How to avail COVID-19 Test Free of Cost in India?
Published on Sept 15, 2020. EST READ TIME: 5 MIN
Covid-19 or the novel coronavirus is a communicable disease that spreads from one person to another through respiratory droplets. If you encounter an infected person, the small droplets from his or her nose or mouth may infect you. This usually happens when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes. You may also get the infection if you touch your nose or mouth after touching a contaminated surface. The symptoms of the condition are usually milder in children when compared to adults. However, everyone should take proper precautions to prevent the spread.
How to get tested for Covid-19 free of cost in India?
In case you or a loved one exhibitany symptoms of the novel coronavirus,call the Covid-19 helpline number or get in touch with your doctor for timely testsand treatment. As per the notification issued by IRDAI or the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, all health insurance companies in the country will cover Covid-19 hospitalisation and treatment costs. Therefore, make sure you have a health insurance plan that covers you and your loved ones.
Here are ways to avail of free Covid-19 test in India -
Process for a free Covid-19 test in India
The Government of India is taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of its citizens from the pandemic. Apart from stressing on and implementing precautionary measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the government has also made testing for the infection free at government hospitals and laboratories.
Therefore, if you have fever, cough, breathing problem, or any other symptoms of the infection, get a Covid-19 test done for free by following these steps:
Call Covid-19 helpline number: Call thehelpline number +91-11-23978046 or 1075 (toll-free) for the necessary support.
Report symptoms: Report your symptoms to know if you need to get tested. If you qualify for the test as per the protocol, you will be tested at a government-approved lab.
Get the test done: You can visit one of the government-approved labs in your region and get the test done for free.
If you want to go to a private hospital for the tests and treatment, you will have to bear the costs. However, if you have a health plan, your insurer will reimburse the treatment costs.
Cost of novel coronavirus test at private labs
If you prefer private labs to the government-designated ones, here is some information for you.
In April 2020, private laboratories and hospitals were charging a maximum of INR 4,500 per person for every Covid-19 test. This included a screening test for INR 1,500 and a confirmation test for INR 3,000. As the test is expensive and not within means of a major part of the country’s population, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) pushed private labs and hospitals to conducttests at subsidised rates.
After the government’s intervention in June 2020, private labs and hospitals around the country have cut Covid-19 test costs by a good percentage. For instance, the cost of coronavirus testing in New Delhi is capped at INR 2,400 and in Maharashtra at INR 2,200 - 2,800. Similarly, the Uttar Pradesh government slashed the testing pricefrom INR 4,500 to INR 2,000- 2,500 per person. The private labs and hospitals in Tamil Nadu charge INR 3,000 for Covid-19 testing and an additional charge of INR 500 for home visit. Karnataka government has capped the testing price at INR 2,500. In West Bengal also, the private hospitals and pathology labs have slashed the price of the coronavirus test kit by up to 45%.
Free Covid-19 tests and treatment under Ayushman Bharat Yojana
The Government of India has made testing and treatment for novel coronavirus free under the AyushmanBharat Yojana or Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana scheme (AB-PMJAY). This step was taken to contain the spread of the pandemic and provide timely healthcare to the underprivileged and poor.
As the novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in different countries around the world, it is important to take necessary precautions to contain the spread. Therefore, wear a mask every time you step out, wash your hands often or use a sanitizer, follow social distancing, and avoid touching your face.
In case you notice any symptoms, call the Covid-19 helpline number without any delay. If you want to get the tests and treatment done in a private hospital, make sure you have a Corona Kavach health insurance plan .Choose an insurance company that covers pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation expenses for Covid-19 to save yourself from exorbitant hospital bills. Timely Covid-19 tests and treatment may help prevent complications and also control the spread of the infection.
This blog is written by Dr. Kavita Ganesh
Asst. Vice President, Health & Accident Product Underwriting
About The Expert : Dr. Kavita Ganesh holds over 15 years of work experience in health insurance industry. She highly recommends buying health insurance for securing finances in case of a medical emergency. Looking at the current pandemic situation, she enforces the idea of having a higher sum insured for covering the entire family.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.