Insurance coverage

Monkeypox and Health Insurance Coverage: What’s Covered and What’s Not

Monkeypox health insurance: Even as the fear and number of Covid cases have begun to subside after two long years, medical experts have already issued a warning about a new virus threat – Monkeypox. Although India’s cases are currently well below 9 compared to the global tally of around 19,000, the disease has still managed to spark a wave of mass panic. Not to mention that it has already been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Naturally, after living with the prolonged woes of the Covid-19 pandemic, this is a health alert that people would want to avoid at all costs. While precautions can and should be taken to keep the virus at bay, it is equally important to be prepared for the unfortunate situation of contracting it. Even as medical emergencies of various kinds multiply, it is common to wonder whether or not they will be covered by your health insurance. Here we collect everything you need to know about Monkeypox coverage in your health insurance policy.

Is Monkeypox covered by health insurance?

Monkeypox, being an infectious disease, will be covered by health insurance like any other infectious disease. As with Covid-19, if the infection requires hospitalization of the patient, the insurance policy will cover the treatment according to the terms and conditions. Usually, regular health plans cover hospitalization costs, pre- and post-hospitalization expenses, ambulance costs, and intensive care.

What will not be covered?

There are certain exclusions to Monkeypox cover that you should keep in mind. First and foremost, the waiting time. The waiting period refers to the amount of time a policyholder must wait after purchasing the policy before their actual coverage begins. Currently, they cannot make a non-accidental claim. Generally, policies come with a waiting period as low as 30 days. Depending from plan to plan, the waiting period varies for the policyholder. Therefore, if one raises a claim during the waiting period for Monkeypox, it will be rejected.

The second exclusion is OPD coverage. OPD or outpatient service expenses refer to medical bills incurred for medical consultations, medications or treatments that do not require hospitalization of the patient. So, if the patient has to be hospitalized due to Monkeypox, he will be covered by a regular health policy. However, if the patient has only been informed about home isolation and recovery, they will not be covered. OPD cover will only be covered if the plan includes it or if the policyholder has already taken out additional OPD cover.

What happens if one contracts the infection while travelling?

Since travel can be a reason for contracting the virus, one should understand travel insurance coverage and opt for a policy accordingly. If someone travels from India to a country that has cases of Monkeypox and contracts the virus, they will be covered. However, the same coverage rules apply here. The travel plan will cover you if you need to be hospitalized and OPD coverage will be subjective, and home isolation will not be covered. Also, some travel plans don’t include non-accidental claims, so you should be aware of the terms and conditions of the policy and choose a plan that’s all-inclusive for extensive coverage.

In a nutshell, new types of health emergencies are on the rise, and one cannot afford not to have health insurance during these times. The good news, however, is that the health insurance market is also changing to meet these growing needs and becoming more inclusive to help you easily absorb medical inflation. So choose a plan according to your needs and always comb through its terms and conditions to avoid any last minute surprises.

The author is Head-Health and Travel Insurance at Policybazaar.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.