While there is a degree of normalcy in the country, the COVID-19 pandemic can be considered far from over. Since the lessons given by the second wave of the pandemic are still fresh in our minds, it makes sense to be more prepared for the newest Covid variant, Omicron. Researchers around the world are trying to figure out how dangerous or permeable this variant is, which is now active in more than 20 countries. However, information on the transmissibility and severity of Omicron, as well as its effect on vaccinated individuals, is still under investigation.
Given this situation, it is very important to make sure that your health insurance policy protects you in case of any medical emergencies in the future. If you already have a health insurance plan, it is a good idea to double-check it. In addition to Omicron, increasing cases of serious diseases and rising medical costs are some other things you need to protect yourself from. So, getting a quick look at your health insurance plan and determining what needs to be changed is a good plan. Here are a few ideas that you can use to make your health insurance more ready for the risk of the Omicron variant:
- Switch to health plans with higher sum insured
In addition to the threat of Omicron, unhealthy and sedentary routines can make us prone to post-covid complications, health concerns, and serious illnesses. The total cost of all these medical treatments will drain your savings quickly. Assume that you are a 40-year-old diabetic patient and was diagnosed with COVID-19. As a result, you are admitted to the ICU. Due to additional health issues, you would have to get more treatment and would need to stay in the hospital for a longer time. Ultimately, you would be charged with a towering hospital bill upon discharge. At this point, you cannot be sure that your sum insured will be enough to cover the entire bill. In such a situation your family would have to liquidate all assets and seek financial help from friends and relatives. This scenario is more common than you would expect because a common perception among the public is that ₹ 5-7 lakh is a large enough amount as a sum insured.
Even though information about Omicron is still limited, you need to be prepared in every way to keep yourself and your family safe. The best way to protect yourself from various conditions caused by Covid or any other serious illness is to invest in a plan that offers a higher sum insured. Thankfully, health insurance companies offer policies with a sum insured up to ₹ 1 crore.
- Pay attention to co-payments and sub-limits
Paying attention to terms such as co-payments and sub-limits is one of the most important aspects of reviewing your policy. The policyholder is required to pay a certain portion of the total hospital bill under the co-payment clause, with the insurer paying the remaining amount. These types of policies may have lower premiums, but it can also be difficult to pay a lower amount in an emergency. Therefore, it is advisable to invest in a health plan with no co-payment clause.
The sub-limit clause is another area of concern. Due to the co-payment facility, if there is a 50% sub-limit clause on knee surgery in your policy and your cover amount is Rs 7 lakhs, you will not get any more financial support from the policy than ₹ 3.5 lakhs. As a result, it is important to choose a policy that does not include a sub-limit clause. These medical policies can puncture your pocket and push you into a financial pit. Therefore, it is advisable to have some comprehensive health insurance plans that offer no co-payments or sub-limits and complete coverage.
- Domiciliary treatment coverage
The term “domiciliary treatment” refers to treatment at home even if the patient needs to be hospitalized. This may be due to a lack of hospital rooms or the patient’s critical condition. Either of these conditions must be confirmed by a physician or any other relevant medical professional. A long time ago, a large number of Covid patients could not get hospital beds and were forced to get treatment at their homes. Hence, with domiciliary treatment coverage, you could receive financial support for your COVID-19 treatment. All you would have to do is make an insurance claim through email, website, or a health insurance app.