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11 per cent health insurance claims during April-August triggered by Covid: Survey

New Delhi

Health insurance claims arising from Covid-19 infections and associated treatment costs stood at as much as 11 per cent of all health insurance claims raised during the first five months of the current fiscal year, said a research survey conducted by financial services markteplace Policybazaar.com.

According to the study, increasing incidence of coronavirus cases and the rising cost of treatment have also been promoting more people to opt for health insurance. The marketplace accounts for about 10 per cent of India’s retail health insurance market and said the data analysed was for the period between April 1 to August 31.

“As per Policybazaar data, Covid claims are only 11 per cent out of overall claims. The rest 89 per cent are of other major illnesses…,” it said, adding that the pandemic has “triggered everyone to prioritise health insurance like never before, not only for protection against a pandemic but also against any bigger events or illnesses like lifestyle diseases”.

The survey also noted that the cost of treatment may go up to more than Rs 10 lakh in case of prolonged hospitalisation.A comprehensive health insurance policy with Rs 10 lakh sum insured for a 32-year-old costs anywhere between Rs 7,000–9,000 annually, it pointed out.

“As all the health insurance policies are being sold online in the last three months, the demand for 1 crore (sum assured) grew from 3 per cent to 40 per cent. Amidst the Covid scare, most people are looking at protecting themselves and their families with a whole some plan,” said Amit Chhabra, Head-Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com.

A comprehensive plan available in the market with ₹a Rs 1 crore sum insured for a 32-year-old will cost somewhere around Rs 13,000-15,000 annually, the survey noted. The health insurance business for the company also grew rapidly, by 130 per cent during July and 90 per cent during the April-June quarter. The high cost of hospitalisation is also due to the age distribution of people with serious Covid infections, predominantly older people, where co-morbidities increase costs.

Costly treatment

The survey noted that treatment cost may go up to more than `10 lakh in case of prolonged hospitalisation, which has been seen in mostly older patients

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