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IRDAI moots standard health cover for specific vector borne diseases

Continuing with the product standardisation initiatives, the insurance regulator has now mooted vector borne disease specific health insurance policy.

As per an exposure draft released by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) on Friday, the proposed standard product will cover any one or a combination of dengue fever, malaria, filarial, kala-azar, chickungunya, Japanese Encephalitis and Zika virus.

The standard product can be offered both on individual or on floater-sum-insured basis.

The minimum sum insured under Standard Product would be ₹10,000 with a maximum limit of ₹2 lakh.

The standard product will be single premium policy with tenure of one year and can be offered on family floater basis as well.

It will have base covers including hospitalisation and ICU expenses, Ayush treatment, pre and post hospitalisation expenses subjected to certain limits apart from optional covers of hospital cash benefit and diagnosis cover.

“The premium under this product shall be pan-India basis and no geographic location or zone-based pricing is allowed,’’ the regulator said.

The insurer may determine the price keeping in view the cover proposed to be offered subject to complying with the norms specified in the IRDAI (Health Insurance) Regulations, 2016 and other related norms.

Commenting on the proposed product, Amit Chhabra, Head – Health Insurance, said: “ Lack of treatment (for these diseases) is mostly due to insufficient money or carelessness.’’

Citing World Health Organization data, he said the diseases proposed to be covered account for more than 17 per cent of all infectious diseases.

Vector-borne diseases cause more than 7 lakh deaths annually, the report states. Additionally, in over 128 countries more than 3.9 billion people are at risk of contracting dengue, with an estimation of 96 million cases per year.

“The cost of treatment for dengue can range anywhere from ₹25,000 to ₹70,000,’’ he said.

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