The government proposes to provide an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person to frontline health workers – sanitation staff, paramedics and nurses, ASHA workers and doctors- who are working to tackle the COVID-19 illness and face the highest risk of contracting the illness.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced this on March 26, during a press conference. The insurance cover provided to the health workers will be for three months with effect from March 25, 2020. This is expected to benefit 22 lakh health workers handling the COVID-19 crisis across India, the FM said.
According to the PIB press release, the health insurance scheme for health workers fighting COVID-19 in Government Hospitals and Health Care Centres will cover the following:
- Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health workers would be covered by a Special insurance Scheme.
- Any health professional, who while treating Covid-19 patients, meet with some accident, then he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme.
- All government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of Centre, as well as States, would be covered under this scheme approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic, according to the release.
This way, if a health worker is diagnosed as coronavirus positive, they would be able to get claims settled for up to Rs 50 lakh under this health insurance cover scheme. The policy will cover hospitalisation and other treatment expenses related to COVID-19. Regular health insurance, too, normally covers expenses related to hospitalisation and medication costs, etc.
Guidelines issued by IRDAI to tackle COVID-19
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has also asked insurers to come up with need-based insurance policies to cover the coronavirus, for the public at large. IRDAI stated, “In order to provide need-based health insurance coverage, insurers are introducing products for various specific diseases including vector-borne diseases. For the purpose of meeting health insurance requirements of various sections, insurers are advised to design products covering the costs of treatment for Coronavirus.”
Various general insurers have, over the past one month, come out with health insurance plans to provide coverage for the coronavirus. Click the below links to read about some of these policies.