Covid-19 has affected our lives in many unimaginable ways. While there is a race in the pharma industry to create a vaccine or figure out an effective line of treatment, you can only practice hygiene and social distancing and take precautions. At the same time, given the pace of spread, you would not want to take chances and might want to cover yourself against hospitalization costs if you were to contract Covid-19.
What can you do? What are the kind of insurance plans you can buy? There are 3 types of coverage that you can buy.
- Regular health insurance plan: Covers all kinds of hospitalization, including the one related to Covid-19. Since the coverage is comprehensive, such plans can be expensive.
- Covid-19 Specific Health Insurance Plan (Indemnity plan): This is also a health insurance plan. However, only the treatment cost of Covid-19 related hospitalization is covered. Hospitalization due to any other reason will not be covered. The insurance company indemnifies you for the expenses incurred due to Covid-19 related hospitalization or treatment cost. The insurance company will not pay more than the actual treatment cost. The policy benefit can be on a cashless basis (the insurer pays the hospital directly) or reimbursement basis (you pay the bill first and claim from the insurance company later). Corona Kavach plan belongs to this category.
- Covid-19 Related Fixed Benefit Plan: If you are diagnosed with Covid-19, then the insurance company pays you the entire coverage amount. Critical illness insurance plans work in this manner. The insurance pay-out has no relation to the actual treatment cost. Your actual treatment cost can be much lower or higher than the actual pay-out. Corona Rakshak Plan belongs to this category.
Many insurers have come out with Covid-19 specific health insurance plans. Since it is not easy for a layman to decipher the wordings of a health insurance policy, IRDA, the insurance regulator, came out with guidelines for standard Covid-19 related health insurance products. All general and standalone health insurance companies must launch the standard products. The only difference across insurers shall be the premium amount.
What Is the Difference Between Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak Plan?
|Features||Corona Kavach||Corona Rakshak|
|Product Structure||Indemnity plan (insurers covers the treatment cost on cashless or reimbursement basis)||Fixed Benefit Plan (the insurer pays the amount on positive diagnosis of Covid-19)|
|Variant||Available in both individual and family floater plan||Available only in individual plan|
|Sum Insured||Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lacs||Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lacs|
|Eligibility||18 years to 65 years|
|Policy Tenure||3.5 months, 6.5 months, or 9.5 months|
|Waiting Period||15 days (Policy period includes the waiting period)|
|What is covered?||Not applicable|
|What is not Covered?||Day-care and OPD treatment||Not applicable|
|Conditions to be met||Minimum hospitalization of 24 hours|
If you do not get hospitalization for up to 72 hours, the insurer will not pay anything
|Insurers||Mandatory for each general and standalone health insurance to launch Corona Kavach plan||No compulsion for insurers to launch Corona Rakshak plan|
How Much Is the Premium for Corona Rakshak and Corona Kavach Policies?
It is mandatory for insurers to launch the Corona Kavach plan. I reproduce the premium data for various companies from LiveMint.
For comparison, I take data from Edelweiss General insurance.
Corona Kavach-Edelweiss General Insurance
Corona Rakshak-Edelweiss General Insurance
You can check the quotes with your preferred insurer.
What Should You Do?
If you are already covered under a regular health insurance plan, you can check with your insurer if the hospitalization due to Covid-19 is covered. If Covid-19 treatment is covered, the need for an additional Covid-19 specific plan automatically goes down.
If you do not have a regular health plan, you must consider buying a regular health insurance plan that covers hospitalization due to any reason. After all, Covid-19 may not be only reason why you may have to get hospitalized. If you think a regular health plan is too expensive or if you want to take coverage just against Covid-19 related hospitalization, you can consider Corona Rakshak or Corona Kavach policies.
Between Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak, it is your preference.
If you do not want uncertainty about the portion of hospital bill covered by the insurance company. Corona Rakshak is a better choice than Corona Kavach. However, you must note that Corona Rakshak plan requires minimum hospitalization of 72 hours. Corona Kavach requires minimum hospitalization of only 24 hours. Moreover, Corona Kavach covers home treatment too in specific cases.
Corona Rakshak plan has maximum coverage of Rs 2.5 lacs. Corona Kavach plan has maximum coverage of Rs 5 lacs. However, as I understand, you can buy more than one Corona Rakshak plan. Hence, this aspect is not a limitation. By the way, there is no such restriction that you cannot buy both the policies.
What will you do?
- Corona Rakshak: Covid-19 Fixed Benefit based Health Plan (IRDA Guidelines)
- Corona Kavach: Covid-19 Standard Indemnity Health Plan (IRDA Guidelines)
- IRDA Press Release: Corona Kavach Policy