Health Insurance Plans tailored for persons with disabilities in India
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In a census conducted in 2011, it was found that there were more than 2.5 crore people with disabilities (PwDs) in India. If you or your family member is a person with a disability (PwD), it can be helpful to know about health insurance for disabled people in India.
The following article presents the related details.
A disability can be defined as a physical or mental impairment that hinders one’s ability to accomplish day-to-day tasks. As per the Persons with Disability Act of 1955, an individual having a minimum of 40% bodily impairment is considered as disabled. However, if a person displays more than one disability or has 80% bodily impairment, they are considered severely disabled.
Under health insurance for disabled in India, disabilities are usually categorised into the following three types.
This type of disability is present from birth and is usually hereditary or caused by environmental stimulants. Examples of congenital disabilities include cleft lip, cleft palate, spina bifida, etc. Initially, congenital diseases were considered a universal exclusion in health insurance. However, as per the amended regulations of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in 2016, only external congenital defects are excluded.
Disabilities resulting from accidental injuries are termed as accidental disabilities. Based on the impact, they are classified into three types, total, partial and temporary disability. Accidental disabilities include the loss of limbs, hearing, eyesight, total or partial paralysis, etc.
Disabilities under this category include mental disorders that affect the thinking, mood and behaviour of a person. Examples of this include autism, schizophrenia, depression, etc. According to the National Mental Health Survey of 2016, around 14% of the adult Indian population is in need of mental health interventions. Fortunately, under the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017, insurers are instructed to treat mental illnesses on par with physical illnesses.
Individuals with congenital or mental disorders are usually considered as high-risk from a health insurance perspective. Thus, they may receive only partial coverage under most health insurance plans. Fortunately, there are Government health insurance policies like Nirmaya and Swavlamban Health Insurance that can offer substantial coverage.
You can search online to find comprehensive health insurance for disabled individuals. Alternatively, you can opt for the two available Government health insurance plans. Medical emergencies are unpredictable and can be financially draining. Thus, it is better to be covered under a health insurance policy, than to not have one and panic in time of need.
Consider the following factors irrespective of whether you are availing government or private health insurance for disabled persons.
While applying for a health insurance policy, make sure to input your exact disabilities and other preexisting conditions. Your insurer reserves the right to decline a medical claim if it is found out that the information you provided is inaccurate.
While buying health insurance for disabled individuals you may be required to submit your previous medical history. This is to help your insurer assess the extent of your disability and check if you have any preexisting health conditions, as it can affect premium calculation. So, keep your medical records handy when trying to buy health insurance.
After a health insurance policy is approved by an insurer, the policy premium will be determined. It is usually calculated based on your age, type of disability, the medical history of your family, pre-existing conditions in health insurance, etc. Also, it is important to note that you will have to pay the premium along with an 18% GST.
These are the criteria that insurers usually consider to determine your eligibility for buying health insurance.
Health insurers usually check your extent of disability while approving health insurance for disabled people. This is to determine the extent of your disability and calculate the consequent risk. This may also affect the premium payable for the policy.
Your current health condition is usually taken into account while buying health insurance as a PWD. Thus, insurers may request your medical records over the recent few months. Based on these assessments the insurance request will either be approved or rejected.
The documents that are required to be submitted for buying health insurance for PwDs may differ from one company to another. Nonetheless, the following documents are usually requested.
Identity proof (Aadhaar Card, PAN card, Driving Licence, etc.)
Past medical records
The Indian Government offers two health plans exclusively for disabled persons.
This Government launched a health insurance plan that provides coverage for individuals with disabilities. It especially provides Rs. 1 lakh sum towards treating mental disabilities like autism, retardation and cerebral palsy. While buying Niramaya Health Insurance no medical tests are required. However, this policy can be availed only from the National Trust.
While buying Niramaya Health Insurance no medical tests are required. However, this policy can be availed only from the National Trust.
No age limit
Documents required for enrolling
Ongoing therapy: Rs. 10,000, Hospitalisation: Rs. 70,000, Transportation expenses: Rs. 1,000, Alternative medicines: Rs. 4,500, Outpatient department(OPD): Rs. 14,500
Family income < Rs. 15,000: Rs. 250, Family income > Rs. 15,000: Rs. 500
This is a group health insurance/family floater plan that covers both persons with disabilities and their family members. It offers coverage for conditions like blindness, hearing impairment, loco-motor disability, mental illness, etc. Even this health insurance plan does not require any pre-medical tests while buying. Also, there are no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
18 to 65 years
Family income criteria
Family income < Rs. 3 lakh per annum
Rs. 3,100 (only 10% has to be paid from your pocket, the rest will be funded by the Government)
The disabled person, his/her spouse and up to two children
Documents required for enrolling
Identity proof, Proposal form, Income certificate, Premium payment receipt
Finding the right health policy for a disabled person can be a bit overwhelming, but with a little bit of research and consideration, you can find one that meets your needs. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Identify your specific healthcare needs: The first step in finding the right health policy for a disabled person is to identify your specific healthcare needs. This will help you to determine what types of coverage you require and what you can afford.
Research the different types of policies: Once you've identified your healthcare needs, it's time to research the different types of policies that are available. There are a variety of policies out there, so it's important to choose one that fits your needs.
Compare policies: Once you've narrowed down your options, it's time to compare policies. Look at the different coverage options and costs associated with each policy to determine which one is the best fit for your needs.
Consider any additional benefits: Some policies may offer additional benefits, such as access to a nurse helpline or coverage for alternative therapies. Be sure to consider these benefits when making your decision.
Seek professional advice: If you're still unsure about which policy is right for you, consider seeking advice from a healthcare professional or insurance broker. They can help you to navigate the complex world of healthcare policies and find one that meets your specific needs.
While filing for income tax, both the person with the disability and their family members can avail of tax benefits. For persons with 40% to 79% disability a tax deduction of up to Rs. 75,000 can be availed per year. Furthermore, persons with more than 80% disability can avail of a tax deduction of Rs. 1,25,000 per year.
Under Section 80U, a disabled person can claim tax deductions on medical expenses incurred over the year. Additionally, under Section 80DD, payments made towards medical treatments for the PwD by family members are tax-deductible too. Also, insurance premiums paid on behalf of the PwD can also be claimed. Note that these tax benefits are subject to changes.,
The following documents need to be submitted to avail of tax benefits.
Premium payment receipt
A medical report describing the extent of disability
Self-declaration stating the medical expenses incurred during the year
Form 10-IA needs to produce in the case of mental disabilities
Standard Health Insurance plan specially designed for the persons with a disability (as per The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016), persons with HIV/AIDS (as defined under HIV and AIDS Act, 2017)
For enrolling in Acko Specially Abled Health Cover, please reach out to [email protected]
No, health insurance is not free for disabled persons in India. However, there are two Government Health Insurance schemes that offer low-cost health insurance for PwDs in India. Namely, Niramaya Health Insurance and Swavlamban Health Insurance.
Usually, health insurance plans offer coverage for in-patient and out-patient hospitalisation, counselling and therapy. However, this is the case only if the plan extends an OPD benefit.
Yes, depression is considered a mental disability and is usually covered under health insurance. Health plans usually also cover other mental illnesses like anxiety, bipolar disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. Please refer to the precise policy wordings for details.
Apart from treatments for disabilities, Niramaya Health Insurance also covers medicine bills, diagnostic tests, dental check-ups, etc.
No, it is not difficult to buy health insurance after incurring an accidental disability. Usually, health insurers consider individuals with accidental disabilities as low-risk as compared to individuals with other types of disabilities.
Permanent disability in health insurance refers to a disability that hinders life function for a protracted period of time. Such disabilities usually do not heal after being treated and given substantial time to recover.
A high-risk cover in health insurance refers to an insurance plan that offers coverage for high-risk ailments. Coverage for these ailments is usually not included under standard health insurance plans. Critical illnesses such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes are usually considered high-risk ailments in health insurance.
Some disabilities that may not be covered under regular health insurance plans, may be covered under a high-risk cover. However, these plans are usually expensive and offer only limited coverage for disability-related treatments.