Coronavirus in Bangalore: Covid policy available for senior citizens, regulator tells HC | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) told the high court that 30 general and health insurance companies do have a policy named “Corona Kavach” for the benefit of senior citizens to cover risks that may arise due to Covid-19.
In its statement of objections to a PIL, IRDAI said the sum assured in these policies range from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh for a short-term and the coverage is for threeand-a-half to nine-and-a-half months.
“The policy also stipulates a 5% discount on premium to health workers including doctors and nurses,” the regulator said. “The policy is offered to all persons at least up to the age of 65 years. Insurers can also provide coverage to persons above 65 years based on their underwriting policy and the risk appetite.”
The regulator said that since health insurance is a pool-based business, the question of issuing free policies or at reduced premium for a particular category doesn’t arise as it entails cross subsidisation and the differential amount will have to be borne by younger customers.
It further pointed out that people below 40 years rarely subscribe for health insurance which makes this pool very small. “Any increase in premium is likely to dissuade younger individuals from subscribing to health insurance policies,” IRDAI said.
As regards extending benefits of CGHS to senior citizens, the court was told that the central government has to take a decision on the matter.
The regulator was responding to a PIL filed by Letzkit, a Bengaluru based NGO, which complained that senior citizens are facing discrimination in the matter of health insurance. According to the petitioner, senior citizens, who are already in great financial crisis, are excluded from coverage of health insurance in respect of Covid-19. The petitioner had sought directions to ensure mediclaim policies to senior citizens are issued either free of cost or at affordable premium.

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Sagar Biswas

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