In June IRDAI launched two policies specifically designed for COVID-19. These policies were available for a short tenure of 3.5 months, 6.5 months or 9.5 months. Previously there was no clear direction whether the policies are renewable or not. Now you have three option with the plan which is expiring: extending the tenure of the extending policy to another 3.5 months, 6.5 months or 9.5 months, switching to another COVID-19 specific plan or switching to comprehensive health insurance.
It is advised to get regular health insurance instead of disease-specific health insurance because of the broader protection they offer. COVID-19 is indeed the greatest risk we are currently living with, but apart from it, several other health ailments are affecting us at the same rate.
COVID specific products vs Comprehensive insurance
While buying health insurance, there are a few things which you need to keep in mind that is, is the policy individual or floater based, sum insured, pre-existing illness, add-on benefits etc. It is now clear that most of the treatment for COVID-19 is done at home. It means there is not much cost included unless the patient is critical. A comprehensive plan, however, covers a lot of other ailments giving more comprehensive coverage.
With standardisation, health insurance policies are becoming better each day. New treatments include treatment for mental illness, physical disorders, genetic disorders, congenital disorders, among others. All this can only be covered through comprehensive insurance.
Corona Kavach policy is less relevant as hospitalisation is seldom needed. With Corona Rakshak policy you must be hospitalised for 72 hours to enjoy the benefits of the plan which is also rare. Now, with the option to move away from both these policies to comprehensive cover, there is no doubt to switch to comprehensive cover.
Policy buyers should always buy a policy with adequate coverage. A comprehensive may have a higher premium amount, but with broader coverage, the policy is worth buying. A comprehensive plan will also be for a longer tenure. The younger you are, the larger cover you will need and lesser would be the premium amount. A slightly lower cost should not drive you into buying COVID-specific plan.
What should you do?
If you are someone who still doesn't have a comprehensive cover but is in the position to afford one, there is no doubt in going with the comprehensive health insurance. Look at the terms and conditions prig option, the sum insured, inclusion, exclusion, pre-existing ailments. After covering all the necessary details, you can sign up for the policy. If you can afford the floater plan, it is best to get complete protection for the family. However, in case you go for an individual plan to go for the salary bearer of the house.
If you are in financial trouble, you can go for COVD-specific plan. You can buy health insurance online easily. Having a COVID-specific plan will at least give you financial stability against the pandemic.