Covid-19 infections are recovering. Despite the precautionary measures, cases are increasing across the country. While taking precautions and avoiding infection is of the utmost importance given the rate at which it spreads, should you or any member of your family become infected and require medical treatment, you must also prepare for the financial burden.

One way to avoid a financial blow is to take out regular health insurance or treatment-related health insurance under Covid-19. Many insurers have already initiated such plans. However, as we know, health insurance terms are not easy to understand, even for the most savvy.

With this thought The insurance regulator IRDA published guidelines for the standard insurance policies of the Covid-19 health insurance (Coronavirus Health Insurance) last year. It also mandated that all general and standalone health insurance companies must bring these standard Covid-19 plans to market.

As a buyer, it is easy for you to make your choice.

There are two flavors of standard Covid-19 health insurance products proposed by the IRDA.

  1. Corona Kavach: It is a Compensation plan. The insurance company will reimburse hospital costs, including pre and post hospital costs.
  2. Corona Rakshak: That is a Fixed benefit plan, similar to a critical illness plan. If the diagnosis of Covid-19 is positive, the insurance company pays the entire insurance amount and the policy ends. The insurance payment is not related to the actual medical costs incurred for the treatment.

All general and independent health insurance companies must bring the Corona Kavach product with the standard insurance features prescribed by IRDA onto the market. It is not mandatory for an insurer to take out the Corona Rakshak policy.

All insurers must use the same nomenclature (Corona Kavach or Corona Rakshak) when introducing these products. All of these policies (including those from different insurers) have the same policy formulations.

Note that insurers can always bring other Covid-19-related insurance products onto the market in addition to these standard products. For non-standard products, the terms of the contract may vary.

Let’s find out in detail about the plans of Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak.

Corona Kavach: Compensation Based Covid-19 Health Insurance Plan: Key Features

  1. The product is available as both a single and a family floater.
  2. Sum insured: Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lacs, in multiples of Rs 50,000
  3. Compensation plan ie the medical costs for treatment in connection with Covid-19 must be covered.
  4. Any comorbid condition caused by Covid-19 must also be covered during the hospital stay.
  5. Costs before hospitalization covered for 15 days.
  6. Post-hospital expenses Covered for 30 days.
  7. Home care: Up to a maximum of 14 days per incident
  8. Ambulance Fees: Rs 2,000 per hospital stay
  9. Optional cover for daily hospital cash: 0.5% of the sum insured per day for a maximum of 15 days per member.
  10. A minimum stay of 24 hours is required.
  11. The Ayush treatment is covered.
  12. Even the cost of PPE kits is covered. This has created confusion with regular health insurance companies.
  13. Day care and OPD treatment NOT covered
  14. Cashless facility Available in network hospitals
  15. waiting period: 15 days (if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 within 15 days of purchase, the insurance company will not pay for the treatment).
  16. Insurance period: 3.5 months, 6.5 months or 9.5 months. The insurance period includes the waiting period.
  17. Eligibility to participate: Between 18 and 65 years.
  18. As part of the Family Floater Plan, you can include spouses, parents, in-laws, and dependent children up to the age of 25.
  19. No room rent floor
  20. No deductibles are permitted under this policy.
  21. Single premium payment policy
  22. Although the insurance characteristics are the same, different insurers may charge different premiums for the same coverage.
  23. 5% discount for doctors, nurses and other health care workers.
  24. The name of the policy is Corona Kavach, followed by the name of the insurance company. Eg Corona Kavach Politics-ICICI Lombard, Corona Kavach Politics-Max Bupa
  25. According to the original guidelines, these guidelines should remain in effect until March 31, 2021. However, as the coronavirus pandemic has recovered, the IRDA announced in its circular dated March 24, 2021 allowed insurers to issue / renew Corona Kavach (and Corona Rakshak) contracts until September 30, 2021. There is no concept of lifelong renewal in these guidelines.

I checked the premium for Corona Kavach Policy on the Max Bupa website.

Age: 35, Cover: Rs 5 lacs

3.5 months premium: Rs 1,956

6.5 month premium: Rs 2,608

9.5 month premium: Rs 3,260

This LiveMint article shows the cost of the Corona Kavach policy for different insurance periods between insurers.

Corona Rakshak: Standard Covid-19 Fixed Benefit Health Plan: Key Features

  1. Just individual plan available. Family Floater Plan not available.
  2. Sum insured: Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lacs
  3. Fixed benefit plan. The entire insurance amount is paid as a lump sum if Covid-19 is diagnosed. The payment of the insurance has no relation to the treatment costs.
  4. A positive diagnosis of Covid-19 must be made by a government-authorized diagnostic center. A minimum stay of 72 hours is required.
  5. If the hospital stay is less than 72 hours, the insurance company is not required to pay.
  6. waiting period: 15 days (if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 within 15 days of purchase, the insurance company will not pay anything).
  7. Insurance period: 3.5 months, 6.5 months or 9.5 months. The insurance period includes the waiting period.
  8. Eligibility to participate: Between 18 and 65 years.
  9. As with the Corona Kavach policy, there is no concept of renewal. Lifetime extension not applicable
  10. The name of the policy is Corona Rakshak followed by the name of the insurance company. E.g. Corona Rakshak Politics-ICICI Lombard, Corona Rakshak Politics-Max Bupa

Which is better: Corona Rakshak or Corona Kavach Policy?

Before responding, you need to check if you need any Covid-19 specific guidelines. If you already have private health insurance or employer group insurance, you are likely covered for medical treatment related to Covid-19.

Check with your insurer. In addition, there has been some confusion about treatment costs and hospital costs. Regular health insurance does not cover consumables. As far as I know, consumables like PPE kits and masks have made up a significant portion of hospital bills in some hospitals. Contact your insurer on these aspects as well. As soon as you are sure that your existing insurer will cover the treatment costs for Covid-19, the need for Covid-19-specific health insurance plans will automatically decrease.

You are better off upgrading your existing coverage, or buying a super top-up plan to upgrade your health insurance, than buying Covid-19 specific coverage. However, eYou can only improve your health insurance when you renew your policy. If your policy renewal is some time away, these Covid-specific systems can add value.

If you don’t have adequate health insurance or just want to play it safe, you can buy either of these two plans. Please understand that purchasing a Corona Kavach or Corona Rakshak plan does not eliminate the need to purchase regular health insurance if you do not have adequate health insurance.

Consider the maximum sum insured between the two Covid-19 plans discussed above. Corona Kavach has a maximum sum insured of Rs 5 lacs and Corona Rakshak has a maximum sum insured of Rs 2.5 lacs. This enables higher coverage in Corona Kavach.

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Corona Kavach is available in the Family Floater variant. Corona Rakshak is not. So if you want to buy Corona Rakshak for your family, you will need to purchase individual guidelines for each member. This increases the cost in the case of Corona Rakshak.

The two points mentioned above speak in favor of Corona Kavach’s policy.

On the other hand, the insurance company with the Corona Rakshak policy pays the entire insurance amount at a flat rate after 72 hours of hospitalization after a positive diagnosis. You don’t have to worry about permitted or prohibited expenses that you will have to make in the case of Corona Kavach. At the same time, please note that the hospital stay in Corona Rakshak must be at least 72 hours (in Corona Kavach only 24 hours). What if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 and the hospital stay is less than 72 hours?

As you can see, it’s not that simple.

Much also depends on the premium amounts for the two types of policies. I can’t find a lot of premium information on Corona Rakshak guidelines.

what do you prefer? Corona Kavach or Corona Rakshak or not because you think your health insurance is sufficient?

Additional links

Corona Rakshak: Covid-19 standard guidelines for health insurance with fixed benefits (IRDA guidelines)

Corona Kavach: Covid-19 standard health insurance plan (IRDA guidelines)

IRDA press release: Corona Kavach Policy

Link to Max Bupa’s Corona Kavach guidelines


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