The novel coronavirus has dramatically altered life across the world and has had a tremendous impact here in India. As of June 2020, cases in India have risen to more than 6 lakh individuals who have been infected by the deadly virus. To address the need for basic health insurance which deals with coronavirus, insurance companies are offering two standard COVID-19 Health Insurance: Corona Kavach and Rakshak. Learn about the benefits, coverage and features of coronavirus health insurance.
Health Insurance for COVID-19:
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the need to take extra precautions for your health is of high importance. The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has mandated general and health insurance providers to offer health insurance for COVID-19 with common guidelines across the insurance industry. The basic coronavirus health insurance offers two unique features. One, a standard indemnity-based COVID-19 policy and second, a fixed benefit plan.
- Health Insurance for COVID-19:
- Types of COVID-19 Health Insurance in India:
- Corona Kavach: COVID-19 Insurance Policy
- Corona Rakshak: COVID-19 Insurance Plan
- Difference Between Corona Kavach Vs. Corona Rakshak COVID-19 Insurance:
- Difference Between Corona Kavach and Arogya Sanjeevani Policy:
- How to Buy Corona Kavach COVID-19 Insurance Policy Online?
- COVID-19 Insurance Coverage: Corona Kavach & Rakshak Inclusions
- Corona Kavach Coverage (Inclusions):
- Corona Rakshak Coverage (Inclusions):
- What is Not Covered in Corona Kavach & Rakshak COVID-19 Insurance Plans?
- Benefits of Corona Kavach & Corona Rakshak Health Insurance:
- How to Claim Health Insurance for COVID-19?
- Difference Between Coronavirus Health Insurance (Corona Kavach) and Health Insurance Covering COVID-19:
- Important Facts on COVID-19 Insurance Cover:
- Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Health Insurance:
- News Related to Corona Kavach and Rakshak COVID-19 Insurance:
- IRDAI Issues Waiting Period Guideline for Renewal of COVID-19 Policies
- Citizens Over 65 Too Can Buy Corona Kavach Policy
- COVID-19 Health Covers Insure 60 Lakh Lives
- Video-Based KYC for Onboarding New Customers Approved by IRDAI
- Corona Kavach Health Insurance Policy Can be Offered As Group Insurance
- IRDAI: Health Care Workers, Doctors To Get 5% Discount on Corona Kavach Health Insurance Policy
Types of COVID-19 Health Insurance in India:
To address the different needs of health cover for coronavirus, the Indian Government through the IRDAI has mandated insurers to offer two types of standard cover for coronavirus. The health insurance for COVID-19 is primarily of two types. One is a basic mandatory cover, while the other is a fixed benefit policy. The name of the policy is uniform across the industry followed by the name of the insurance provider. Below are the two types of COVID-19 health insurance plans:
- Corona Kavach
- Corona Rakshak
Corona Kavach: COVID-19 Insurance Policy
This is a standard coronavirus health insurance policy which covers the cost of treatment for any comorbid conditions, pre-existing conditions, and treatment for COVID-19. The minimum sum insured amount is Rs.50,000, while the maximum is Rs.5 lakhs for the COVID-19 health insurance under the Corona Kavach policy. This policy can be bought with tenures of 3.5 months, 6.5 months and 9.5 months, payable with a single premium. The Corona Kavach Policy is a limited policy without any renewability benefits and reimbursement-based standard COVID-19 health cover.
Upon testing positive at a government-authorized diagnostic centre, policyholders can raise a claim under the policy if they are hospitalized for coronavirus treatment. The policy will cover room, boarding and nursing charges as well as costs towards surgeons, specialists, anaesthetists, and Intensive Care Units (ICU). Also, charges towards diagnostics, oxygen and ventilators will be covered under the policy. Individuals between 18 and 65 years can buy Corona Kavach as a family floater policy to include dependent children, parents and parents-in-law.
There is also an optional cover provided under the Corona Kavach which provides ‘Hospital Daily Cash’. Under this optional cover, the insurer will provide 0.5% of the sum insured per day to the policyholder for 24 hours of continuous hospitalization for COVID-19 treatment. This is payable for a maximum of 15 days during the policy period.
Corona Rakshak: COVID-19 Insurance Plan
To provide COVID-19 health insurance to cover specific requirements, insurance companies are offering Corona Rakshak, a benefit-based policy. Under this policy, the insurance company will pay a lump sum amount, which is the sum insured, if the policyholder is hospitalized for a minimum of 72 hours after testing COVID-19 positive.
The basic sum insured is Rs. 50,000 and the maximum is Rs. 2.5 lakhs. Once the entire amount is paid out, the policy will cease to exist. The available policy tenures are 3.5, 6.5 and 9.5 months payable with a single premium.
Difference Between Corona Kavach Vs. Corona Rakshak COVID-19 Insurance:
As mentioned, the Corona Kavach health insurance is an indemnity insurance policy, while the Corona Rakshak is a benefit-based policy. The coverage, benefits and features of the COVID-19 health insurance policies differ. Below is a detailed guide on the differences between the two basic coronavirus health insurance:
|Features||Corona Kavach||Corona Rakshak|
|Types of Cover:||Indemnity Basis||Benefit Basis|
|Sum Insured:||Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5,00,000||Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2,50,000|
|Tenure:||3.5 / 6.5 / 9.5 months (105 / 195 / 285 days)|
|Entry Age:||Minimum: 18 Years|
|Maximum: 65 Years|
|Dependent Children: Maximum 25 Years|
|Compensation:||Based on hospitalization||One-time settlement|
|Deductibles:||No deductibles are permitted in this product.|
|Pre-Existing Diseases:||Comorbidity and pre-existing comorbidity condition(s) are covered.|
|Waiting Period:||15 Days|
Difference Between Corona Kavach and Arogya Sanjeevani Policy:
While the Corona Kavach covers the treatment of Covid-19, the Arogya Sanjeevani policy is a standard health insurance policy that provides basic health insurance and covers all types of hospitalization including COVID-19 treatment. The policy was initiated by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to provide an all-in-one health insurance policy for policyholders and their nominees. Below are the main differences between Arogya Sanjeevani and Corona Kavach policy:
|Features||Arogya Sanjeevani||Corona Kavach|
|Types of Cover||Indemnity|
|Sum Assured||Rs. 1 Lakhs to Rs. 5 Lakhs||Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 Lakhs|
|Premium Cycle||Monthly/Quarterly/Half-yearly/Single Payment||Single-Premium|
|Tenure||1 Year||Less than 1 Year. Available only for 3.5/6.5/9.5 Months|
|Entry Age||18 to 65 Years (Dependent Child: 3 Months to 25 Years)|
|Hospitalisation Expenses||Medical Expenses Due to Hospitalisation Including COVID-19 Treatment||COVID-19 Treatment Only|
|Pre-Hospitalisation Expenses||Up to 30 Days||Up to 15 Days|
|Post-Hospitalisation Expenses||Up to 60 Days||Up to 30 Days|
|Cataract Treatment||25% of Sum Insured or Maximum of Rs. 40,000||NA|
|Cumulative Bonus||5% Increase in Sum Insured for Each Claim Free Year||NA|
The salient benefits, as shown in the table above, of these two health insurance policies – Arogya Sanjeevani and Corona Kavach – reflects the main objective of the policies. While the Arogya Sanjeevani is a standard health insurance policy which covers all types of hospitalisations, the Corona Kavach is a Covid-19 specific health insurance policy which does not cover other medical treatments. Additionally, the Corona Kavach is a short-term type of health which limits to months or days, while the Arogya Sanjeevani offers a minimum 1-year cover.
How to Buy Corona Kavach COVID-19 Insurance Policy Online?
The ease of buying health insurance has changed since the advent of the internet and technology. One can buy health insurance online from anywhere with the help of the internet. Below are the steps to buy Corona Kavach COVID-19 health insurance online:
- Step 1: Visit the insurance company’s web portal (example: Acko.com).
- Step 2: Enter some important details such as name, age, dependent child/children and select the sum insured amount.
- Step 3: Pay the premium online and receive the policy document instantly to your email address.
COVID-19 Insurance Coverage: Corona Kavach & Rakshak Inclusions
While the Corona Kavach is an indemnity-based coronavirus health insurance, the Corona Rakshak is a benefit-based health insurance policy. Each of these policies is unique and offers different coverage. Below are the basic coverage of the Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak health insurance policies:
Corona Kavach Coverage (Inclusions):
Upon the positive diagnosis of COVID-19 in a government authorized diagnostic centre, the insurance company will pay the hospitalization costs incurred by the insured person for the treatment of COVID-19. Here is the list of coverage under the indemnity-based Corona Kavach health insurance plan:
|COVID-19 Hospitalization Expenses||Home Care Treatment Expenses|
|• Room, boarding and nursing.|
• Surgeons, anaesthetists, medical practitioners, consultants, specialists, etc.
• Blood, oxygen, anaesthesia, operation theatre, surgical appliances, ventilator charges, medicines, drugs.
• Diagnostic, PPE kits, gloves, masks, and similar expenses.
• Intensive Care Unit (ICU) / Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU).
• Ambulance charges of a maximum of Rs. 2,000.
|• Maximum of up to 14 days per incident.|
• Prescribed treatment by the Medical Practitioner.
• Diagnostic tests underwent at home or at a diagnostic centre.
• Medicines prescribed in writing.
• Consultation charges of the Medical Practitioner.
• Medical procedures limited to parenteral administration of medicines.
• Nursing charges.
• Cost of oxygen cylinder(s), pulse oximeter and nebulizer.
The Corona Kavach plan also covers expenses related to Ayush prescribed treatment for COVID-19. The policy will cover expenses up to the maximum sum insured without any sub-limits.
Pre and Post Hospitalization:
Costs incurred 15 days prior to the hospitalization or home care treatment, and expenses incurred 30 days after the discharge or completion of the home care treatment, will be covered by the insurance policy.
Corona Rakshak Coverage (Inclusions):
After the insured person is confirmed COVID-19 positive from a government diagnostic centre, the insurer will pay a fixed amount (sum insured) as a one-time settlement during the policy period. Below are the coverages under the Corona Rakshak:
- The insurance provider will pay a lump-sum amount of 100% of the Sum Insured amount upon a positive diagnosis of COVID-19.
- Payable only when hospitalized for a minimum of 72 hours.
- The lump-sum amount is paid irrespective of the actual expenses arising out of hospitalization for COVID-19 treatment.
Also, read: 10 Dos and Don’ts for Preventing Coronavirus
What is Not Covered in Corona Kavach & Rakshak COVID-19 Insurance Plans?
The main objective of the standard coronavirus health insurance is to provide coverage for expenses which are not covered in regular health insurance. Here are a few exclusions under the Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak health insurance policies:
- Non-Authorised Diagnostic Centre: In case the insured person gets tested for COVID-19 from a non-authorised diagnostic centre, then the insurance company can reject your claim for hospitalization expenses.
- Claim Within Waiting Period: In case you raise a claim within the stipulated waiting period of 15 days, the claim will be rejected.
Benefits of Corona Kavach & Corona Rakshak Health Insurance:
The main intention of launching the Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak COVID-19 health insurance is to provide insurance coverage for COVID-19 treatment. Here are some of the benefits of coronavirus health insurance Kavach and Rakshak:
- Expenses related to PPE kit, masks, gloves, oxygen, diagnostics and ventilator charges are covered under the Corona Kavach indemnity health insurance plan.
- Costs towards ICU/ICCU are covered under the Kavach health insurance plan.
- Road ambulance charges of up to Rs. 2,000.
- Nursing, room/boarding charges are covered under the policy.
- Home care treatment of up to 14 days is covered under this type of health insurance.
- AYUSH treatment is covered.
- Medical expenses before 15 days of hospitalization and after 30 days will be covered. This includes diagnostic charges as well.
- If you choose to take the optional cover under the Corona Kavach policy, the insured person will get 0.5% of the sum insured per day for up to a maximum of 15 days during hospitalization.
- Flexible policy tenures of 3.5, 6.5 and 9.5 months.
How to Claim Health Insurance for COVID-19?
The claim procedure for the COVID-19 health insurance and the regular or standard health insurance (Arogya Sanjeevani Policy) is similar and there isn’t much of a difference. However, currently, policyholders can get a reimbursement of the hospitalization expenses for the treatment of COVID-19. The reimbursement will be up to the sum insured amount specified on the policy document.
Here are a few differences between regular health insurance which covers COVID-19 treatment and the exclusive coronavirus health insurance (Corona Kavach):
|Regular Health Insurance Covering Coronavirus||Corona Kavach (COVID-19 Health Insurance|
|Apart from other illnesses and diseases, it also covers coronavirus treatment.||Exclusive to COVID-19 treatment. It can either be a reimbursement or a lump sum payout.|
|Does not cover expenses towards PPE kits, masks, gloves, etc.||The product covers PPE kits, masks and gloves which is an integral part of the treatment.|
|Possible to pay a premium in monthly/quarterly/half/yearly method.||Single premium payment.|
|Coverage is usually for a minimum of 1-year.||Coverage is 3.5, 6.5 and 9.5 months only.|
|Might not cover comorbid conditions.||Covers comorbid and pre-existing comorbidities while approving claims along with treatment for COVID-19.|
|Not limited to Sum Insured Amount of Rs. 5 lakh||Limited to Rs. 5 lakh Sum Insured Amount.|
|Deductibles are considered while settling claims.||No deductibles are permitted.|
|May not cover Ayush treatment.||Covers Ayush treatment.|
|May not cover home care treatment expenses.||Covers home care treatment expenses.|
|The premium may be based on the geographic location or zone.||Premium is pan-Indian and is not based on any geographical location or zone.|
Important Facts on COVID-19 Insurance Cover:
Before you opt or buy COVID-19 insurance cover, it is essential that you understand the important facts about Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak health insurance policies:
- Sum Insured: The maximum sum insured amount in Corona Kavach is Rs. 5 lakh while it is Rs. 2.5 lakh in the case of Corona Rakshak. If you are looking for health insurance more than the above-mentioned sum insured, then you will have to review your decision to buy the COVID-19 specific health insurance.
- Coverage: It is important to learn about the details of the coverage provided by the COVID-19 insurance policy. Choose a plan which offers maximum coverage at a lower premium amount. This offers the best balance between the coverage and the premium.
- Waiting Period: While most health insurance policies cover pre-existing conditions or diseases only after a waiting period, which in some cases goes up to 48 months, the waiting period for the Corona Kavach health plan is 15 days and it covers comorbidities and pre-existing comorbidities.
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Health Insurance:
Below are some of the common queries about COVID-19 health insurance:
There is a mandatory 5% discount on premiums for health care workers only. Others have to pay the premium, which is pan-Indian, as prescribed by the insurance company.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 at any of the government authorized diagnostic centres, then inform your insurance company immediately, and they will tell you how to proceed with the claim.
Yes, you can buy both these types of COVID-19 health insurance online. Several new-age insurance companies offer to provide an excellent online experience.
Yes, the waiting period is 15 days. You cannot raise any claims during this waiting period.
Yes, the government through the IRDAI has launched exclusive coronavirus health insurance policies such as the Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak. While the former is an indemnity insurance policy, the latter is a benefit-based plan.
Yes, Ayush treatment expenses are covered up to the sum insured amount without any sub-limits.
Under the exclusive Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak, comorbidities and pre-existing comorbidities are covered.
The insurance company will cover home care treatment with a validity of 14 days under the Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak insurance plans.
In the wake of the global pandemic, COVID-19, the Indian government has announced an Rs. 50 lakh insurance cover for health care workers and police personnel, while several state governments have announced state-specific insurance plans. However, there is no specific coronavirus health insurance for police personnel or for those in COVID-19 areas.
There is no specific health insurance for central government employees attending office during the lockdown. However, central government employees are covered under the regular health insurance policy offered by the central government.
IRDAI Issues Waiting Period Guideline for Renewal of COVID-19 Policies
– October 15, 2020
In the first half of 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had introduced COVID-19-specific policies such as Corona Kavach & Corona Rakshak. Such policies are available to be purchased from health insurance companies. These policies are short-term in nature and need to be renewed by the policyholder for uninterrupted coverage. Recently, the IRDAI has come up with a guideline regarding the renewal of such policies. The notification is regarding the Waiting Period associated with the policies. The guideline states that insurance companies should not impose the 15-day Waiting Period when it comes to the renewal of Corona Kavach & Corona Rakshak policies as per the applicable terms and conditions. The policies should be renewed before their expiry date for continuous coverage. Migration and portability of Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak policies is also permitted by IRDAI.
Citizens Over 65 Too Can Buy Corona Kavach Policy
– September 21, 2020
The regulatory body of the insurance industry said that medical insurance for the novel coronavirus, Corona Kavach, is offered to citizens up to the age of 65 years old. However, for those above the age of 65, insurers offer the product based on the insurance company’s underwriting policy and the risk appetite. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) also said that the scheme has provided coverage between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 5 lakh for 3.5 to 9.5 months and a 5% discount is offered to health care workers. The insurance apex body in India said that a premium has to be paid even if it is senior citizens as a low premium will have to cross-subsidised by people who do not fall under the senior citizen category. The body further added that this would discourage younger customers from buying the Corona Kavach policy. Corona Kavach was launched to cater to the treatment of Covid-19 and is solely designed for medical treatment of the deadly infection.
COVID-19 Health Covers Insure 60 Lakh Lives
– September 17, 2020
As per the chairman of the IRDAI, insurance companies in India have insured around sixty lakh people under the two COVID-19 policies. These two policies are the Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak plans. This statistic was revealed by Mr Subhash Chandra Khuntia during the 22nd Insurance and Pensions Summit. The summit was planned by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The standard indemnity Corona Kavach policy is provided by all general insurers whereas the Corona Rakshak plan is a fixed benefit plan. Since their launch, the number of Corona Kavach policies sold is around 28 lakhs and the number for Corona Rakshak plans is around 32 lakhs. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had initiated these policies due to the growing threat of the pandemic. You can buy these policies by reaching out to your preferred health insurance company in India.
Video-Based KYC for Onboarding New Customers Approved by IRDAI
– September 2, 2020
The insurance regulator in India has approved the use of video-based KYC for new customers. The permission to use the video-based identification process was to increase the ease of performing KYC for onboarding customers, especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic in the country. Through this method, a representative of the insurance provider will undertake real-time, consent-based audio-visual interaction while onboarding the new customer. This will help the representative get the identification details, which includes the mandatory documents and to confirm the authenticity of the information provided by the customer. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) said in a letter to insurance companies in India to use the video-based method to identify the new customer and leverage the use of digital platforms for verification purposes. The representative of the insurance company shall record the audio-video interaction and capture a live photograph of the customer and procure identification details. The system will also capture the live location of the customer otherwise known as geotagging. The photograph should match that of the customer’s Aadhaar.
Corona Kavach Health Insurance Policy Can be Offered As Group Insurance
– July 22, 2020
The insurance regulator has approved general and standalone health insurers to offer the new Corona Kavach standard Covid-19 health insurance as a group insurance plan. Through this feature, the standard Covid-19 health insurance can be bought by organisations and companies for their employees. Also, if the group consists of doctors and other healthcare providers, then a discount of 5% can be availed. Corona Kavach was launched in early July this year aimed specifically towards the treatment of Covid-19 and is available with tenures such as 3.5, 6.5 and 9.5 months. The sum insured amount ranges from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 lakh.
IRDAI: Health Care Workers, Doctors To Get 5% Discount on Corona Kavach Health Insurance Policy
– July 16, 2020
The Insurance Regulator and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) asked insurance providers to offer a 5% discount on Corona Kavach, a standard health insurance policy for doctors, health care workers who are at the forefront in fighting the coronavirus disease in the country. The Corona Kavach is a COVID-19 specific standard health insurance policy which is available as an individual and family floater policy. Through the release, the insurance regulator said that as an acknowledgement of their contribution towards the fight against the deadly novel coronavirus, doctors, nurses and other health care workers will get a 5% discount on the premium through the Corona Kavach policy. The policy is available for tenures of 3.5, 6.5 and 9.5 months for cashless treatment facilities from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 lakh.