According to insurance experts, the 24-hour hospitalization policy could soon end to reap the benefits under an insurance policy. The insured should, as of now, be admitted to a hospital for at least 24 hours to make use of a claim.
"The coronavirus has brought in a lot of changes in the health insurance sector and this is yet another change to cover treatment at home, we will see in the coming months," says Amit Chhabra, head- health insurance for Policybazaar.
"This is a welcome move and will not only increase the health insurance penetration in India but will also reduce the burdens on hospitals. This move is also beneficial for the insurers as covering home treatment will reduce the hospital stays which will eventually bring down the overall claims," he added.
There are other big changes taking place in the industry such as the introduction of new security devices, consumers beginning to find comfort in purchasing goods online, and others.
Given the extraordinary situation prevailing in the country, the government and insurance regulator have also announced several relaxations for customers.
Several insurance firms released different products related to coronavirus. Consumers now have more options with that when it comes to buying a health plan. One can either opt for a standalone healthcare plan or buy a full one.
Technical reasons behind 24HR Hospitalization: (First-person based Approach)
- It is the condition of all the Health Insurance policies in India to have 24 hours hospitalization. This is because the policy is meant for taking care of the hospitalization expenses incurred by you in treating yourself or your family members. It is not meant for taking treatments at home.
- Almost all the policies have a clause called,” Domiciliary Hospitalization” - meaning taking treatment at home subject to certain conditions. And this coverage is for a limited amount - a percentage of the overall sum insured.
- Due to the advancement of technology, for many medical conditions, one-day hospitalization is not required - as within 1 day the patient can be discharged. This is also covered.
The point because the Health Insurance policy is a reimbursement-based policy (even if it is cashless), there needs to be traceability of the medical condition, its treatment, and the related expenses.
According to the Indian insurance industry, the recent move by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to include home care for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms in the standard COVID-19 health insurance cover could turn out to be a game-changer for the Indian health insurance.
Following the new guidelines by the IRDAI, an increasing number of insurance companies are now looking to provide cover to COVID-19 patients being treated at home. This is largely because COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms are being encouraged to stay home so that they don’t strain the already stretched infrastructure at hospitals.
This move was supported by a lot of corporate tycoons and proved to be an excellent move to cope up with the rapid changes caused due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.