Soon a national medical insurance policy for HIV positive people could be a reality in India. National Aids Control Organization (NACO) will press insurance companies to make insurance 'inclusive and universal for people living with HIV (PLHIV).' Presently HIV is excluded from all insurance policies available in the country.
Officials of the health ministry cited that earlier HIV/AIDS was regarded as an incurable disease, however now it has become a manageable health problem. A ministry official said, "Those living with HIV are living longer and have less morbidity cases, thanks to the increase in anti-retroviral therapy (ART) coverage. With timely initiation of ART, PLHIV may live a normal life up to 20 more years. Companies need to realize that covering HIV patients with a medical policy is no more a loss making proposition."
AdvertisementIn India presently insurance policy for PLHIVs is offered only by Star Health and Allied Insurance in four states- Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. This policy provides health cover of Rs. 30,000 with yearly premium of Rs. 1,511. Over 7,000 PLHIVs have subscribed to this insurance policy. Â NACO states, "HIV has been taken out from the exclusion list making it possible for poor PLHIVs to be covered under health insurance, which can make them entitled to one time hospitalization for nearly 700 in-patient procedures with costs up to Rs 30,000 by paying a minimal registration fee of Rs 30 per annumm."