This is a follow-up post to an article I wrote earlier.
There have been multiple requests for a comparison of Corona Kavach Plans. Here’s a dynamic page that we will keep updating with the comparison of these plans.
Need for special health insurance for COVID 19
Insurance customers hospitalized for COVID 19 have suffered deductions of up to 45% of the bill amount. These deductions have been due to high room rents charged by hospitals, exclusion of PPE, and related expenses in regular health insurance policies. This has been explained well here.
What is Corona Kavach?
The insurance regulator IRDAI released guidelines asking all insurance companies in the country to offer Corona Kavach – a special pre-designed health insurance policy for Covid 19 treatments by 10th July 2020.
Corona Kavach is a short-term health insurance plan specially designed to cover hospitalization expenses incurred for COVID 19.
It provides cover options of Rs. 50000 to Rs. 5 Lakhs for 3.5, 6.5 and 9.5 months. The cover starts after an initial waiting period of 15 days.
What are special covers under Corona Kavach?
Apart from a regular health insurance cover for COVID 19, it provides special benefits that can significantly solve for the high out of pocket expenses (Rs. 50000 to Rs. 2 Lakhs) customers face.
Here is a summary of the special benefits:
- No limit on room rent will help pay for high hospital room charges.
- Covers for the cost of PPE, masks, and other similar charges.
- Cover for home care treatment for 14 days that otherwise required hospitalization, after prior approval from the insurer.
- An important cover for comorbid conditions, including pre-existing diseases, ruling out claims disputes once people suffering from a chronic illness are covered.
Who needs Corona Kavach?
Corona Kavach is useful for people who
- Have policies with room rent limits.
- Have recently bought their health insurance and hence have not completed waiting periods for the pre-existing disease they suffer from.
- want to cover PPE and similar charges that are covered under this policy.
- are willing to spend Rs. 2K per person for a 9.5-month special cover.
Detailed Comparison of Corona Kavach Plans
On the 10th of July, IRDAI announced through a press release that it cleared 30 General and Health Insurance companies to market this Corona Kavach Policy.
Here is an on-ground view with a detailed comparison of Corona Kavach Plans launched.
The information in this table is collected as on 14-07-2020. We intend to regularly compile and update this page with regards to plan information, availability, pricing, underwriting as information becomes available.
Our list below compiles for those insurance companies who have updated their prices on their website. If an insurance company is not appearing in the list below, it means their prices are not available on their website.
But why so much difference?
These are unprecedented times. Without enough data, every Insurer is judging and acting on the risk and the regulator’s mandate differently. The pricing, proposal form, as well as the assessment of the risk, is likely to be dynamic and evolve out of learnings that pan out in the next 6-9 months. Thankfully, the product benefits being standardized and mandatory, won’t undergo changes.
Difference in premium
The variation in premium between insurers is mind-boggling. The highest premium is 13 times (!) the lowest premium in the above table. Shows how covering COVID 19 is going to be a game of hit and miss for insurers. It also reflects how certain insurers (like Digit and Navi) are using the price barrier to avoid being in this risk space.
You shouldn’t worry about the variation in premiums
It is unlikely that your claim will suffer if you buy the plan with the cheapest or cheaper premium. Remember that the product benefits, the limits, the conditions and exclusions are common across all products. The difference, of course will be around the experience – at the time of buying as well as claims.
What are the questions in the proposal form?
The proposal forms of insurance companies are different too. Most insurers have asked questions with regards to:
- Pre-existing disease – Almost every insurer except for Max Bupa has asked details around existing diseases, with specific questions around chronic diseases like Heart disease, Diabetes, etc.
- COVID 19 symptoms – 7 out of 10 insurers have asked whether you have any COVID like symptoms. This is a tricky as some ask if there were symptoms like running nose, sore throat, cold, fatigue – which can happen to anyone, even without COVID 19. Insurers who have not asked this question: Star, Max Bupa, and Oriental.
- Contact History – Only Max Bupa, Navi, and United India ask whether you have been in contact with a COVID positive or quarantined person?
- Travel History – Unlike earlier, few insurers (Navi, National, and United India) are checking for travel history.
Currently, the following insurers are offering their products online.
Pros: The purchase experience is simple. There are just three questions (see image below) before you calculate the premium and make the payment. We checked with their call center and it seems they are providing insurance to people suffering from chronic diseases too.
Cons: The pricing is higher than many other insurers.
Pros: Cheaper option. (60% cheaper than Max Bupa)
Cons: It blocks you from an online purchase if you suffer from any pre-existing disease (image below). Also, the buying journey is longer (but not painful). Apart from the calculation of premium, it requires details of the nominee, KYC details, last countries visited before you can make the payment.
As mentioned in my article on the IRDAI announcement, it was expected that insurers will be wary at covering the vulnerable – the senior citizens and people with chronic lifestyle diseases.
Pros: Super cheap.
Cons: Does not allow people with pre-existing disease or above 50 years to buy online. The buying journey is long, boring – reminds me of the 1990s.
The customer journey is lonnng and boring – requires you to register, asks for OTP twice. Asks Pre-existing disease questions twice.
People with Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart/Stroke/Cancer/Renal disorder/Alzheimer’s disease/Parkinson’s disease are blocked from buying online.
Blocks all who suffer from the pre-existing disease. Requires you to upload your photo to calculate the premium. The buying journey is long. Couldn’t complete it due to some errors.
Feedback?Anything else you want to read?
Hope you liked the article. Do let us know your feedback, and if you want any further information with regards to Corona Kavach in the comments section below.
In case you experience purchasing a policy or have any additional information, would like to volunteer for the benefit of everyone else, do write to us in the comments below or tweet at @BeshakIN