Insurance companies will cover the hospitalization expenses following adverse reaction to COVID-19 vaccination, regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) said today.
While the cost of vaccination will not be included, any hospitalization for over 24 hours will be covered under comprehensive health insurance policies.
“It is clarified that in the unlikely event of hospitalization following adverse reaction to COVID-19 vaccination, hospitalization is covered under the health insurance policies subject to the specific terms and conditions of the policy,” said IRDAI in its circular issued on March 18, 2021.
Insurers had earlier said that vaccines and its side-effects will not be covered under health insurance unless an individual has a policy, which covers out-patient department (OPD) expenses.
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Last month, NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul had pointed out that only one out of 2,000 beneficiaries report minor effects post the vaccination.
A top official with one of the largest private sector insurers said any severe reaction requiring hospitalisation will be covered under the comprehensive health insurance policies. “We are yet to receive such adverse claims from vaccines till now,” he said.
Girish Rao – Chairman & Managing Director, Vidal Health Insurance TPA Services had earlier said, “Vaccinations fall under Employee benefits and not covered by insurance since there is no risk to underwrite. Some insurers are evaluating including this in comprehensive health policy to meet customer needs and be pro-active in the market. I am sure Insurers will come up with innovative products to take advantage of increased demand.”
In India, COVID vaccine was rolled out on January 16, 2021 and was first provided to healthcare and frontline workers. The second group to receive the vaccine is persons over 60 years of age and those between 45 and 59 years with comorbid conditions.
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