In a first in the world,the insurance regulator IRDAI, on Wednesday, has asked the Indian insurers to design products covering the costs of treatment for Coronavirus(COVID 19) in the country.
Though, global deaths due to the coronavirus outbreak on Monday rose above 3,000 with the new count in China mainland rising to 2,912, there have been no deaths in India, which has seen the number of coronavirus cases rising to 28 including 16 Italians, due to the virus that has now affected over 92,000 people in around 91 countries.
However, virus doesn't have a vaccine yet, though there is a situation now where human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus have started happening.According to the experts, it may take over a year to develop any vaccine for the virus.
“The treatment cost would be covered in any case under most health insurance policies as it would not be pre-existing. And GIC covers all such products. Perhaps, it might now be included under critical illness policies as well,” said a senior GIC Re official.
The IRDAI has also laid-down norms to settle claims related to the treatment of Coronavirus.
-Where hospitalisation is covered in a product, insurers have to ensure that the cases related to Corona virus disease (COVID-19) have to be be expeditiously handled,
-The costs of admissible medical expenses during the course of treatment including the treatment during quarantine period has tobe settled in accordance to the applicable terms and conditions of policy contract and the extant regulatory framework,
-All the claims reported under COVID 19 has to be be thoroughly reviewed by the claims review committee before repudiating the claims.
– In order to provide need based health insurance coverage, insurers are introducing products for various specific diseases including vector borne diseases. For the purpose of meeting health insurance requirements of various sections.
These instructions from the IRDAI have to be implemented with immediate effect, said IRDAI.
India has seen the number of coronavirus cases rising to 28, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan announced on Wednesday.
Of the total number of coronavirus cases, 6 are from Agra, 1 in Delhi, 16 Italians and their Indian driver, 1 in Telangana and 3 in Kerala. The patients in Agra are relatives of a Delhi-based man who tested positive for disease.
Twenty-two of these cases were confirmed today making it the biggest single-day spike since the outbreak was first reported.
The minister further said, "From now on, all flights and passengers will be part of universal screening, not just those to the 12 countries which we had listed earlier."
According to the Health Ministry, about 5,89,000 people were screened at airports and over 15,000 people at minor and major seaports and over 10 lakhs at the border of Nepal, till Tuesday.
Last month, three cases were recorded in Kerala. All three patients have now recovered and were discharged from hospital.
The Union Health Minister has requested all hospitals in Delhi to develop good quality isolation wards, in order to stay prepared for more coronavirus cases.