With the daily number of COVID-19 cases rising steeply, insurance companies are refusing to give health cover to persons recovered from COVID-19 and are asking them to wait up to six months for renewal of policies.
Most of the insurers are iffy about on-boarding customers who have just recovered from COVID-19, said an insurance sector official. “As a result, insurers have put a cooling off period of 3-6 months after COVID detection,” he added.
The delay in renewals has come amid reports that insurers are refusing to pay up in many cases despite the directive of IRDAI that hospital bills under the ‘cashless system’ will have to be settled within two hours of discharge. “There are even complaints that some insurers are refusing to issue new COVID policies to persons without any illness fearing a spurt in claims,” a source said.
According to government data, there are 1.87 crore confirmed COVID-19 cases in India, of which 1.53 crore have recovered. These people may have to wait for some time before getting themselves covered again.
Anand Roy, Managing Director, Star Health and Allied Insurance, stated, “A cooling off period is to ensure that customers have recovered completely, (and they) are not experiencing any immediate side effects of the infection and are in optimum health at the policy proposal stage. As most COVID survivors only experience mild symptoms, availing insurance cover should not be a problem.”
Amit Chhabra, Head – Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com, said., “This means one can buy a health insurance policy only after 3-6 months of having turned COVID negative. Given the rate at which COVID is spreading right now, it’s advisable for all to get a health insurance plan now, and don’t wait, because in case one gets COVID, it will become difficult to get the health insurance plan immediately.”