Why Should You Opt For Global Coverage in Health Insurance?

A health insurance plan is not a luxury anymore. Rather, it has become one of the biggest necessities given the rising medical costs and the increasing incidence of illnesses. 

As the need of health insurance is growing, insurance companies are also revolutionizing their policies by introducing newer and innovative coverage benefits. These innovative benefits promise an all-around protection. One such benefit, that is increasingly becoming available in many plans, is global coverage. This coverage removes the geographical barriers in health insurance plans and makes them more relevant.

Let’s understand what global coverage is all about, its importance and why should you opt for the same.

Understanding a global health insurance cover

Global health insurance cover means coverage for treatments availed in international countries. Earlier, health insurance plans covered treatments taken only within India. However, modern day health insurance plans are offering treatments taken anywhere in the world. This is particularly helpful if you are travelling abroad and you suffer from a medical contingency. Global health coverage would cover such contingency and give you coverage for the medical costs incurred.

Global health coverage vis-à-vis international travel insurance 

When it comes to the coverage for medical treatments abroad, another option that pops into mind is the international travel insurance plan which offers similar coverage. However, international medical coverage under travel insurance plans is quite different from the global coverage allowed under health insurance plans. Here are some aspects how –

  • Travel plans are available only if you go on an international trip. Health plans, however, have no such conditions
  • The coverage duration of travel insurance plans is limited to the trip duration. You can, however, avail of lifelong coverage under health plans with global cover
  • Travel plans do not cover domestic treatments but health plans do
  • Planned hospitalisation is not covered under travel insurance plans but some health plans do provide coverage for such hospitalisation

Benefits of global health insurance cover

Global health insurance coverage is quite beneficial. Here are some reasons why – 

  • Coverage for hospital costs

    Global health coverage becomes applicable if you are hospitalised on an inpatient basis in an international city. The relevant costs incurred are covered under the policy. This includes the charge of the hospital room, the ICU charges (if needed), the fees of the doctors, nursing charges, etc. Thus, by taking care of the hospital costs, which comprise the major part of your medical expenses, global coverage helps you bear the costs of international hospitalisation. 

  • Emergency assistance 

    Global coverage ensures financial security in an emergency. If you are in an international country and you suffer from an emergency illness or injury that requires immediate medical attention, you can avail of that attention without worrying about the underlying costs. 

  • Access to advanced healthcare

    International treatments use advanced technologies and they can be effective against critical illnesses or major surgeries. Under many health plans, global coverage is allowed for critical illnesses allowing you to get access to advanced healthcare facilities without worrying about their affordability. 

  • Tax benefits

    Lastly, health plans with global coverage allow the same tax benefits that normal health insurance plans provide. The premium that you pay is allowed as a deduction under Section 80D up to INR 25,000. If you are aged 60 years or above, the deduction limit increases to INR 50,000. In the case of parents, if you pay the premium for their coverage, you can claim an additional deduction of INR 25,000 or INR 50,000 depending on your parents’ age. 

So, health plans with global coverage makes sense. If you choose the coverage, you can enhance the scope of your policy that goes beyond the Indian borders and avail of coverage worldwide. 

Things to know about global health cover

Though many health insurance plans allow global coverage in their plans, here are some aspects of the coverage that you should know about –

  • The coverage can be available either as an inbuilt benefit or as an optional add-on. The inbuilt benefit is usually available under high sum insured levels. In the case of the latter, you would have to pay an additional premium to avail of the coverage.
  • Under some plans, the coverage might not be available for treatments taken in USA or Canada
  • OPD expenses and pre and post hospitalisation expenses are usually not covered under the plan
  • Maternity coverage might be excluded and, if included, it is usually available only under family floater plans
  • There might be a co-payment for international coverage 
  • There might be a limit on the coverage amount
  • Some plans allow only emergency international hospitalisations. Planned hospitalisations are excluded
  • Under some plans international coverage is available only for named critical illnesses
  • There might be restriction on the tenure up to which international coverage can be availed of 
  • Pre-existing illnesses and their complications might not be covered

Buying health insurance with global coverage 

Global health insurance coverage is a valuable addition to your health insurance policy if you travel internationally. It is different from a travel insurance plan and it widens the geographical scope of your policy. So, you can avail of the coverage for enhanced protection. You can either buy a new policy having global coverage or port to one at the time of renewals.

However, when buying, read the coverage terms and conditions so that you know exactly what you are covered for. Also, check the coverage limit. If the plan allows global coverage as an add-on, the additional premium would be low and affordable so that you can add the coverage to the policy.

So, assess your needs and then opt for global health insurance coverage in a health insurance policy.

Key Takeaways from NFHS Survey About Rise in Health Insurance Coverage

The National Family Health Survey is conducted periodically and it surveys the health conditions, insurance status, and other health related details of the Indian population. The fifth edition of the survey was published on 25th November 2021 and as per latest findings, the health insurance coverage among Indian households has gone up compared to the findings of the fourth edition. Let’s analyse what the survey concluded.

The key findings of the National Family Health Survey

The fifth edition of the National Family Health Survey was conducted between the periods of 2019 and 2021 compared to the fourth edition which was conducted between 2015 and 2016. Among the households surveyed, here are the three main findings –

  • 41% of the households surveyed were covered under a health insurance policy.
  • Health insurance coverage in India increased by 12.3% compared to the findings of the fourth edition.
  • The health insurance coverage in the rural sector was found to be 42.4% and that in the urban sector was found to be 38.1%.

The interpretation

A jump in health insurance coverage among the surveyed households indicated a success of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The additional secretary and the mission director of the National Health Mission attributed this jump in health insurance coverage to the PMJAY or the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Experts corroborated this theory and said that the jump was largely due to the successful implementation of the Ayushman Bharat scheme pan India. The rural sector dominated the findings because a large section of the BPL families live in rural areas.

What is the Ayushman Bharat scheme?

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana or the PMJAY scheme, the official name of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, was launched in September 2018 by the honourable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. The scheme offered free health insurance coverage of up to Rs.5 lakhs to BPL (Below Poverty Line) families.

The objective of the scheme was to provide quality healthcare facilities at the grass-root levels. The economically weaker sections of the society need healthcare facilities but their limited incomes prevent them from accessing the same. As such, the scheme intended to provide treatments and medical assistance, free of cost, to such families. 

While the scheme was launched on a pilot basis in 2018, currently, it has panned out throughout India and has become popular. As such, many families are now covered under the scope of the PMJAY scheme which has caused a jump in the average health insurance coverage in India.

How does the survey prove relevant for you?

Though the survey contributed the jump in the health insurance coverage to the success and implementation of the PMJAY scheme, the scheme may not apply to you. It is available only for the identified families that constitute the EWS and BPL families. So, you might not be eligible to enjoy free health insurance coverage under the scheme.

That being said, the value of health insurance coverage cannot be stressed enough. Awareness for the importance of health insurance plans is gradually increasing among the common population of India. Moreover, the pandemic has further underlined the necessity of the same. So, today, more and more individuals are opting for coverage. This might also have led to the jump in the health insurance coverage among families that are not covered under the PMJAY scheme. 

The road ahead

The next edition of the survey would be conducted in the year 2022 and its results would be published sometime in 2023 and 2024. The next edition would be able to shed light on the contribution of the PMJAY scheme in increasing the health insurance coverage in India. So, till the next survey results are out, the full measure of PMJAY’s success is pending to be seen.

What should you do?

Having optimal health insurance coverage has become important when medical expenses have become unaffordable and the pandemic continues to remain a cause of concern. You should, thus, opt for a health insurance policy for yourself and your family members. The policy would cover the medical expenses and provide you with the much-needed financial security in a crisis. If, on the other hand, you are insured under a health insurance plan, check its sufficiency. Ensure that the coverage is high enough to pay for the expensive treatments. If the coverage is low, supplement it by enhancing the coverage at renewal. Alternatively, opt for a super top-up policy which would boost the sum insured while keeping the premiums affordable. 

So, do your bit towards increasing the penetration of health insurance coverage in India. This would not only bump the survey numbers, but it would also be financially rewarding for you.

Is your Health Insurance Enough to Cover the ‘Omicron’ Covid-19 Variant?

Health insurance has always played a very important role in everyone’s lives. However, with the outbreak of the pandemic last year, its importance has increased manifolds. Prior to 2020, having health insurance was important, but now the amount of coverage has superseded all other requirements. People have not only understood the need for health insurance, but also having adequate coverage is well understood!

Most people have started re-assessing their health insurance requirement again, especially with the outbreak of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron. It was discovered in South Africa in November 2021 and is rapidly spreading to all corners of the world. The second wave witnessed many people spending lakhs on hospitalization and oxygen supply out of their own pockets. Are you prepared this time? Learn your lesson from the second wave of the pandemic and review and upgrade your health insurance to cover Omicron covid 19 variant.

What we know about Omicron till 8-Dec-2021:

Since the covid variant, Omicron, is still in its nascent stages, there is limited information on it. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is still researching and new information is emerging every day. The Omicron variant has a greater risk of reinfection because of the number of mutations it can have. Knowing the risk and the medical expenses associated with it, ensure that you have adequate health cover. Answers to the following questions will decide whether you have sufficient cover against the new variant.

What we know thus far includes:

  1. Transmissibility 

    As per the latest reports from WHO, there is no clarity on the actual transmissibility power of the Omicron variant. While there has been a surge in cases in places like South Africa after the variant was found, there is no conclusive evidence yet to prove that Omicron gets transmitted at a faster rate than the other variants such as Delta.

  2. Severeness

    WHO says that at present, there is no conclusive study to show that Omicron causes more serious infections than the other variants. Though there has been a rise in the number of hospitalisations, it is still too early to say Omicron is causing severe covid infections among the patients. Research is still going on and the severity is yet to be established by virologists!

  3. Symptoms

    All the studies done thus far have shown that the symptoms of the Omicron variant are quite like the other known covid symptoms. These include a fever, cough, body ache, headache, weakness, etc. There have been no known new or aggravated symptoms yet that the Omicron patients face.

  4. Treatment

    The course of treatment used to treat the older and existing covid patients remains the same. The WHO has not specified any new line of treatment yet, though research is still underway.

  5. Recurrence 

    As per the latest report by WHO, there’s a possibility of a recurrence of Covid due to Omicron in patients who have previously had the infection. However, there is limited information on this and WHO is working very closely with experts around the world to get greater clarity on this.

  6. Efficacy of vaccines

    Most of the vaccines, including the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer Vaccines, are understood to provide sufficient protection against all the variants of covid. A person who is fully vaccinated is at a lower risk of getting severely infected with the covid virus and this reduces the death risk as well.

This is the data officially available from the WHO. However, there are many rumours doing the rounds that you should stay away from. Governments and authorities around the world are urging people not to panic. Getting vaccinated is a good way to stay protected as well, so ensure you get inoculated if you haven’t done so yet.

Net net, Omicron is expected to be a milder variant of the Covid-19 virus. But given that it is a super spreader, the chances of contracting the virus is high. Hence, it is important to step up your health insurance coverage to the optimum so that you are adequately protected!

Health insurance and Omicron

As stated, Omicron is very new and no one really knows what threat it actually poses. This is why one cannot say with conviction that either a fully-vaccinated person or someone who has recovered from Covid is safe from the variant or not. In such a scenario, it becomes important to take all the necessary precautions. Along with following the Covid safety protocols, you should prioritise getting a good health insurance policy. Health insurance is very important and more so when the threat of the pandemic looms over. Fortunately, all the comprehensive health insurance plans available in India offer a covid protection cover.

Is Omicron covered in your policy?
First, check whether your existing policy covers the Omicron variant. Most of the health indemnity plans cover hospitalisation expenses so they automatically cover covid-19 no matter what the variant is. Since Omicron is nothing but a variant of the covid sars virus, all the complications relating to it are covered under the health insurance plans.

Whether you choose to get a standalone covid protection plan or a comprehensive health insurance plan, you will be assured of getting the coverage you need even if you end up being severely ill with Omicron. Thus all existing health insurance plans cover all hospitalisation expenses due to all infectious diseases including Covid-19 and all its variants, including Omicron. Even covid-specific health insurance plans cover all complications relating to the Omicron variant.

Health insurance cover for Covid 19

The IRDAI has made it compulsory for all the health insurance companies in India to offer a covid 19 cover along with comprehensive health insurance plans. So, if you have a comprehensive plan, whether individual or floater, you will have a covid cover too. There are also standalone covid plans available with every insurance provider. Here are the covers you get under the covid health insurance policies:

  1. In-patient care

    In both the first, as well as the second waves, it was seen that a large number of people required hospitalisation due to covid. The health insurance plans offer comprehensive in-patient covers if you need to spend a few days in the hospital due to this disease. The covers include the room rent, the ICU charges, the physicians’ charges, nursing charges, pharmacy expenses, etc.

  2. Home health care

    If the doctor prescribes home care due to lack of space in the hospital, or due to mobility issues, you can get compensation for the expenses incurred while recovering from Covid at home. This is available with Covid Specific health insurance plans as well.

  3. Consumables cover

    These include the PPE kits, oxygen cylinders, nebulisers, ventilators, masks, gloves, etc.

  4. Cashless treatment

    At a critical time when saving one’s life becomes important, thinking about paying the bill and running around to complete the formalities may seem like a daunting task. This is why the cashless treatment facility proves to be highly beneficial.

  5. Ambulance cover

    Similarly, getting to the hospital in a fragile state can be difficult, as well as hazardous as you may spread the virus on the way. This is why travelling in a covid ambulance is important. The health insurance plans offer an ambulance cover too which allows you to safely and quickly reach the hospital.

These are the effective ways in which a health insurance plan helps if you or a family member gets affected by the Covid virus, including the newer variants. The covid specific health insurance plans have been extended till September 2022, according to the latest circular.

Questions you need to ask yourself:

A low sum insured might not be sufficient if multiple family members are hospitalised at the same time. Although preliminary reports say that Omicron is not extremely dangerous, pre-existing ailments can make conditions worse.

  1. Is your existing health insurance coverage enough?
    To avoid dents on your savings, review your sum insured. Your health insurance plan should have a sum insured sufficient enough to cover the costs of hospitalisation and after-effects or post-treatment complications also. It should be enough to meet all the demands of the treatment. If the sum insured in your existing plan is not enough, invest in an additional comprehensive cover to avoid paying out of your own pocket.

    Tip: Good health insurance coverage reduces the out-of-pocket expenses of individuals. The current out-of-pocket expenses of India is currently at 70%. (Source: New India Express)

  2. Is your family floater plan enough?
    We are aware that Covid-19 is an infectious disease that could lead to multiple people being hospitalised at the same time. So, if you have a family floater health insurance plan, you need to evaluate if the same is enough to provide adequate coverage to all.

    You can have a separate policy for elderly parents. In case your family floater has a low sum insured you can have a super top-up plan to cover the costs in case of simultaneous hospitalizations or prolonged complications.

    Tip: You can choose to step up your health insurance coverage with a super top-up health insurance cover with the deductible as your base plan.

  3. Does your plan have co-payment and sub-limits?

    If your existing plan has a co-payment, make sure it is the minimum otherwise upgrade even if you have to pay a higher premium. Similarly, if it has sub-limits, you can opt to port the same to plan without any sub-limits.

    It is better to be prepared for a medical emergency than to deplete your savings for treatment purposes.

  4. Do you need a Covid-specific plan?
    These are plans specifically covering covid-19 treatment costs and pre and post-hospitalization costs. If your existing plan has a low sum insured, you can urgently purchase a covid specific plan for additional coverage as there is no waiting period and it covers you from day 1.

    Also, you can also invest in a covid-specific plan if you don’t already have a health plan and you are at risk of getting a covid infection. There are two types of covid-specific plans: 

    • Corona Kavach Plan:
      It is a single premium indemnity plan covering both individuals and families for periods of 3.5 months, 6.5 months and 9.5 months. It covers homecare treatment costs, pre and post-hospitalization costs, and ambulance costs.
    • Corona Rakshak
      It is a fixed benefit plan only for individuals and pays the lump-sum amount of the sum insured. It does not cover the costs of home care and hospitalisation of 72 hrs minimum is required to get a claim.

To sum it up, important things to keep in mind while buying a covid health insurance plan or upgrading your existing health plan are the sum insured, it should be enough to cover all your expenses, coverage of all pre and post-treatment costs for you and your family, quick and hassle-free claim settlement and a good network of hospitals to avail of cashless treatment.


Invest in a good health insurance plan and stay covered in a wholesome and well-rounded manner. The last two years have shown us just how unpredictable life can get. While no one can control the circumstances, you surely can stay prepared for the worst. Get a health insurance plan and stay covered against Omicron and all the other deadly covid variants that can cause havoc to your health and also to your finances. Thankfully, there are many good health insurance plans to choose from. Go online, compare, and find the best policy at the best price today!

“Tax Filing tips to Catch-up with the I-T Deadline”

The IT department extended the tax filing deadline to 31st December 2021 for filing your returns for the financial year 2020-21. This extension was allowed keeping in mind the disruptions caused by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the deadline is drawing to a close. Have you filed your taxes yet?

If you haven’t, there is no time to lose. Get working on your tax returns ASAP. To help you along, here are some tax filing tips that can come in handy –

  1. Check for Section 80C deductions

    Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961 is a very popular and beneficial way of claiming tax benefits on your income. It allows specified investments and expenses as a deduction from your taxable income. One such deduction allowed by the section is for your life insurance premiums. You can claim a maximum deduction of INR 1.5 lakhs on the premiums that you pay for your life insurance policy.

    So, check the premium that you paid last year, i.e. before 1st April 2021. Aggregate the premium that you paid for different types of life insurance plans and claim them as a deduction under Section 80C. 

    Besides life insurance premiums, if you have invested in the ELSS scheme of mutual funds, 5-year fixed deposits, PPF, EPF, etc. you can claim them too as a deduction under Section 80C. Remember, the maximum deduction is limited to INR 1.5 lakhs.

    Pro tip: Collect the payment receipts of your life insurance policies. These might be required to provide proof of deduction. Moreover, for the eligible investments that you have made or expenses that you have incurred, keep the documents of such investments or expenses handy.

  2. Account for health insurance premium

    The premium paid towards a health insurance policy is allowed as a deduction under Section 80D. If you are below 60 years, the deduction limit is INR 25,000. If, on the other hand, you are aged 60 and above the limit increases to INR 50,000. This limit includes the premium paid for self, spouse and children. If you insure your parents too, the premium that you pay for their coverage is allowed as an additional deduction under Section 80D. You can claim an additional deduction up to INR 25,000 or INR 50,000 depending on your parents’ age.

    So, check the health insurance premium that you paid last year. Claim a deduction for the premium and reduce your taxable income.

    Pro tip: Like life insurance premium receipts, the receipts of your health insurance premiums should also be kept handy. You might need to submit them as proof of premium payment when claiming the deduction.

  3. Check for other eligible deductions and exemptions

    Besides the two major sections of 80C and 80D for life and health insurance premiums, check other deductions and exemptions that you can claim.

    For instance, if you have a savings account, the interest income up to INR 10,000 can be claimed as a deduction under Section TTA. Similarly, check for capital gains exemptions if you have any capital gains in the last year.

Don’t delay tax filing any longer. Start preparing your tax return and keep these tips in mind to claim the maximum tax benefits. You can also take the help of experienced tax professionals for a quick return filing process. 

Moreover, this year’s last quarter is about to start and you would have to plan your taxes for FY 2021-22 within this quarter. Start planning this year’s taxes in advance. You have the next three months in hand in which you can plan your taxes carefully and avoid the mad year-end rush. Invest in life insurance and health insurance for financial security and make sure that you use the deductions and exemptions allowed by the Income Tax Act to reduce your tax liability.

Turtlemint Recognized for Building “10X Culture that Employees Love!

Turtlemint, an insurtech start-up, which has pioneered the online-offline model and created the largest insurance advisor network in India, has been working towards creating a great workplace for its employees as well. The company has been adopting new-generation tech-led digital tools that help to increase the overall efficiency of the system.

An important adoption of technology has been the partnership of OKR (Objective & Key Results) with xto10x.com to align all important stakeholders of the company with the organization’s goals. Thus, in its endeavour to implement the best practices, Turtlemint has adopted the OKR framework to set goals and track achievements.

As Turtlemint has been growing exponentially since its inception, it was required to have all the people on the same page. This was adopted during the COVID period as people were working remotely and it was necessary to align all the functions together on the same platform to communicate the organization’s goals. There was an eNPS survey conducted by the 10xgoals team for all start-ups and they identified trends based on the eNPS survey done.

In fact, the https://www.xto10x.com/ team have awarded Turtlemint with a certificate to confirm that its employees love working at Turtlemint on the following basis:

  • Turtlemint has secured the top quartile position in the ecosystem with a 76 percentile eNPS.
  • Turtlemint has outperformed the entire ecosystem in career development opportunities for its employees.
  • After the adoption of the technology, 98% of employees are clear on how their work contributes to the team’s objectives.


Turtlemint has always led from the forefront to adopt the best digital tools like “Jira” for swift project management, “Monday” for efficient task management and tracking, encouraged zoom meetings, regularized google meets with employees, etc. to stay connected with the employees and improve the overall efficiency of the system.

Being oriented towards digital-led technological advancements, Turtlemint has always stayed ahead of the curve with its quick adoptions and efficient innovations. This has helped Turtlemint to become the largest network of PoSP’s in India with 1,25,000 Insurance advisors, penetration in 14,000+ pin codes out of 19,000 pin codes in India and more than 3.5 million customers. It has also onboarded 50+ insurers.

What Turtlemint has done is not just a disruption of the market, but, rather, an elevation of the entire insurance ecosystem by empowering the most important cog in the wheel, i.e. the insurance advisor with digital tools and knowledge / skill development resources.

With this recognition, Turtlemint has stepped ahead in the race of digital adoption for its team and aligned the entire organization’s goals in one direction. This award has worked as a testament to the hard work and commitment of Turtlemint’s entire team, the faith and support of its partners, customers, as well as investors.