Recently, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) instructed insurance companies to provide short-term health insurance plans in India. Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak health insurance plans in India have been introduced by IRDAI to cover the treatment expenses related to COVID-19 pandemic, which includes the entire hospitalisation or homecare expense.
Both Corona Kavach health insurance policy and Corona Rakshak Policy are Covid-19-specific. Corona Kavach health insurance policy is your standard indemnity-based plan that reimburses your money based on medical expenses made for treatment against COVID. Whereas Corona Rakshak policy is a benefit-based plan that offers fixed compensation on your COVID diagnose irrespective of the medical expenses.
Both Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak policies are standard, and valid until March 31, 2021. You can also opt to buy a specific health insurance plan in India that exclusively cover hospital costs for COVID. You may even go for super top-up health insurance policies. They offer additional coverage to your primary health insurance plan so that you can use that cover in case of COVID or other diseases. Super top-up plans can be bought at low costs.
Below listed are the two major benefits COVID-19 health plans provide:
i) There is no immediate effect on no-claim bonus for existing health plans
ii) As these are short-term plans, it is not required to pay premium till lifetime
Presently, these policies are sold for 3.5 months, 6.5 months and 9.5 months. You can take them for the duration you want. But note that, the plans are only valid till March 31, 2021.
As explained earlier, in Corona Kavach Policy, there is a reimbursement in the hospital bill as it is an indemnity-based plan. On the other hand, one gets the complete insured amount under Corona Rakshak Policy, as it is a benefit-based health insurance plan in India. So, if you want a basic indemnity from Coronavirus, Corona Kavach health insurance policy can provide you just that.
Before you go ahead with purchasing any of the plan, it is imperative for you to be aware of a few differences between the two plans.
- Corona Kavach health insurance policy is a standard health policy, which is compulsorily provided by all general and health insurance companies but not life insurance companies. But in the case of Corona Rakshak Policy, you can even buy it from a Life Insurance Company.
- Twenty-nine insurers have been providing Corona Kavach health insurance policy since July 10, 2020. On the other hand, IRDAI had instructed the insurers to introduce Corona Rakshak Policy, preferably before July 10.
- Corona Kavach health insurance policy sum ranges from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 lakh whereas the sum insured for Corona Rakshak Policy ranges from Rs. 50,000 to Rs.2.5 lakh. The sum insured is in the multiples of 50,000.
- In the Corona Kavach health insurance policy, the insured sum will provide coverage only if the patient is hospitalised for over 24 hours. Post that the expense will be paid by the insurer irrespective of the days spent in the hospital. It is mandatory to be hospitalised continuously for a period of 72 hours in order to avail Corona Rakshak Policy.
- Corona Kavach is one of a kind indemnity-based health insurance plan in India that repays policyholders based on expenses incurred for COVID related treatment whereas Corona Rakshak is a benefit-based plan offering fixed insurance after the patient is diagnosed with COVID and admitted for 72 hours.
- Corona Kavach health insurance policy can be bought by both an individual scheme as well as a family floater scheme. On the other hand, Corona Rakshak policy can only be bought under an individual scheme.
- Hospital Day Cash cover can be added under Corona Kavach health insurance policy where an insurer has to pay 0.5% of the insured amount per day for every 24 hours of uninterrupted hospitalization. It will also be followed by an admissible hospitalization claim which will be payable up to 15 days during the policy period. But Corona Rakshak policy has no such feature as it is already a benefit-based plan.
- The age limit for Corona Kavach health insurance policy starts from day 1 to 65 years old, whereas the Corona Rakshak Policy is for individuals having age between 18 years and 65 years. If any patient is found COVID-19 positive within 15 days of joining, she won’t be eligible for Corona Rakshak Policy.
As both the policies are concurrent plans, it is advisable to keep a high cover under the policies as the plans are short term and the virus seems to be existing for a longer period. It is important to keep in mind that it is not a substitute or replacement for a regular health insurance plan.
Both the policies will cover treatment only specific to COVID-19 at an affordable price. Therefore, it is recommended to buy any of these policies as a supplementary or additional policy along with a comprehensive health insurance plan.
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