Yesterday I was at a medicine shop buying some personal items when I encountered two different individuals who came to purchase diabetes testing equipment. I wouldn’t have given it a second thought had not a third individual come into the shop buying diabetes medication. Three people at the same time for a same affliction made me wonder, has diabetes really become such a universal phenomenon? If numbers are to be believed, the Indian Diabetes Federation showed that about 65 million of the Indian population was afflicted with diabetes in the year 2013 putting our country in the second rank followed by China in the incidence of diabetes. Shocking, isn’t it? Diabetes brings with it susceptibility to ailments and ailments result in medical solicitation which means money. A person buys health insurance solely for the purpose of protecting themselves against the financial burden caused in case of medical contingencies but is diabetes covered under your medical insurance plan?
Diabetes is usually categorized as a pre-existing illness and is exempted from the scope of coverage for certain years. This is a cause of distress among the general population because, judging by the incidence of infliction, almost 70% of the populace is suffering from the ailment and want their health plans to cover diabetes. But here is the good news – many health insurance providers have launched plans specifically for covering diabetes. These health plans cover any medical contingency faced which arises due to diabetes and are a blessing to the diabetes suffering population of India. They, however, warrant a detailed understanding before you go jumping with joy to invest in the plans without knowing the coverage and exclusions.
First, let us understand the concept of diabetes as a whole. First and foremost, there are two types of diabetes
Insurers have come up with plans catering particularly to these variants. Moreover, earlier, diabetes affected people in the middle-ages or old ages but with the change in the lifestyle habits, diabetes is seen ailing young and adults both. So, let us study the plans in context to the type of diabetes covered and their suitability for the young and the old.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune diabetes condition where the body attacks the pancreas and destroys the insulin producing cells as a result of which the body stops making insulin and blood sugar level soars. This type of diabetes is usually found in children and teenagers and treatment involves insulin injections. The condition affects a very low percentage of the population and is dangerous. As such this type of ailment is not easily covered by health insurers. However, some health insurance companies have plans cover Type 1 diabetes which are:
• Star Diabetes Safe Plan
This plan covers both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes with various additional features. The plan comes in two variants of Plan A and Plan B. Let us take a look at the highlights of each plan:
Under this variant, the insured individual has to undergo a pre-entrance medical examination, the total cost of which is reimbursed by the company if the policy is issued.
There is No waiting period for any diabetes related complication and the coverage begins immediately after the policy is issued.
This variant differs from the previous one in the sense that no medical examination is required to be undertaken by the proposer before the policy is issued. However, there is a waiting period of 30 days from the commencement of the plan before you will be covered for any diabetes related complications. Moreover, you will have to wait for 15 months to cover any cardio-vascular, renal complications, diseases of the eye and foot ulcers.
• National Parivar Mediclaim Plan
This plan is offered by National Insurance Company which covers both Type 1 and 2 Diabetes from the inception of the policy without any waiting periods if the policyholder is willing to pay an additional 10% premium for the same. The provider also charges a loading of 13.5 % to include diabetes in the plan. Other features include coverage for hospitalization, pre and post hospitalization, cashless facility of claim settlement, etc.
Type 2 Diabetes
It is a commonly occurring ailment which affects almost 90% of the diabetic population and involves easy treatment. The plans covering
Type 2 Diabetes are:
• Apollo Munich Energy Plan
The plan covers only Type 2 Diabetes and comes in two variants of Gold and Silver. Under the Gold variant, the cost of pre-entrance medical tests is borne by the company while under the Silver variant the cost is to be borne by the proposer. The plan provides immediate coverage of diabetes related complications without the applicability of any waiting period, no sub-limits on room rent, diabetes management program complete with doctor’s consultation, premium discounts as rewards for proper health management among other features. However, the underwriting rules for the plan are stringent and people ailing with other related conditions along with diabetes may or may not be covered.
• Star Diabetes Safe Plan
As already discussed, this plan covers both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and offers two different plan variants.
• National Parivar Mediclaim Plan
Type 2 Diabetes is also covered and the underwriting rules are lenient as diabetes can be included without any waiting period by paying an extra premium.
Health insurance options for young adults with Diabetes
Believe it or not, diabetes is not only an area of concern for the aged as more and more young adults are falling prey to the disease. However, the good news is that diabetes does not present a major complication in young adults in the early stages of diagnosis as the risk of contingency is lower. They do not require diabetes specific plans and can opt for plans which cover diabetes after a waiting period of 3-4 years. They can utilize the other unique features of the plan while at the same time including their diabetes as a pre-existing illness in their coverage.
Here are some noteworthy plans which cover diabetes after a specified period but offer features such as sum assured restore which adds as a bonus feature to the existing plan.
• Religare Care
A plan which covers diabetes after 4 years and promises various benefits like auto recharge of the Sum Assured, health check-ups every year, no sub-limits on room rent, no claim-based loading on premiums, facility of increasing the Sum Assured to 200% through no claim bonus increase in Sum Assured @10% along with a 50% super no claim bonus, organ donor and domiciliary expenses and others.
• Max Bupa Health Companion
Diabetes is covered after a waiting period of 2 years. The features include no sub-limits on room rent, refill of Sum Assured, AYUSH treatment, etc.
• L & T Medisure Classic
A plan covering diabetes after 3 years, promises great features of Sum Assured restoration, any age entry and lifelong renewals, maternity and new-born baby cover, Ayurvedic treatment coverage, unlimited day care procedure coverage to name a few.
• Star Family Optima
Star Family Optima is another plan from Star Health where diabetes is covered after 4 years. Other features include up to 100% Sum Assured restoration with extra restoration of up to 30% of the Sum Assured, health check-up benefit after every 3 years, new born baby coverage, 400 day care treatments, etc.
Health insurance options for elderly or parents with Diabetes
With growing age the immunity decreases. Along with the age if the individual has been a diabetic for many years the immunity decreases and the probability of complications are high. With growing age the options to buy health insurance plans also decreases. Here are a few good options for senior citizens or parents with Diabetes
• Star Diabetes Safe Plan
This plan is available till the age of 65 years and renewable for lifetime. (The highlights of the plan are already discussed above.)
• Star Senior Citizens Red Carpet Plan
This plan is ideally suited for elder individuals above 65 years and available till 75 years of age with lifelong renew-ability which treats diabetes as a pre-existing illness and covers it after a waiting period of 12 months.
To know more about this plan click here.
So, do not worry if you are diabetic, modern developments in the health insurance industry has a solution for everyone. Get your coverage under a good policy based on your requirements and live a tension-free life.
Eat well, exercise regularly, have your medications on time, monitor your sugars regularly, and be well insured!!