The Coronavirus pandemic is getting worse day by day as more and more individuals are being infected globally. In India, as of 10th July 2020, there are more than 7.9 lakh active cases of COVID infection (Source: Times of India) while globally, the cases have touched the 12 million mark (Source: Worldometers) and the numbers are still climbing. As more and more individuals are falling prey to the virus, the need to face the financial implication of the illness has become important. While health insurance plans cover the cost of hospitalisation due to COVID, the cost of PPE kits and consumables are excluded. In case of COVID hospitalisation, such excluded costs constitute a primary portion of your medical bills and result in considerable out of pocket expenses. As such, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) asked insurers to come up with a short-term COVID 19 health insurance plan.
An English proverb says “Necessity is the mother of invention” and the IRDA’s directive resulted in the birth of two COVID insurance plans – Corona Kavach Insurance and Corona Rakshak Insurance. Both these plans are short-term health insurance plans. Let’s understand what these plans are all about –
Corona Kavach Insurance Policy
The Corona Kavach insurance policy is an indemnity oriented health insurance plan which covers the costs incurred if you are hospitalised due to Coronavirus. The features of the policy are as follows –
- Individuals aged between 18 years and 65 years can buy the policy on an individual or family floater basis. For dependent children, the entry age is 1 day to 25 years.
- Under the family floater variant, self, spouse, dependent children, dependent parents and parents-in-law can be covered
- The sum insured start from INR 50,000 and goes up to INR 5 lakhs in multiples of INR 50,000
- There are three policy tenures to choose from – 3.5 months (105 days), 6.5 months (195 days)and 9.5 months (285 days)
- Coverage is available after a waiting period of 15 days. Coverage is offered only for hospitalisation due to COVID.
- The plan does not offer the benefits of lifelong renewals or portability
- Pre-existing illnesses as well as co-morbidities are covered under the policy
- A single premium is payable to buy the plan
Coverage under the COVID Kavach health insurance plan is offered for the following –
- Room rent
- Boarding and nursing expenses
- ICU and ICCU room rent
- Fees payable to surgeons, doctors, consultants, anaesthetists and medical practitioners
- Cost of anaesthesia, oxygen, blood, ventilator, surgical appliances, medicines, diagnostics, PPE kits, masks, gloves and other consumables
- Cost of ambulance up to INR 2000
- Treatment taken at home for up to 14 days after being diagnosed COVID positive. In such cases, the cost of diagnostics, medicines, consultations, oximeter, nursing expenses, etc. would be covered
- AYUSH treatments for COVID
- Pre-hospitalisation expenses for 15 days
- Post hospitalisation expenses for 30 days
Moreover, there is an add-on hospital cash benefit allowance which can be chosen at an additional premium. This benefit pays 0.5% of the sum insured for each day of hospitalisation for up to 15 days.
Corona Rakshak Health Insurance
Another standard COVID 19 health insurance plan is the Corona Rakshak health insurance plan. Contrary to Corona Kavach insurance, this plan is a fixed benefit health insurance plan. This means that the plan pays a lump sum benefit if you test positive for Coronavirus. The features of the plan are as follows –
- The plan is available on an individual sum insured basis only
- Claim is paid if you are tested positive for Coronavirus and you are hospitalised for at least 72 continuous hours
- Spouse, dependent children, dependent parents and parents-in-law can be covered under the policy on an individual sum insured basis
- The policy comes in three durations – 3.5 months (105 days), 6.5 months (195 days)and 9.5 months (285 days)
- Sum insured is available from INR 50,000 to INR 2.5 lakhs in multiples of INR 50,000
Being short term, COVID specific health insurance plans, the premiums of both the policies are low and affordable. Here is a comparative chart showing the details of both Corona Kavach insurance premium and Corona Rakshak insurance premium charged by Future Generali at different parameters if the sum insured is chosen to be INR 2.5 lakhs under both the plans –
Difference between the plans
Though both Corona Kavach insurance and Corona Rakshak plan are standard health plans offered solely for covering the medical costs incurred due to Coronavirus infection, both these plans are different. Here is a table showing the comparative difference between the two –
Points of difference
Corona Kavach insurance
Corona Rakshak insurance
Type of policy
Indemnity plan which covers actual medical costs
Fixed benefit plan which pays a lump sum benefit
Basis of coverage
Both individual and family floater coverage allowed
Only individual coverage allowed
INR 50,000 to INR 5 lakhs
INR 50,000 to INR 2.5 lakhs
Payment of claim
On hospitalisation due to COVID for at least 24 hours
On hospitalisation due to COVID for at least 72 hours
Which one should you buy?
Both these policies are suitable for your short term coverage needs against COVID infection. If you already have an existing indemnity health plan, remember that the plan would not cover the cost of consumables in case of COVID hospitalisation. Since the cost of consumables would be high, you can buy Corona Kavach insurance which covers all possible costs incurred if you are hospitalised due to COVID. In fact, the COVID Kavach insurance plan also covers home treatment expenses thereby allowing you coverage for home quarantine too. While your normal health plan might not provide coverage for home treatments, the Corona Kavach insurance policy would and it would cover all possible costs incurred in treating you. The premiums are also quite low making the plan all the more feasible.
When it comes to Corona Rakshak health insurance plan, it gives you a lump sum benefit on hospitalisation for 72 hours or more. This benefit would help you meet the non-medical financial costs which you might suffer if you are tested positive for COVID. The plan, therefore, acts as a supplemental coverage which you can opt for if you have an existing indemnity policy. The lump sum benefit paid under the plan can be used to pay for the cost of consumables which are excluded from the claim of your normal health plan.
Both these policies are the need of the hour when COVID cases have become as common as the common flu. With more and more households falling victim to this dreaded illness, it is better to have complete coverage for the possible medical expenses that you would incur if you suffer from the infection. Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak are short-term plans which cost low but provide complete financial protection against the medical expenses of COVID. So, invest in these plans and secure your finances against this pandemic.