DOES HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY COVER OMICRON COVID VARIANT

 

What is Omicron?

Omicron is the variant of Coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 or B.1.1.529 and has more than thirty mutations on its spike protein. It is a heavily mutated COVID variant that is highly contagious even more than the Delta variant as it comprises more than twice the mutations. The World Health Organisation has declared it a coronavirus variant of concern. Identified initially in South Africa in November 2021, this variant is fast spreading, with COVID-19 cases increasing four times in two weeks.

The omicron symptoms are similar to the other coronavirus variants, along with scratchy throat and tiredness irrespective of the patient’s age. The only change noticed is that people diagnosed with the omicron virus have not lost sense of taste and have not experienced any significant drop in oxygen saturation levels. Most Omicron COVID-positive people are seen to have recovered without the need for hospitalization. However, the omicron variant of COVID-19 has been declared severe with quick transmission and strong health impact.

As of 7th February 2022, the total of global coronavirus cases is 39,52,72,465, while more than 57,41,231 people have lost their lives. India has detected about 4,22,72,014 COVID-19 cases. Amongst these, about 5,02,874 people have lost their lives due to the virus, and over 10,050 Omicron cases have been reported in India.

Considering the COVID-19 impact, it is wise to stay prepared for sudden medical emergencies due to the Omicron variant by buying an Omicron inclusive health insurance policy.

“In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path - the path of compassion, courage, understanding, and love.” ― Amit Ray.

 

Health Insurance for Omicron COVID variant and its benefits

The health insurance policy for the Omicron COVID variant majorly covers the treatment expenses of the omicron variant of coronavirus. It is a complete coronavirus health insurance plan that provides financial assistance to pay for the medical expenses incurred on hospitalization or home treatment if the insured is diagnosed positive with the Omicron virus. Being a COVID variant, it is covered under all health insurance plans in India, similar to the coronavirus.

The health insurance policy for the omicron variant provides comprehensive coverage to the insured once the initial waiting period is over and covers the entire treatment cost of the omicron virus instantly as coronavirus is not a pre-existing or a prolonged disease.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of purchasing a health insurance policy covering COVID-19, including the Omicron variant;

  • Expenses coverage – A complete health insurance policy covering COVID-19 and its variants covers all the medical expenses incurred on hospitalization once tested positive for the virus. It also pays for the medical expenses on availing treatment for the omicron variant at home as advised by a doctor. Moreover, it covers the cost of consumables like masks, gloves, PPE kits, and oxygen used during the treatment of the Omicron COVID variant.
  • Cashless hospitalization – The policy allows the insured to avail cashless hospitalization facilities to treat the Omicron virus at a wide network of hospitals affiliated with the insurance provider. 
  • Add-ons – To enhance the policy, a few add-on covers can be used to provide coverage against the Omicron variant on the payment of an additional premium amount.

 

Is Omicron covered under the existing health insurance policy?

Since there is already an existing health insurance plan to cover the COVID-19 treatment, the question arises is Omicron a part of it or a separate policy altogether. Yes, the Omicron variant being a part of the coronavirus becomes a part of the complete health insurance policy for COVID-19 treatment itself. As it is not a new disease, the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India declared all existing health insurance plans to be liable to provide coverage for COVID-19 treatment irrespective of its variant as it is an infectious disease. So, all policies offering coverage for COVID-19 treatment will automatically cover the treatment cost for the Omicron variant as well.

The rules here state if a person owns a health insurance policy and is diagnosed with the Omicron virus, the insurance company will pay for the treatment expenses, and no additional waiting periods are applicable. However, if a person does not have an existing health insurance plan and purchases it only after testing positive for the Omicron variant, then the policy shall not cover the treatment costs. And also, if someone is diagnosed with the Omicron variant during the initial waiting period of their health insurance plan, then again, the medical expenses incurred on the treatment will not be covered.

 

Inclusions & Exclusions of health insurance for Omicron COVID variant

Having an all-inclusive health insurance plan for covering against the COVID-9, including the Omicron variant, is a great advantage; however, it is essential to be aware of what all in included or comes under the coverage.

Let’s look at the policy coverage inclusions for the Omicron COVID variant;

  • Hospitalization expenses
  • Home treatment expenses
  • Ambulance expenses
  • Pre-hospitalization treatment expenses
  • Post-hospitalization treatment expenses
  • Day-care procedures
  • Organ donor costs
  • Other treatments like Ayush
  • Critical illness hospitalization expenses
  • Recovery benefit charges
  • Daily hospital cash requirement

Exclusions of health insurance for the Omicron COVID variant include;

  • Quarantine expenses at a non-recognized center or home
  • Omicron diagnosed test conducted at an unauthorized center
  • Hospitalization without doctor advice
  • Travel to a restricted country
  • Unproven treatments
  • Dietary supplements

The Omicron virus through severe can be avoided if certain precautions are followed at all times. To stay safe from the Omicron COVID variant, always wear masks outside, maintain social distancing, avoid huge gatherings, wash or sanitize hands, and get fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

“Mask Up! And save a life today.” ― Anthony T. Hincks.

 

FAQs – Frequently asked questions

Let’s look at some frequent queries on health insurance for the omicron COVID variant;

 

Q1. Can health insurance for the omicron COVID variant be bought online?

Ans: Yes. You can buy a health insurance plan covering COVID variants, including Omicron, online by visiting the websites of the insurance companies or brokers. You can also compare various health insurance plans covering the coronavirus to find the best deal per your budget.

 

Q2. Do we need to undergo a medical test before buying a health insurance policy for the Omicron COVID variant?

Ans: Mostly, people do not have to undergo a pre-policy medical test to buy a health insurance plan for the Omicron variant of coronavirus unless they have a pre-existing illness.

 

Q3. Can a health insurance policy for the omicron COVID variant cover the entire family?

Yes. You can buy a health insurance policy for the Omicron variant of coronavirus for covering your entire family. However, it largely depends on the availability of the sum insured on an individual.

 

Q4. Can tax benefits be availed under health insurance for the Omicron COVID variant?

Ans: Yes. Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 states that tax benefits can be availed on the premium paid for a health insurance policy covering the COVID-19 variants, including the Omicron virus.

 

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