The escalating cost of medical treatment today is beyond the reach of a common man. In case of a medical emergency, cost of hospital room rent, the doctor's fees, medicines and related health services can work out to be a huge sum. In such times, health insurance provides the much needed financial relief.
An investment in health insurance scheme would be a judicious decision. The health insurance scheme could either be a personal scheme or a group scheme sponsored by an employer. Some of the existing health insurance schemes currently available are individual, family, group insurance schemes, senior citizens insurance schemes, long-term health care and insurance cover for specific diseases. There are two major insurance companies in India namely:
The Life Insurance Company of India (LIC)
The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) offers:
a) The Asha Deep Plan: It provides cover for cancer, paralytic stroke resulting in permanent disability, renal failure and coronary artery disease where by-pass surgery has been done. It caters to people between 18 - 65 years.
b) Jeevan Asha: The Jeevan Asha policy is the other healthcare product offered by LIC. It is an open-ended scheme covering many surgical procedures.
While LIC deals with insurance for life coverage only, the GIC deals with the other aspects of insurance, including health. Following are the main health policies offered by the Indian Insurance Companies. These policies are regulated by the General Insurance Corporation and are marketed by the four big insurance companies: United India Insurance Co Ltd., New India Assurance Co Ltd., Oriental Insurance Co Ltd. and National Insurance Co Ltd.
The insurance policies offered by The General Insurance Company (GIC) are:
1. Mediclaim: Insures against any hospitalisation expenses that may arise in future. This policy is designed to prevent the insured from paying for any hospitalisation expenses owing to illness or injury suffered by the insured, whether the hospitalisation is domiciliary or otherwise. It covers the expenses incurred on the following: Room boarding expenses by the hospital nursing home, Nursing expenses, Operation theatre expenses, Surgeon, anesthetist, medical practitioner, consultants, specialist's fees, Also for any cost of equipment like pacemaker, artificial limbs and charges paid for anaesthesia, blood, oxygen, operation charge, surgical appliances, medicines and drugs, diagnostic material and x-rays, dialysis and chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and cost of organs etc.
2. Jan Arogya Bima Policy: It insures hospitalization or domiciliary hospitalization expenses incurred on medical or surgical treatment for any illness or disease (contracted after 30 days from the commencement of the policy) or injury. Any person in the age group of three months to 70 years can be insured under this. The risk insured include sudden illnesses like heart attack, jaundice, pneumonia, appendicitis, paralytic attack, food poisoning or accidents that require hospitalisation. This insurance policy was designed for the lower income group of society and the common masses. The entire idea was to protect them from high costs of hospitalisation.
3. Overseas Mediclaim Policy:Any person going abroad on holiday, business, study or employment can avail this policy. Coverage under the medical expense section of this insurance is intended for use by the Insured person in the event of a sudden and unexpected sickness or accident arising when the Insured is outside the Republic of India.
4. Personal Accident Policy: The policy compensates an individual against death, loss of limbs, loss of eyesight, permanent total disablement, permanent partial disablement and temporary total disablement, solely and directly resulting from accidental injuries.
5. Critical Illness Policy: Critical Illness Policy is an exclusive benefit policy for individuals in the age group 20-65 years covering coronary artery surgery, cancer, renal failure, stroke, multiple sclerosis and major organ transplants like kidney, lung, pancreas or bone marrow.
6. New India Assurance Bhavishya Arogya: This caters to persons between 3 to 50 years. This policy is essentially to take care of medical expenses needs of persons in their old age. The policy provides for expenses in respect of hospitalisation and domiciliary hospitalisation during the period commencing from the Policy Retirement Age selected till survival. This is selected by the insured for the purpose of commencement of benefits in the policy.