the Corona Kavach Policy

  • Eligibility:18 to 65 years
  • Who can be covered?Self and family, including spouse, dependent children (<25 years), parents, and parents-in-law
  • Waiting period: 15 days
  • Coverage types
    • Option 1: Hospitalisation cover: On indemnity basis
    • Option 2: Benefit Basis: Hospital daily cash
  • Sum Insured: INR 50,000 to INR 5,00,000
  • Coverage
  • Hospitalization
    • Pre-hospitalisation expenses: 15 days prior to hospitalisation
    • Hospitalisation: Medical expenses on the diagnosis of COVID-19
    • Post-hospitalisation: 30 days after hospitalisation

       

  • Home Care
    • Cost of treatment on positive diagnosis up to 14 days per incident
  • Policy Periods*
    • Three and Half Months (3 ½ months)
    • Six and Half Months(6 ½ months)
    • Nine and Half Months (9 ½ months)

    (*including waiting period)

  • Alternative Treatments: Unani, Siddha, Ayurveda and Homeopathy treatment costs also come under the purview of this plan.

What are Top-Up Plans?

Usually, general medical insurance plans cover hospitalisation costs for the treatment of coronavirus, however, it is best to check with your insurance provider about your existing plan. In most cases, a top-up or a super-top-up plan will come handy.

A top-up health insurance plan is a booster plan to your existing health insurance policy, which covers hospitalisation costs only after the threshold limit is crossed. This limit is commonly known as the 'deductible'. Top-up plans are usually available at lower rates. A super top-up covers multiple claims or multiple hospitalizations in a single year, and does not exhaust if you have used it once.

It is possible to cover COVID-related hospitalisation costs along with other treatment for other conditions with most of your existing top-up or super top-up plans.

H2 - Corona Kavach Policy Vs.Top-up Plans

  • Coverage

    The Corona Kavach policy offers coverage for medical expenses only related to COVID-19. On the other hand, a regular health policy will offer coverage for a wide array of ailments along with expenses related to the treatment of coronavirus.However, the list of ailments approved in the policy will differ.

  • Cost

    While the Corona Kavach policycan never replace a comprehensive health policy, if you are not insured under any plan and currently do not have the liquidity to get one, it can prove to be suitable as it a short-term plan available at affordable rates.A regular health insurance policy will obviously cost higher than the former. Against this, a top-up and super top-up will come with a premium.

  • Alternate Treatments

    Although Corona Kavach covers only COVID-19 related expenses, a point to be noted is that it covers alternative treatments too like AYUSH. This may or may not be possible with a top-up plan.

  • Renewability

    The Corona Kavach policy will offer you short term benefits and requires a one-time payment.On the other hand, a standard policy will provide long-term benefits and will require renewal at fixed intervals. It would be prudent to consult your insurance advisor while renewing your current plan.

  • Waiting Period

The waiting period for Corona Kavach policy is 15 days, against a regular policy that requires a standard 30-day waiting period.

Which one should you choose?

There is no secret recipe for the perfect insurance plan as a lot will depend on the flexibility of the policyholder and the other insurance plans he/she holds. However, you should choose either based on the following conditions:

  • Corona Kavach Policy

    While the Corona Kavach policycan never replace a comprehensive health policy, if you are not insured under any plan and currently do not have liquidity to get one, it can prove to be suitable as it is lighter on your pocket.

  • Top-up Plans

If you already have a regular health insurance in place, it is not advisable to opt for the former policy as it already covers expenses related to COVID-19. Instead, choose between a top-up or super top-up policy to enhance your coverage.

If you are considering a top-up claim, experts are of the opinion that it is better to opt for a super top-up plan instead of a top-up plan as you can file multiple claims in a single year. Given the nature of this infectious disease, it is best to choose a super top-up claim, especially for those who are already suffering from preexisting conditions. Although, a point worth noting here is that there will be a high premium in such cases.

Conclusion

While it has been proven that COVID-19 is highly infectious, mitigating the risk of covering expenses related to this condition through insurance would be a prudent decision, as it can save you from a lot of financial distress. Assess your current financial position and accordingly take an appropriate decision whether to choose a Corona Kavach policy or top-up plan based on the parameters mentioned above.

Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.


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