Insurance Companies Oppose Vaccination Cover Under Insurance Policies; But Govt Wants Them To
The distribution of COVID 19 vaccines has finally started in India. More than 6 lakh frontline workers are already vaccinated till now. Earlier, there were rumors that the vaccine will be free for all the Indian. But soon after the news spread out, the Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan cleared the air.
Though the vaccines are not free for everyone, reports say that the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has proposed the insurers to cover the COVID-19 vaccination expenses in the health insurance.
IRDAI And GIC Differ In Opinion
The autonomous statutory body, IRDAI is pushing the idea of including immunisation expenses in insurance policies. On the other hand, The General Insurance Council (GIC) has opposed this decision by saying that it will create a “wrong precedent”. Further it also added that the Health insurance providers should only be allowed to cover hospital charges related with COVID-19
The insurance company has also sent a written denial to the proposal of IRDAI. The letter said that GIC is “not inclined to cover COVID-19 vaccination costs”.
Reporting the news, CNBC TV18 tweeted,
The insurance providers are not favouring the proposal as it will bring economic stress to them. Besides, it will also give rise to the possibility of abusing the insurance policies by using it inappropriately.
IRDAI’s Issues Instructions For Insurers
On 13 January, the insurance authority suggested the general and health insurers to crack a settlement with health providers. to defray the expenses related to COVID-19 through their policy just like they do for all the other diseases.
The circular released by IRDAI also mentioned that the insurers should take guidance from the reference rate of the GI (general insurance) council and the rates determined by state and union territory administrations while working on any agreement.
As of now, the health insurance policies are considering to include hospitalization charges if a patient is admitted to the hospital for more than 24 hours.