Topic 4: Will COVID-19 vaccine be covered under your existing health insurance policy?

The hunt for a coronavirus vaccine is underway across the world. With multiple vaccine candidates entering the phase III trials, a safe and effective vaccine against coronavirus infection could become a reality soon. But will a COVID-19 vaccine be covered under health insurance policy? The answer is — only specific health insurance policies will bear the expenses of the coronavirus vaccine.

A regular health insurance policy usually covers hospitalisation expenses along with pre-admission and post-discharge bills. If a person tests positive for coronavirus, gets hospitalised for treatment and administer a vaccine, the vaccine expenses will be covered by all the health insurance policies. However, all those who want to get a dose of COVID-19 vaccine, do not require a stay in the hospital. For those, only the health insurance policies that cover out-patient department, will cover vaccination costs.

In case, the customer has opted for out-patient treatment cover after payment on additional premium, vaccination taken as a preventive measure will be covered.

For instance, under ICICI Lombard’s iHealth Plus plan, the policy covers for routine physical and preventive examination, vaccinations, education, consultation and training programs such as nutrition tips, and exercise guidelines and pandemic preparedness in terms of providing necessary drugs and equipment to protect the insured for an additional premium (under wellness and preventive care clause).

Health insurance policies that come with OPD cover usually cover doctor’s consultation fees, pharmacy bills and vaccination cost. But they are expensive than usual health insurance policies. Several companies have launched various insurance products to fight against coronavirus since the outbreak. These new plans have options to cover the cost consumables like PPE kits to home treatments. So there is a chance that vaccination can also be included under the policy, if needed in future.

Currently, COVID-19 vaccination is not covered under indemnity plans available in the industry. However, in the foreseeable future, it being a critical need, we will evaluate covering it under our plans, once the COVID-19 vaccine availability and pricing comes in.

Source : Livemint, Economic Times
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