Guide to Choose Health Insurance with Dengue Treatment Cover

Not sure whether purchasing a health insurance cover for dengue is important or not? Find out here

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Why You Should Buy The Health Insurance Cover For Dengue

The pandemic has brought many things to light. One of those is the complete inadequacy of our healthcare systems, and the second is the expensive nature of obtaining adequate treatment. As the monsoon season rapidly approaches, COVID-19 is not the only threat that we must face. Vector-borne diseases are a significant concern, especially considering the bogged-down hospital system.

But first, let us dial back a little. What are vector-borne diseases, and why do they matter? Any disease transmitted by a blood-sucking insect - like a mosquito or a tick - is called a vector-borne disease. And as the monsoon takes over, mosquito carried diseases will become more and more common. Specially malaria and dengue fever. Both these diseases have massive case numbers and numerous deaths. In 2019, dengue had over 60,000 cases in India, with several reported dead and thousands of hospitalizations. The treatment is lengthy, risky, and very expensive.

Today, we are more keenly aware of the need to ensure our financial security to allow us access to quality healthcare should the need arise. To help you decide whether you need insurance cover for dengue, let us understand the disease and the minute of the insurance policy.

Dengue Fever - an Overview

Sometimes called breakbone fever, dengue fever is a viral disease spread by mosquito bites and is most common in the humid monsoon months - the vector for this virus is the Aedes mosquitoes. This disease often triggers flu-like illnesses and symptoms. The dengue virus has several variants, each of which is nasty in its unique way.

While the disease is common in many parts of the world, it is most often spread in tropical and subtropical regions. In the past years, the dengue virus has become particularly deadly, affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide with several deadly strains floating around.

While the primary vector for the disease is mosquitoes, an infected person can also act as a spreader. Fortunately, if you survive the dengue fever then you become immune to that specific strain of the virus. This fact means you can still contract other variants of dengue fever.

Some of the most common symptoms of dengue are:

  • Many cases are mild, in which case the infected person will only have an uncomplicated fever, joint pain, etcetera.
  • However, in the more severe cases, a fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit is not unusual.
  • Severe cases can also lead to blood vessels being damaged. Which, in turn, can cause dengue shock syndrome. This syndrome has a whole host of unpleasant consequences like rashes, severe headaches, eye pain, internal bleeding, weak pulse, and more.

One of the biggest hurdles of treating dengue fever is the initial diagnosis. This hurdle is caused by the fact that the first stage of the disease (also known as febrile) is unremarkable and barely distinguishable from other viral infections. After all, fever and joint pain are common symptoms. The only point at which it is diagnosable is at the second stage (also known as critical). This stage is the point at which white blood cell count starts to fall. If caught at this point - before the platelet count can drop and metabolic acidosis decreases - the disease is treatable without hospitalization, even if the medicines are expensive. But if the second stage progresses before it is diagnosed, hospitalization is inevitable. At this point, the patient starts to run at a high risk of developing complications that can cause long-term damage or become lethal to them. Once the critical stage passes, the recovery period can start.

Dengue Fever - Treatment and Cost

Dengue is a viral infection. Therefore, there is no specific drug or treatment for it. Treatment must be tailor-made to treat the symptoms rather than kill the virus. The goal for most treatment plans is to give the body the strength to fight off the disease.

Recovery from dengue is long and arduous. The first stage can last anywhere in between 2 days and a week - the entirety of which causes fever and joint pain. The critical period is even rougher on the body and can last a while if complications crop up. However, if the second stage is not too severe, it will typically pass in two days. The recovery period will, at least, take a few days if there are no complications - but this period can undoubtedly go up.

The milder cases often only require painkillers, anti-nausea medicines, and a few basic measures to prevent dehydration. The severe strains of dengue fever can lead to hospitalization and requirements for procedures like blood transfusions. None of which is cheap. Even the milder cases will often need regular medication for around two weeks - which can rack up very quickly.

The cost to procure medical treatment for dengue can easily cost in the ballpark of ₹20,000 to ₹75,000. This treatment can be a significant financial strain as many general insurance policies do not account for claims made for vector-borne disease treatment.

Insurance Benefits

But general insurance policies offered by insurance companies are not your only option. In 2021, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India announced a new policy. The goal of which is to provide coverage for this very topic dengue health insurance. The IRDAI has recommended that all general and health insurers in the country offer the offered Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy.

The guidelines presented instruct insurance companies to ensure that vector-borne diseases be covered by insurance. This policy is an effort to help the many tens of thousands of people who suffer from dengue.

The regulations and rules presented by the IRDAI include some key components that ensure the safety of the insured person. The Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy outlines the following rules and regulations:

  • The IRDAI has recommended incorporating the following vector-borne diseases in their guidelines - dengue fever, malaria, filaria, kala-azar, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, and the zika virus. However, the vector-borne infections covered by the insurer are subject to each individual insurance company. This freedom ensures that you can choose coverage to supplement your existing general insurance.
  • First, we have the lump-sum benefit. This benefit is the most significant advantage of this policy. The lump-sum benefit is the amount of money that the beneficiary will receive upon a positive diagnosis. This sum must be equal to 100% of the insured amount and given to the insured person upon filing a claim. This lump-sum benefit will only be payable under the following conditions:
  1. The insured person must have received a positive diagnosis for the vector-borne diseases covered by their policy. You can go for cheaper policies by choosing dengue-specific insurance.
  2. The insured person must have a 72-hour hospital stay ordered by their doctor because of the aforementioned positive diagnosis.
  • The diagnosis cover element of the insurance is the amount owed to you if you test positive for a disease but are not ordered for hospitalization. This sum will be 2% of the total insured amount. The insured person can only become qualified for the diagnosis cover once in the policy period.
  • The minimum period set for this policy is 12 months, after which it must be renewed.
  • The minimum amount that is available as the sum insured under this policy is ₹10,000.
  • The maximum limit for the sum insured has been set at ₹2 lakhs under the Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy.
  • The sum insured under Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy must be in incremental multiples of ₹10,000.
  • The guidelines state that this is a single premium policy. This fact means that after 15 days of paying the first premium, the insured person will become qualified for medical coverage upon diagnosis.

Buying health insurance for dengue will help ensure that your financial health is not at risk. It will help you and your family in securing a safe future. After all, dengue fever can affect people of any age.

FAQs

  • Is dengue covered by a health insurance policy?

    Yes, as per the guidelines under the Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy, dengue treatment is covered under the policy.

  • Do you need to be admitted for dengue?

    Yes, as per the policy provisions, an insured person must have a 72-hour hospital stay recommended by the doctor to be eligible for reimbursement.

  • What is dengue and its treatment?

    Dengue fever is a viral disease that is spread through mosquito bites. It is a common ailment during the rainy season. The treatment for dengue has to be recommended by doctors depending on patient conditions.

  • How can I cover dengue?

    You can subscribe to the Standard Vector-Borne Disease Health Policy or subscribe to a rider with your current health insurance policy for dengue coverage.


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