While comprehensive policies also cover diabetes in India, they come with a long waiting period and may not be available to a patient during an acute phase of it. These people can go for diabetic specific plans
A health insurance policy for a diabetic patient is as important as regular care and precautions. Dr. S Prakash, Managing Director, Star Health and Allied Insurance, says when doctors write prescriptions for diabetic patients, recommendation for health insurance becomes an important element of it. However, for diabetic patients getting a health policy is not a simple affair, especially for those at an acute stage of it.
"The prescription for diabetes is not only diet and drugs but also health insurance. That in itself gives them a lot of confidence to recover from the disease as they know if something were to happen to them, they can have the best of treatment. With this idea, we created Star Diabetes Safe health insurance policy around seven years ago. First time in India, patients who were already on insulin had a diabetes policy without premium loading or flurry of questions, as happens otherwise," he states.
While comprehensive policies also cover diabetes in India, they come with a long waiting period (up to four years) and may not be available to a patient during an acute phase of it. These people can go for diabetic specific plans. However, such plans may have at least a 25-30 per cent premium differential with the comprehensive plan. Besides, not many options are available. Popular ones include Care Freedom for Diabetes from Care Health Insurance, Diabetes Safe Plan from Star Health Insurance and Activ Health Enhance (Diabetes) from Aditya Birla Capital.
Star Health policy comes in two variants of Plan A and Plan B. Under the Plan A variant, the insured person needs to undergo a pre-acceptance medical screening, while no such thing is required in Blan B. Diabetes Safe plan can be bought by any diabetic between 18 and 65 years.
When choosing which insurance policy to go for, make a comparison on the basis of the premium, waiting period and specific features, if any. "Disease specific plans are much more expensive and come with co-payment.
This means customers will have to necessarily bear some part of the medical bill. There could be room rent limit too. Some insurers offer buyback of waiting period too. Enquire about it," says Amit Chhabra, Health Insurance Head, Policybazaar.com.
Such policies cover medical expenses for doctor's consultation fees, diagnostic tests, cost of medicines and hospitalisation etc. Talking about differentiating features, Star Health policy covers other diseases as well such as prostate problem, gall stone, and cataract etc. However, the waiting period for the same could be longer than that for diabetes. In addition, insurance policies usually cover only type-2 diabetes. Dr. Prakash says Star Health provides coverage for type-1 diabetes as well.
Care Freedom for Diabetes also offers coverage without any pre-policy medical check-ups. Enrollment under the plan is applicable to individuals with multiple morbidities, or health complications such as hypertension, lipid, and obesity. Activ Health Enhance (Diabetes) also covers type-2 diabetes along with type-1, but pre-policy medical check-up is also required.