The world is reeling under the widespread incidence of Coronavirus which, though has its origin in China, has spread world over. The disease is on the brink of being labelled as a pandemic as it has spread to many countries across the globe. What is causing panic among individuals is the fatal nature of the virus. More than 96,000 cases of Coronavirus have been reported as of 5th March 2020 and the recorded number of deaths so far has been more than 3300 (Source: Worldometers.info).
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a type of virus which causes flu like illness in humans. It is named as such because of its shape which is round with crown-like protrusions around the circle. The symptoms range from cough, cold, fever and other symptoms which are like flu and so, diagnosis becomes a challenge.
What started out as a viral infection in China has now spread to Europe, Middle-East Asia, South America and even India. Though the cases in India are low, given the contagious nature of the virus, the spread can be quick and the numbers might increase manifold. You should, therefore, take extreme precautionary measures to ensure that you and your family members are not exposed to the virus. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind –
- Invest in masks and wear them at all places, even at your own home. Masks are the first step to take so that the virus does not enter in your blood stream through breathing
- Wash your hands multiple times using soap or a hand wash. Washing would ensure that any germs sticking to your hand would be washed off.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer every time you eat or drink. The sanitizer would kill the virus if it is present on your hands and keep you safe.
- Maintain a distance of at least three feet with a person who is sneezing or who is suffering from flu-like symptoms
- If you have cough or cold, always keep a paper tissue handy. Sneeze or cough by placing the tissue on your mouth and then dispose-off the tissue immediately
- If you have any type of flu-like symptoms like fever, cold, cough, etc., immediately get checked. You might or might not test positive for coronavirus but early detection helps in preventing the spread of the disease among others.
- Do not eat outside food especially in places where proper hygiene is not maintained.
- Do not attend large social gatherings as infected individuals present at such gatherings pose a threat to infect others
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth frequently. Even when you touch, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and then do so
- Do not spit in public places
- Do not make travel plans as many countries have been infected with the virus.
How health insurance can help?
Suspected coronavirus cases are quarantined for 12-14 days to incubate the virus. After incubation it can be found whether individuals have the virus or not. If an individual test positive it usually results in hospitalisation wherein the individual is kept isolated and then treated. This hospitalisation can be of a considerable period and incurs substantial expenses.
A regular health insurance plan can come to your rescue in such cases. In case you are hospitalized for Coronavirus, your regular Health Insurance Plan would pay for the expenses and the treatment for the same. The plan would pay for the inpatient hospitalisation costs incurred when you test positive and are hospitalised for care and treatment. It would pay for the following costs which are incurred on an inpatient basis –
- Doctor’s Consultation fees
- Room rent
- ICU room rent if you are admitted to the ICU
- Daily cash allowance
- Pre-Hospitalization and Post-Hospitalization benefits
However, recently Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Given the current status of the illness, coverage allowed by health insurance plans has come under a shadow. Some health insurance policies are offering coverage for the above-mentioned medical costs given that the incidence rate of the illness in India is low. However, other health insurance companies are exercising caution. Given the pandemic nature of the disease, coverage is being restricted. So, you should find out from your health insurance company whether or not your plan would cover Coronavirus claims or not.
A specialized health plan for Coronavirus
Though regular health insurance plans take care of the inpatient costs, Go Digit General Insurance Company has launched a specialized health insurance plan for fighting the financial implication of coronavirus. The plan is a fixed benefit health insurance plan which pays the full sum insured in lump sum if you are diagnosed positive for coronavirus. Moreover, even if you are quarantined before testing for the virus, 50% of the sum insured is paid in lump sum to help you meet the associated financial costs of such quarantine even if you are later tested negative. The sum insured ranges from INR 25,000 to INR 2 lakhs and the premium per person is very low at INR 299. The plan, therefore, helps you battle the financial crisis suffered in case of a coronavirus attack. You can check the details of the plan from the Turtlemint website.
Coronavirus is spreading havoc worldwide and necessitating the need to take preventive measures to stay protected. While you can practice proper hygiene and care to avoid contracting the virus, having a health insurance plan for contingencies is also a wise choice. So, invest in a health plan for emergencies and stay protected.