What is Arogya Sanjeevani Policy?
Health insurance for many is an unexplored area, on account of lack of necessity or understanding. Every individual is primarily involved in three spheres namely income, savings and expenditure. Insurance is never given the due importance because of its complex terms and conditions, let alone heavy premium costs. In layman terms you pay some amount for the entire year in which you may or may not fall ill and if fallen ill, the expenses may or may not be covered by the policy coverage. However health insurance’s true value is understood in present times of Covid-19, wherein huge amount of money may be required in treatment.
Earlier Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has mandated health insurance as compulsory product for all insurance companies. However this health insurances were too messy, with different features, and costs depending upon location of insurer, thereby resulting into affordability issues for large part of the population. In order to bring a uniform and cheaper solution IRDAI has now introduced Arogya Sanjeevani Policy which covers basic features at minimum premium and standard across all companies.
So what does Arogya Sanjeevani brings to the table?
- Policy coverage ranging from 1 lakhs to 5 lakhs
- Tenure 1 year
- Purchase age to be minimum 18 to maximum 65 years, however if you buy policy before turning 65, you may continue it till your lifetime
- Premium is standard irrespective of company or region
- Individual with option to cover, spouse, two children (up to age of 18), parents and in-laws
- Covers Covid-19 expenditure, along with dental treatment, plastic surgery, cataract surgery all with certain conditions.
- The sum insured will be increased by 5% every year subject to maximum of 50% provided no claims made in the previous and the insurance is renewed in due to time.
- Insurer can switch between companies without any hassle
- Annual premium ranging from Rs. 4000 to Rs. 7500.
Why is Arogya Sanjeevani different from other policies?
A health insurance which provides all basic illness along with few extra-ordinary ones such as Covid-19 treatment, dental treatment, plastic surgery and cataract surgery at a very affordable premium with coverage starting right from the second month of policy is Arogya Sanjeevani in a nutshell. Under normal health insurance, the cost of premium is different pertaining to the location of insurer, thus if you stay in tier 1 city you may end up paying higher premium compared to insurers staying in tier 2 or tier 3 cities. The reason being medical expenses differ in such cities. However in case if Arogya Sanjeevani, the premium remains same irrespective of your location. Secondly Arogya Sanjeevani also gives insurer the option to explore ayush treatments which includes Ayurveda therapy, yoga, homeopathy, naturopathy and a lot more. Arogya Sanjeevani has definitely made health insurance available for middle or low income earners or families having single earner. Lastly all this coverage starts from the 31st day of the coverage, whereas in other policies it varies from months to years which delays the coverage substantially.
Where does it fall short?
Although Arogya Sanjeevani is a widely covered package at an affordable rate, it still lacks in some areas where other insurance shine. Arogya Sanjeevani covers room rent to the maximum of 2 % or Rs. 5000 & ICU cost maximum of 5% or Rs. 10000. These cap is very low when the cost is assumed to be in tier 1 cities. If the insurer ends up paying 60% or more of the medical expenses, the whole idea of having a health insurance fails. In addition to this the maximum cover under Arogya Sanjeevani is 5 lakhs only, which is bare minimum considering the insurer lives in tier 1 or tier 2 cities. Therefore arogya sanjeevani may appear insufficient in terms of health cover in tier 1 and 2 cities. Moreover no claim bonus of 5 to 50 % also appear low when compared with other insurance plans wherein there is up to 100% availability. Lastly non coverage of maternity expenses, OPD treatment, Diagnostic and investigative tests and Infertility and sterility may also deter many buyers as these are generally covered in other policies.
Should you buy Arogya Sanjeevani?
Arogya Sanjeevani is IRDAI’s answer for health insurance to middle or lower income group who has limited fund availability. The low income earners may be not necessarily employees who are albeit covered under ESIC policy of the government. Therefore daily wagers or small shopkeepers may opt of Arogya sanjeevani which gives them with a basic coverage and keep them secured. Moreover the policy is quite reasonably priced, so that a sole earner may opt for it initially to keep him and his family covered and later on may opt for bigger policies as well. In short it is a good entry level health insurance one may opt for which is fuss free, at the same time widely covered in terms of ailments at a very affordable rate.
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Things to remember while buying Arogya Sanjeevani?
Although Arogya Sanjeevani is a IRDAI initiative, which gives out standard policy across all companies, it is imperative to understand which company you are opting for. While choosing insurance company, it is important to know its
Claim Settlement History,
To recommend, check how long the company has been in this business and choose the one with longest history. Watch out how the company or its official react to your request, do they help you understand the terms of the policies in depth and be in touch even after sale. Remember under arogya sanjaveeni you may change the company any number of times.
With medical expenditure sky rocketing, health insurance has become the need of the hour. It is no longer termed as a luxury product, but more of a necessity, where in not only it protects the insurer but also his/her family. Therefore do not postpone buying a health insurance, it may take a few ounces from you now, but save you big bucks in future.