Today, we live in a world where we are more cognizant of our mortality than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the world functions fundamentally. The inadequacy of our existing health care architecture is perhaps the starkest. With awareness of these problems comes the efforts to start amending our infrastructure to be more robust. One of the most glaring deficiencies brought to light during this time, as we are made aware of the problems in our healthcare system, is the lack of insurance or monetary compensation for those who suffer due to vector-borne diseases. In fact, to combat this deficiency in our healthcare system, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) presented a new set of guidelines in February of 2021.
These guidelines have provided a framework for a Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy, which healthcare insurance companies should provide as a part of their product list. The goal of this policy is to ensure standardized coverage for vector-borne diseases. Additionally, the IRDAI hopes to encourage insurers to provide their customers with the requisite services. As the IRDAI has encouraged insurance companies to start offering this product by the 1st of April 2021, it is just in time for the monsoon season - the season where vector-borne diseases are the most common. At this time, COVID-19 still poses a considerable risk for many people. Additional assurance for other health care matters is not remiss.
But what is vector-borne disease? And why is insurance for this necessary for you? Let us have a look at the various important aspects of this Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy.
The definition given by the World Health Organization (WHO) is straightforward. A vector-borne disease is any human illness (caused by a virus, bacteria, or parasite) that has been transmitted by a vector. The vector, in this case, is an insect that feeds on blood, for example, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, etcetera.
That last sentence would have tipped off exactly what diseases fall under the vector-borne disease category. However, the list is longer than you probably think. The most common vector-borne diseases in India, and the ones that the IRDAI policy is aimed towards are - dengue fever, malaria, filaria (also known as lymphatic filariasis), kala-azar, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, and the zika virus.
These diseases disproportionately affect India because of the tropical and sub-tropical climate, along with increasing urbanization and globalization. The weak health care infrastructure does not make for a strong response against these diseases and leaves many people vulnerable to them.
Malaria and Dengue are particularly infectious and deadly vector-borne diseases in India. Overall, thousands of people suffer every year in India because of these diseases, and sometimes the complications can lead to the unfortunate death of the patient due to lack of access to quality medical treatment.
First! As the monsoon season approaches, vector-borne diseases will become more and more prevalent. Dengue and malaria particularly will become more and more common as they are still unfortunately prevalent in various regions of India, and diagnosis and treatment can both be lengthy and expensive. As much as we are confident that it will not be us who will get sick, being smart and planning for the future is always wise. General and healthcare insurance companies will have various options to help you to find the premiums and plans that work the best for you. Predicting the future is not possible, but taking measures to protect you and your family against common problems is the smart thing to do.
After all, prevention is the best cure - especially for your finances. And access to quality health care is costly, and the last thing a person wants to do when taking care of their health is compromised on the treatment quality. Having even the most basic health insurance can help take off the financial burden of good health care and help you give yourself and your families the best care possible. With the help of this Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy, you can enjoy comprehensive financial support against expenses incurred for the treatment of vector-borne diseases at any of the approved hospitals or healthcare centres.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has urged all general and health insurers in the country to offer the proposed Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy. The guidelines they have provided for such a will contribute positively in a few ways. First, it sets a standard and allows Indian citizens to recognize a good offer from a bad one. Secondly, it gives insurers the ability to provide validity to their product.
The guidelines provided by the IRDAI include some key components regarding the Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy. Here are some of the most important inclusions of the Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy: -
There are some exclusions that are applicable to the Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy:
Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy is a medical insurance plan for vector-borne diseases that ensures that you and your family do not have to suffer needlessly. Being prepared will allow you to focus on recovering with quality medical care rather than worry about your finances!
No, the premium chargeable under the Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy will be chargeable on a pan-India basis. No variations in premiums will be allowed based on geographical or regional factors.
Yes, the Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy will have a free look period complying with Regulation 14 of HIR 2016, i.e., 15 days from the issuance of the policy.
No, IRDAI has specified that no plan variants are allowed for the Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy. The insurance companies shall offer this as a standardized product only.
The definition of family under Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy includes the legally wedded spouse, dependent children under the age of 25 years, parents and parents in law.
Yes, as per the guidelines of IRDAI, this policy is available as an individual policy as well as a floater policy.
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