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Is Coronavirus treatment covered under your Existing Health Insurance Policy?

Yes, your health insurance policy offers protection against Coronavirus. All the medical insurance policies cover hospitalization expenses related to illnesses and diseases unless it is a disease-specific plan.

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The first case of this highly resilient Coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China, and from there it has been continuing to affect lakhs of people around the globe. With the worsening situation, the outbreak was declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).  And the increasing number of SARS CoV2 cases in India as well as at the global level, makes people wonder if their existing medical insurance policy covers COVID-19 related hospitalization medical expenses, and the resulting respiratory illnesses.  Let’s check out the details below:

Does your Health Insurance Policy Covers Coronavirus Hospitalization Expenses?

Yes, your health insurance policy offers protection against Coronavirus. All the medical insurance policies cover hospitalization expenses related to illnesses and diseases unless it is a disease-specific plan.

Will Coronavirus be considered as a Pre-existing Illness?

It is another common doubt that concerns people if Coronavirus will be considered as a pre-existing illness as it takes a few days to show the symptoms. But health insurance companies do not have a reason to reject Coronavirus related claims in case it requires hospitalization.

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The policy should be covering pre-hospitalization expenses, post-hospitalization expenses, ambulance charges, OPD expenses, etc. depending on your policy coverage limit and the plan that you have purchased.

Launching of COVID-19 Health Insurance Plans

All the Health Insurance Providers in India have launched Coronavirus-specific health plans or are offering coverage to the policyholders in the existing policy. Specifically designed health plans will provide quick protection to people with no health coverage against coronavirus by availing the right treatment, without any financial constraint.

The demand for Corona Kavach plan, indemnity based COVID health plan is also on a rise since the day of its launch in July 2021. As more and more people are now aware of medical insurance schemes, the demand for health insurance and COVID specific insurance products will continue to increase.  

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The policy covers the pre and post hospitalization expenses, Ayush treatment, home treatment, along with hospitalization expenses including the cost of oxygen cylinders, ICU expenses, ventilators, PPE kits, etc. Most importantly, the cost of co-morbid conditions triggered due to coronavirus, as the virus targets the lungs foremost, but it can also impact your liver, kidneys, and brains.

It’s included in the sum insured amount of Rs 5 Lakh. Individuals who are 18 years old and up to 65 years of age can get covered under this mediclaim policy. Moreover, it has been designed to offer coverage on a family floater basis as well. The idea is to ensure health cover to all at an affordable premium.

The policy does not provide No-claim-bonus as it is an indemnity based plan with tenure options of 3.5, 6.5 and 9.5 months.

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Diagnostic Expenses

Diagnostic tests are usually not covered under a medical insurance plan unless it a part of the in-patient hospitalization cost, or the policy includes outpatient treatment expenses.  Now you can get yourself tested at private labs without the doctor’s prescription, and the cost of the test has now been reduced from Rs. 4500, and for basic screening is around Rs. 1500. 

Quarantine cost

Quarantine expenses are excluded in basic health plans unless there is a hospitalization or the insured is quarantined in a government-approved center where the patient is undergoing treatment and is charged fees. 

Consumable Items

The cost of consumable items like masks, gloves, ventilators, oximeters, and other medical devices is usually not covered under a regular medical insurance policy unless it is specifically mentioned. However, COVID insurance plans like Corona Kavach health plan covers expenses incurred on all the consumable items during the treatment.

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Telemedicine Services

Several health insurance provi   ders in India have ramped up telemedicine services, from examining customer applications to telephonic/video consultations with the doctor. As of October 01, 2021, telemedicine services will now be part of the medical insurance cover, as per the new health insurance rules that are implemented in India. The insured can now claim the cost of medicines before and after therapy, and the OPD patients can claim the full cost of teleconsultation.

After the lockdown when people are still following the social distancing protocols, this would ensure that people can function without visiting the doctor in person and waiting in the queue. In fact, the doctors would be able to establish communication with the patients over a call and suggest a treatment based on medical history, symptoms and this goes for both health and term insurance. 

The move will ensure that people can stay at home during such times. And the Insurance Company can decline claims if customer disclosures are found incorrect.

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Over to You

We know these are trying times, but if you take precautions, and maintain hygiene you can prevent the spread of Coronavirus. However, if you don’t have health insurance you can buy it now as well. And if you already have one you can check with your insurance provider for the coverage benefits and procedures. 

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PGI-Chandigarh to provide cashless treatment to Himachal patients

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PGI-Chandigarh to provide cashless treatment to Himachal patients

The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) in Chandigarh has signed an MoU with HIMCARE, a scheme of the Himachal Pradesh government, to provide cashless treatment, benefiting around 5,000 patients annually. The collaboration aims to streamline healthcare services and empower patients through cashless treatment.

The MoU was signed in the presence of PGI Director Vivek Lal, Deputy Director, Administration, Pankaj Rai, and HP Swasthya Bima Yojna Society Chief Executive Officer Ashwani Sharma. Under the agreement, PGI and HIMCARE will work together to enhance the healthcare experience for patients by facilitating cashless treatment.

PGI Director Lal stated, “Through the partnership and the implementation of a cashless treatment initiative, we are poised to enhance accessibility and affordability, ultimately ensuring that no patient is denied the care they deserve due to financial constraints.” This initiative will benefit around 5,000 patients from Himachal Pradesh annually.

Deputy Director Rai mentioned, “On an average, 4,000 patients per year from Himachal Pradesh are availing treatment under the HIMCARE scheme at PGI Chandigarh. However, the reimbursement process was cumbersome and time-consuming, taking four to five months. To overcome this issue, PGI will now provide cashless treatment under the scheme.”

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Delhi doctors report rise in stomach flu cases

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New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) – A surge in stomach flu cases has been reported by doctors in the national capital. Stomach flu, caused by viruses like norovirus and rotavirus, is highly contagious and spreads through contaminated food or water, close contact, or poor hygiene.

Dr. Vandana Garg from Max Hospital, Vaishali, stated, “There has been a noticeable increase in patients visiting OPDs for flu, diarrhoea, viral fever, etc., estimated to be between 20 to 30 percent higher.”

Health experts advise against antibiotics for stomach flu, as symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and vomiting are self-limiting. Dr. Rajeev Gupta from CK Birla Hospital, Delhi, mentioned seeing 6-7 cases daily on average.

Individuals with weakened immune systems, young children, older adults, and those with comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension are more vulnerable to severe complications like dehydration. Precautions like maintaining a healthy diet and hand hygiene are recommended.

The doctors emphasized the importance of precautions like frequent handwashing, avoiding crowded places, wearing masks, and staying away from sick individuals to prevent the spread of stomach flu viruses. Stay safe and take necessary measures to protect yourself and others from this contagious illness.

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What is ALS that claimed 49-yr-old 'Captain Marvel' star Kenneth Mitchell

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What is ALS that claimed 49-yr-old 'Captain Marvel' star Kenneth Mitchell

Canadian actor Kenneth Mitchell, known for his roles in ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Captain Marvel’, passed away at the age of 49 due to Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on Monday. ALS is a fatal motor neuron disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to muscle weakness, paralysis, and respiratory failure.

Ken Mitchell battled ALS for five and a half years before his passing, as confirmed by his family in a statement on Instagram. He was remembered as a beloved father, husband, brother, uncle, son, and friend, known for his diverse roles in films and television shows.

Experts, such as Dr. Ishu Goyal, Associate Consultant Neurologist at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, explained that ALS is a disease with no known specific cause, making it difficult to predict who may develop the condition. Symptoms of ALS include muscle weakness, cramps, impaired motor function, slurred speech, and breathing issues.

Dr. Vipul Gupta, chief of Neurointervention at Artemis Hospital, Gurugram, highlighted that ALS patients may eventually lose the ability to move, breathe, eat, and talk as the disease progresses. Breathing difficulties are a primary cause of death in ALS patients due to muscle weakness in the lungs and chest, including the diaphragm.

ALS typically begins with weakness in one part of the body, such as a hand or leg, and gradually progresses to affect other parts of the body. While there is no cure for ALS, certain medications can slow down the progression of the disease and potentially prolong the patient’s life. Tarragon injections and Dialysol tablets are currently used to manage ALS symptoms.

In conclusion, Kenneth Mitchell’s battle with ALS sheds light on the challenges faced by individuals diagnosed with this devastating disease. Despite the lack of a cure, ongoing research and treatment options offer hope for ALS patients in managing their symptoms and improving their quality of life.

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