Just when people of India were finally coming out of their homes after pandemic-related lockdowns, another viral outbreak, named monkeypox, loomed on dangerous grounds. The global monkeypox epidemic has been classified by the World Health Organization as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” (PHEIC), a level below “pandemic.”
However, there are many concerns about the disease, from how it spreads to how contagious it can be. There are also concerns about the disease’s insurance coverage. Will catching the infection when traveling abroad be covered by a travel insurance policy? And most importantly, will a health insurance policy cover the medical expenditures occurring due to the disease? This post will certainly guide you for the same!
What Is Monkeypox?
The monkeypox virus, which is typically contracted from infected wild animals in some parts of Africa, causes the rare and relatively mild disease monkeypox. Due to two outbreaks of a disease similar to the pox that occurred in colonies of monkeys housed for research, the term “monkeypox” was first used in 1958.
In 1970, the Democratic Republic of the Congo saw the first incidence of monkeypox in a time of increased smallpox eradication efforts. Other central and western African nations have since reported cases of human monkeypox. According to the NHS website in the UK, the illness is a close relative of smallpox and results in a rash that frequently starts on the face.
Symptoms Of Monkey Pox
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Rashes that can look similar to pimples or blisters
Is Monkeypox Covered Under Your Health & Travel Insurance Plans?
When we talk about health insurance plans, they can help cover hospitalization expenses resulting from the treatment of illnesses, infections, etc. It’s crucial to keep in mind that all contagious diseases, including monkeypox, are covered by the most basic health insurance coverage in the wake of the first monkeypox case recorded in India. According to Rakesh Jain, CEO of Reliance General Insurance, if a person is diagnosed and subsequently hospitalized, then it will be covered under individual health insurance coverage.
However, things could not be the same in terms of travel insurance policies. It is crucial to keep in mind that certain travel insurance policies only cover accidental death and accidental hospitalization if a person is traveling internationally. These policies do not cover medical hospitalization. To guarantee that all emergency medical expenses, including hospitalization, outpatient care, and cashless hospitalization, will be covered during an international journey, customers should choose the medical expenditure feature in their travel insurance policy. Monkeypox treatments received while traveling abroad are covered by travel insurance’s Medical Expense provision up to the sum insured limits or sub-limits. Therefore, purchasing a travel insurance policy that offers medical coverage abroad becomes crucial if you have plans to travel overseas.
Key Benefits Of Monkeypox Insurance Policy
Having a monkeypox insurance policy will provide you with myriad benefits. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Coverage For Domiciliary Treatment: In case you are required to receive hospital-like treatment of monkeypox at home, the monkeypox insurance policy will provide you coverage for the same.
- Covers Consumable Costs: The plan also covers the costs of consumable items, such as PPE kits, gloves, masks, ventilators, etc.
- Emergency Evacuation: Your travel insurance will cover the costs if you contract monkeypox while abroad and need to be returned to India.
- Co-Payments: As per the terms and conditions of the policy, you will also receive co-payments.
- Add-On Covers: In order to enhance your monkeypox insurance policy, you will have the option to add add-ons, such as maternity benefits, PED reduction, etc. This will ensure maximum coverage for you against monkeypox.
- Covers Overseas Hospitalization: If you get travel insurance, the cost of your hospitalization in a foreign country will be covered.
What Is Generally Covered Under Monkeypox Insurance Policy?
Below is the list of things that are basically covered under the monkeypox insurance policy:
- Pre- & Post-Hospitalization: The plan covers the medical expenses occurring before and after hospitalization. This is not only true with the health insurance policy but also with the travel insurance for the monkeypox.
- Daycare Procedures. In case the insured needs not stay in the hospital for more than 24 hours, the plan covers the daycare expenses.
- Road Ambulance: It also covers the road ambulance charges up to a certain limit per hospitalization.
- ICU Coverage: The monkeypox insurance policy also covers your ICU expenses.
- Daily Hospital Cash: The policy offers a lump sum amount to the insured daily during the hospitalization.
Note: Hospitalization costs are covered by travel insurance according to the terms of the policy. Consultations, diagnostic costs, and medical expenses will also be covered in accordance with the conditions of the insurance, in addition to the cost of OPD treatment. However, if just isolation costs are expended without active treatment, neither travel nor health insurance coverage at any specified centers will reimburse those costs.
What If You Contracted Monkeypox While You Are Outside India?
Your travel insurance will, subject to the rules of the policy, cover monkeypox if you contract it while you are outside of India. However, your medical insurance won’t pay for it. First, we must comprehend that a fundamental health insurance plan covers all infectious diseases, including monkeypox. An individual health insurance coverage, not travel insurance, will be used to cover the costs if a person is hospitalized and diagnosed in India upon or after arrival. As soon as the trip is over, the travel insurance policy expires.
The Bottom Line
It is best to check your policy’s underwriting and especially enquire about coverage for monkeypox when it comes to insurance. Check the exact coverage when purchasing a travel insurance policy because not all of them include medical costs. Additionally, there is a delay between purchasing health insurance coverage and the time it takes for it to take effect. Having said that, having comprehensive insurance coverage to protect your health is now extremely necessary.