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The COVID-19 Pandemic Impact On Various Insurance Plans

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | June 19, 2020 04:44 PM

Financial advisers have been expecting an increase in the demand for health insurance plans, keeping the current coronavirus pandemic in mind. Yet there are no ways of measuring the impact this disease might have on the premium rates for specialized medical plans.

Many insurers have confirmed that they have been receiving a lot of inquiries about the scope of coverage of the health insurance plans, or if they can even be used to pay for hospitalization expenses incurred from contracting coronavirus.

They have also been signing off on a record number of policies virtually since the mandated lockdown was put in place. All forms of insurance plans, including health plans, have seen some growth in premium collection.

The projections are based on other Global pandemics

As is evident from previous outbreaks of such levels, people gear more towards getting a suitable health cover.

During the SARS epidemic, a major Chinese health insurance company saw upwards of a 30-40% annual growth rate increase in health insurance plans as opposed to just 3-10% in the years following the incident.

Similarly, when MERS spread throughout Saudi Arabia in 2013-14, there was nearly a 22% increase in health insurance premiums, overall, while this was lower in the years preceding or following the impact of the deadly disease.

It is expected that you might see continued growth in demand for health insurance plans for the foreseeable future.

A rise in health insurance premiums is to be expected in the wake of the pandemic

There are no potent cures for severely ill patients other than constant monitoring. Hence, the treatment for patients suffering from coronavirus is expensive.

This further impacts the cost of premiums on adequate health covers. Indeed, experts are estimating an increase of 5 to 25% in the price of altered health insurance plans.

Will all your schemes perform well in these times?

Life insurance policies might be impacted more than other plansshortly. Existing policies and businesses might boom, while new ventures could take a hit for quite some time. Such incidents push people towards getting themselves an adequate health or medical cover, and the rest of the financial schemes are placed on the back burner.

Consistent payments of premium might also become an issue in a post-corona world, as was seen at the time of SARS. There was a record number of ULIP policies being surrendered back then, as health took the forefront.

Some frequently asked questions:

Can you get any coverage for your pre-existing conditions?

It is possible to get covered for pre-existing illnesses after the waiting period is over. Still, it is good practice always to ensure the extent of coverage (if any) that will be offered to you in such cases.

What if you’re admitted to a hospital not on the network of your insurer, in case of an emergency?

Treatment in a non-network hospital must be paid for, out of your own pocket, and the bills can be reimbursed later. Stay prepared by knowing the reimbursement procedure, the instructed deadline, or the documents required.

During the lockdown, some people have bought low premium plans, only to get top-up health insurance to supplement the basic plans for getting an even higher sum assured.

Digitization has helped a lot in making this process smoother than ever, which has helped a lot in these trying times. Many insurers are expecting it to affect the way people get a comprehensive cover in the long run.

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