While people around the world were still struggling and finding ways to cover the losses incurred during the first two waves of Covid-19, there unfurled the news of the outbreak of its new variant – Omicron. The last week of 2021 didn’t seem to be going as planned, the cases are exploding the world and creating the same fear once again. Questions like – Is this variant deadlier than the past variants? Does it just spread faster? Would it force countries to lockdown again?, are rolling in almost every head.
Talking about the current stats, Omnicron has now been detected in most countries around the world. Restrictions and lockdowns are now back in some parts of the world. There has been a highest single-day figure of cases been noticed as well. Even in India, the count of cases has tallied to more than 600 so far. Long story short, the situation seems to be not looking good. People around the world are very much concerned about this new variant and WHO has stated this variant as the “Variant of Concern” owing to the several mutations that can have an impact on how it works.
Having said that, the rising count of the Omnicron cases in India has alarmed this question in many policyholders’ minds – Whether one’s plan is sufficient enough to cover the expenses in case of medical emergency/hospitalization due to this new variant? Moreover, the past two waves of the Covid pandemic have clearly warned the need for a suitable coverage plan. Also, as the Omnicron variant shows the sign of high mutation and the ones vaccinated or already treated from coronavirus are also getting infected with this new variant, this furthermore spikes up the concern graph. The heavy expenses incurred for the treatment of this disease could be daunting as well and therefore it makes absolute sense for the people to be prepared financially by having an optimum health plan handy so as to avoid any unpleasant situation during any future emergencies.
Would health plans cover Omnicron?
Yes, it would. As the pandemic situations are covered under the indemnity plans, coronavirus no matter which variant would also be covered under this policy. Moreover, Omnicron is not a disease, it is a different variant of the same disease and hence all the existing health insurance policies would cover this variant as they did for the past two variants of Covid.
It is rightly said, “Prevention is better than cure”!
While utmost precaution must be taken along with masks and other hygiene rules. It’s also high time to check whether your current plan is adequate enough to serve the medical expenses during an emergency. One must see to it that their current health insurance plan provides the required coverage and the necessary features that could fit your medical needs required during emergencies.
For policyholders whose current health insurance plan is not adequate or has been reserved for other medical treatment, can think of opting for Covid specific plans which offer the necessary coverage against this new variant.
One must also review the sum insured and check if it is sufficient to cover all the demands of your treatment. Also, for family floater policyholders, one must check if the existing sum insured is enough to provide adequate coverage. Having said that, one can opt for a separate plan for elderly family members or go with super top-up plans in case of the low sum insured.
Are Covid-specific plans the right choice?
Due to the concern around the possibility of the third wave, the IRDAI has passed the circular stating the availability of Covid-specific plans till March 2022. So for policyholders who feel that their current health plan would not be sufficient enough if they or their family are diagnosed with Omnicron, then they can opt for such a plan along with their indemnity plan.
Such covid specific plans are beneficial as there would be no waiting period involved and the plan coverage would start from the very first day (in most of the covid-specific plans). Under such cases, the indemnity plan can be used for the treatment of other diseases or complications arising out of the ailment. Also, if you feel that you are at risk of getting infected due to your job, traveling plans, surroundings, or any other events, it is highly advisable to get such a plan if you do not have any existing health plan.
Since the variant is new and there are still studies going across it, there is no specific data that could define the impact of threat this variant holds. It is harder to say whether a person who has been completely vaccinated (taken both doses) is safe from this virus. Taking the right health insurance plan and the necessary precaution can only help us sail this boat without any stress. Also, comparing and knowing the features of the other plans would help in enhancing your current plan or switching to a new one as per your and your family’s medical needs.
Mr. Rakesh Goyal – Director, Probus Insurance, an Insurtech Broking.
With an MBA degree with a diploma in International Trade, Mr. Goyal has been in the field of financial services since 1996 bringing utmost understanding of the market and sharp thinking that has been the reason behind the continuous growth and success of Probus. Excelled in the fields of general and life insurance distribution, channel management, and relationship management Mr. Goyal has implemented pioneering strategies for distribution and has helped build corporate relationships and management skills.
With his cosmic background and an array of experiences with multinational companies, he has worked in various utilities. His previous work experiences include several prestigious Brands; Bausch and Lomb (India), World Index Investment, International Foreign Currency Market & Gogia Capital Ltd.