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Natural medicines and therapies are an integral part of Indian history and culture. In India, the majority of people prefer Ayurvedic and natural treatments over allopathic treatments. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medicine system, focuses on identifying and eliminating the root cause of any disease by purifying the body. Different types of Ayurvedic therapies that are commonly used in the treatment of any disease are:
Shodhana therapy is used to detoxify the body.
Shamana therapy treats body imbalance using herbal medicines.
Ppathya Vyavastha prescribes various natural diets and activities to a patient.
Nidan parivarjan eliminates factors that aggravate a disease.
Satvavajaya involves a psychological impact on the patient’s mind to improve his willpower.
Rasayana therapy works on improving the immune system of a patient.
Ayurveda along with Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy form the AYUSH treatments which are alternative treatments of allopathy. Identifying the potential of AYUSH treatments, the government and IRDAI have made it mandatory for all health insurance providers to cover AYUSH treatments upto the sum insured through a standard health insurance product called Arogya Sanjeevani.
In recent times, there is a sudden increase in demand for alternative medicines. More and more people are switching to AYUSH treatments because of the benefits of these treatments. Here are some of its major advantages:
These treatments are slow but highly effective as they eliminate the root cause of any ailment. Being natural, these treatments also do not have any side effects in the long run.
These treatments are affordable as compared to allopathic treatments and procedures.
These treatments are a part of Indian culture and history and so are easily available even in the remotest areas where there are no hospitals.
These treatments are mild, so can be easily used for senior citizens or any high-risk patient.
These treatments are proven to cure lifestyle diseases if followed diligently.
AYUSH medicines are beneficial in preventive care for life-threatening diseases like cancer.
Some primary features of AYUSH coverage provided by health insurance plans are:
Coverage is available for a minimum of 24 hours of in-patient hospitalisation for availing of AYUSH treatment.
The coverage is available through government-recognised dedicated AYUSH hospitals or AYUSH daycare centres.
Coverage is available only if the AYUSH treatment is medically necessary and advised by a recognised Ayurvedic practitioner.
Some exclusions of AYUSH coverage offered in a health insurance plan are:
Treatment or admission in a hospital not recognised by the government.
Pre and post-hospitalisation expenses
Health check-ups or investigative procedures
Treatments that are not medically necessary
If you are buying a health insurance plan with AYUSH coverage, here are certain important points not to miss in AYUSH coverage.
Every insurance company has different terms and conditions for the AYUSH coverage they offer. Hence, please check the policy terms and conditions before choosing a health insurance plan.
Check whether the AYUSH cover is a part of the base cover or it is an optional cover for which you need to pay an additional premium.
Check the claim settlement process and opt for a company that provides online claim settlement.
Check the network of hospitals offering AYUSH treatments.
Check the sub-limits on AYUSH treatment. It is recommended to choose a plan which has AYUSH coverage upto the sum insured.
Both cashless and reimbursement claims are available for AYUSH treatments. If a policyholder takes treatment in a network hospital, he can file for a cashless claim with all the necessary documents. The insurance company after receiving the claim request verifies the claim and if approved issues a pre-authorisation letter to the network hospital. Once the insured is discharged, the insurance company will settle the claim directly with the hospital.
For a reimbursement claim, when the patient is admitted to a non-network hospital, the insured has to settle the bill from his pocket, and later he can file a claim with a duly filled claim form and required documents, once the claim request is approved, the insurance company reimburses the claim amount to the insured’s bank account.
AYUSH system of treatment makes use of natural ingredients and hence it is considered safer in comparison to the allopathic system which often has side effects in the long run. AYUSH system is also very beneficial in preventive care as it focuses on detoxification, purification, and strengthening of the immune system. With these advantages, people are more inclined towards trying these alternative treatments. However, it is important to understand the coverage available for AYUSH treatments and check the list of hospitals recognised by the government where treatment is covered. These two factors are crucial in deciding whether you should opt for an AYUSH cover or not.