With water borne diseases on the rise, many are left wondering if their health insurance shall cover them in case they are diagnosed with one. Read this article to know whether your plan financially covers you against dengue and pneumonia.
Incessant rains, stagnant water, and floods are the perfect conditions to spread diseases such as dengue and pneumonia. Both diseases have one thing in common - they require proper rest and medication for recovery. While most cases of dengue and pneumonia respond to treatment at home with medication, diet, and rest, severe cases might require hospitalisation.
With illness comes heavy medical bills and the stress of paying these bills. Health insurance is a God send gift in such times. However, insurance doesn't necessarily cover all diseases. Let us find out if monsoon-related illnesses such as dengue and pneumonia are covered by health insurance.
What Are the Symptoms and Treatment Options?
Before moving on to the intricacies of health insurance coverage, let us understand the symptoms and treatment options for the diseases.
Dengue is a common disease in the sub-tropical and tropical regions whose prevalence has increased 30 times over the last 50 years. It is a viral disease caused by the bite of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
The common symptoms of dengue are fever, joint and muscle pains, nausea, headache, rashes, and eye pain. These symptoms are observed during the initial phase. Some of the more severe symptoms such as internal bleeding, disorientation, weak pulse, and constant vomiting indicate that the disease has progressed on to a critical stage that may warrant hospitalisation.
Low count of white blood cells, platelets and metabolic acidosis are used to ascertain the presence of dengue.
Pneumonia is an infection that leads to inflamed lungs. It can be viral, fungal or bacterial. Even though it affects people of all ages, it is particularly dangerous in kids and older adults. The symptoms include fever, coughing, green or rusty sputum, headache, chills, shortness of breath, chest pain, increased heart rate, nausea and vomiting.
Hydration and over the counter medicines are usually enough to treat pneumonia. However, if your disease has progressed, your condition is critical or if your immune system is already weakened, then you may require hospitalisation.
Are Dengue and Pneumonia Covered Under Health Insurance?
If you have comprehensive coverage, then all hospitalisation charges including room rent, pre and post hospitalisation will be covered by your health insurance. The coverage is applicable for dengue and pneumonia as well. However, the concern here is that most cases of dengue and pneumonia do not require hospitalisation. If it doesn't require hospitalisation, then one might think that there is no need for insurance, right? Wrong!
Your expenses are not limited to hospital charges alone. Recuperating at home can rake up a significant bill amount. Here are the expenses you will incur for treatment at home:
Your doctor will need to perform a few tests to confirm the presence of the disease. Once confirmed, you may need to repeat the tests to monitor and confirm your recovery.
If you are getting treatment at home, then you will be taking antibiotics and medicines to control the fever. You can also choose alternative medicines such as Ayurveda, Homoeopathy or Siddha for your treatment.
Loss of Income
Both dengue and pneumonia are communicable diseases that require complete bed rest for proper recovery. The symptoms can get aggravated without adequate rest and can increase the severity of the disease to the point that you may need hospitalisation. You will have to miss work during this time, and this can lead to loss of income.
The symptoms associated with dengue and pneumonia recommend bed rest. This means that you will need help during this phase. You may have to hire a home nurse, and this becomes another added expense.
All of the above costs put together can become quite large. Since it is an unplanned and unexpected expense, it can put a dent in your financials. Your health insurance may not cover all these expenses. However, a dengue or pneumonia specific insurance or an add-on to the existing plan will cover these expenses and more!
What is Dengue or Pneumonia Insurance?
Dengue and pneumonia have become more prevalent. There were around 1 lakh cases of dengue in the year 2018. Pneumonia continues to take the lives of many children. Insurance providers have recognised that there is a need for a policy that covers the treatment for diseases like these that are mostly treated at home, but still accrue a high medical bill. Companies such as Bajaj Finserv, DHFL, and Apollo Munich have come up with dengue specific insurance policies. These can either be chosen as an add-on to your existing health insurance or as a standalone policy. Here are some of the features of such policies:
- They have low premiums. The premium amount comes to around Rs. 400 to Rs. 600 for a year.
- They cover the expenses incurred during hospitalisation as well as for receiving treatment at home. There is coverage of Rs. 50000 to Rs. 1 lakh for hospital-related expenses and Rs. 10000 for outpatient treatment.
- A claim for this policy will not affect your normal health insurance. Even if you claim the dengue insurance, you are still allowed to get the No-Claim Bonus for your health insurance renewal in the following year.
Should You Invest in Dengue or Pneumonia Insurance?
Naturally, all this leads to the question - should you get a dengue or pneumonia insurance? The answer varies from person to person. Since the insurance covers only the specific disease and no other diseases, it wouldn't be wise to get only the dengue or pneumonia insurance. However, if you live in an area that puts you at risk of contracting these diseases, then getting an add-on coverage for these conditions would be a good idea. The low premium, combined with the fact that a claim on the add-on does not impact your regular health insurance makes it a worthwhile investment. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Getting insurance, even an add-on, requires some considerations. You should compare the policies offered by different providers and narrow down the one that meets all your needs. You can use an online aggregator for this. Start comparing right now to get the best deals!
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