India’s affordable COVID-19 health insurance to close healthcare provisions’ gap, says GlobalData

Short-term health insurance plans have been specifically designed in India to cover the costs of COVID-19 treatments and are set to encourage more citizens to access this healthcare provision, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s 2019 Global Banking and Payments Survey in January 2020, private health insurance uptake in India is relatively high, with 78% of respondents in the country indicating that they had private health insurance in place in 2019. Uptake is highest among those aged between 25 and 54 but lowest among those in the 18–24-year-old cohort.

The first Corona Kavach plans became available in July 2020, with these set to provide an alternative to other private healthcare insurance solutions – namely, standard Mediclaim plans and comprehensive private healthcare insurance policies. The plans are open to adults aged 18–65 years of age.

Beatriz Benito, Senior Insurance Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Corona Kavach plans have appealed the most to younger adults given their affordability, coupled with the lower uptake of health insurance policies than other cohorts of the population. An advantage of Corona Kavach policies is simplification, with IRDAI dictating that these plans offer uniform features, terms and conditions among different insurers.”

The policy length is set at 3.5 months, 6.5 months or 9.5 months, inclusive of the 15-day waiting period. The COVID-19-specific plans cover hospitalization expenses, home care treatment and ambulance charges, but claims can only be made after testing positive for coronavirus.

Benito concludes: “The sustained spread of the virus coupled with a rise in fatality rates in India will continue to generate demand for health insurance products. Awareness of the treatment costs related to COVID-19 will further contribute to a greater uptake and will encourage younger adults to take out a health insurance policy for the first time. In addition, the pandemic is expected to shape customers’ attitudes towards private health insurance.”

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