March 24 is observed as “World TB Day”. This year’s theme is “Yes”, which means “Yes, we recognize that this disease still exists and it is our collective effort that will help remove this”. In a world that is focusing on using Artificial Intelligence to find new ways to treat diseases, still treating Tuberculosis (TB) as a permeating disease highlights our failure to get rid of it.
The World Health Organization (WHO) shared data highlighting how TB continues to be the 13th leading cause of death on a global scale. What is more appalling is that serious cases of this disease have forced many to be hospitalized for long tenures, thus, also eating into a major portion of their savings too. This calls for the need to have a health insurance policy in place. Many health insurance companies in India secure against prevalent diseases like TB. This means that buying a health policy allows them access to
- Coverage of hospitalisation expenses along with pre and post-hospitalisation costs
- Payment of doctor’s fees or outpatient department (OPD) expenses before and after hospitalization
- Expenditure on diagnostic tests before and after being hospitalized
- Room rent, cost of medicines, regular medical check-ups and tests, etc.
Almost all health insurance companies ensure coverage for TB, which means that all you must do is approach the company and inquire about their coverage amount and respective premium charges. Some common health insurance plans that cover the treatment of TB include:
- Niva Bupa Health Companion – Family Health Insurance Plan
- Aditya Birla Activ Assure Diamond Plan
- Future Generali Future Health Suraksha
Is TB listed among pre-existing disorders?
It is common for people to not disclose their illnesses while buying a policy for fear of paying higher premium charges. This also explains why many people refrain from sharing if they have TB or if they had suffered from this disease in the past.
Dr S Prakash, Managing Director, Star Health and Allied Insurance says, “The insurance coverage for TB depends on which organ is being affected, what type of diagnosis and whether a complete treatment has been sought for it or not. If the prognosis has been completed as per the protocol, it should be considered a condition that is almost treated and insurance coverage must be given without any exclusion. However, if the insurance coverage is sought post-diagnosis during the treatment process, then it should be treated as a pre-existing disease so that the conditions for the treatment of TB can be excluded for four years.”
Critical health plan or regular health insurance?
Not many people have their family members suffering from TB and suspect that they will also be affected by it someday. Others may be suffering from a weak disposition forcing many to contemplate the need to buy a health plan that would pay for their expenses for treatment of TB. In matters like these, interested policyholders are often not sure if they must opt for a regular health insurance plan or seek critical illness coverage.
Naval Goel, Founder & CEO, PolicyX.com shared, “If you have TB in your family history or you suspect getting the disease given your health conditions then you can look for a critical illness plan that covers TB as the hospitalization cost can go high. Otherwise, simple health insurance with a sum insured of a minimum of ₹10 lakhs is advised.”
TB is a disease that is increasingly rampant. As opposed to the myth that this disease affects only poverty-stricken people, TB can affect anyone owing to its contagious nature. The risk of infection can be reduced with adequate good hygiene and ensuring early diagnosis and treatment to prevent exacerbation.