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Is Ayurveda Treatment Covered in Health Insurance Policies in India?

, October 30, 2016, 0 Comments

health-insurance-5paisa-marketexpress-inHealthcare plans offer great protection against the ever-increasing medical costs. Individuals often opt for a health plan as it covers expenses arising from an illness, accident or emergency. A plan provides the necessary comfort as well as peace of mind that the costs are covered during such times.

Many individuals these days prefer going the natural way and are opting for Ayurveda treatments instead of mainstream medical options. Ayurveda has its roots in India and was developed thousands of years ago. Individuals are opting for such natural treatments as Ayurveda has shown immense power in its holistic healing systems.

Numerous insurers have realized the profound benefits of natural therapies and are providing coverage under the health care umbrella. However, there are a few insurance providers who do not provide coverage for alternative treatments like homeopathy, acupuncture, sigdha, besides others.

Reasons why insurers are reluctant to cover alternate treatments

Some insurance providers refuse to cover natural treatment under a regular health insurance policy due to the following three reasons.

Varying treatment costs

Ayurveda practitioners have their own charges and fees towards related treatment. Besides, the cost of such treatments is not standardized which makes it difficult for insurers to identify the ideal amount to be set as insurance coverage. Also, insurers are not aware of the situations under which these treatments are absolutely necessary. However, it has been found that people prefer alternate streams of treatment for chronic ailments like arthritis, spondylitis, besides others.

Combination of alternative treatments

Many individuals are combining alternative treatments like Ayurveda and allopathic treatment to get maximum benefits. The cost of combined treatment is very high, making coverage a very expensive affair for insurers.

Lack of a regulatory body to govern such treatments

There is no central body that governs and regulates alternative systems of medications. Hence, insurance companies are left in the dark about the treatment process, cost, and other related information. Due to these reasons, few insurance companies are reluctant to cover such non-medical treatment costs.

Premium cost for Ayurveda treatment coverage

It is important to understand that insurers often charge a higher premium for plans that cover such treatments. The cost is significantly greater than a regular health insurance plan. Hence, opt for such a healthcare policy only if you are a staunch believer in the power of these treatments. Purchasing a plan with higher premiums and not availing of the alternative treatment in case you need one will be a waste of your money.

Coverage limit

Ayurveda is used not only to treat illnesses but also as a rejuvenation tool for the human body. Hence, people may avail of such benefits that may not necessarily be required and may misuse the offered benefit. Therefore, insurance providers have put a cap on the coverage amount. The amount covered for alternative treatment is usually in the bracket of 7.5% to 25% of the total sum assured. This limit varies from insurer to insurer.

IRDAI Regulation

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the apex statutory body regulating insurance in the country, has issued a notification in the year 2013 stating the inclusion of Indian Systems of Medicine in healthcare policies. According to this notification, policyholders may receive coverage for such treatments on some conditions. The treatment must be received in a government hospital or any institute recognized by the Indian Government. If the treatment is not received from either of the above, the insured may treat themselves from a hospital accredited by National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) or the Quality Council of India (QCI), or any other suitable institution.

Many individuals these days believe that alternate medicine is the basis of the healthcare system. It places great emphasis on prevention of illnesses and is becoming a very popular approach in the western world as well. If you are a firm believer of the powers of alternate treatments like Ayurveda, ensure your policy covers the same. Crosscheck the treatments covered before going ahead and purchasing your healthcare plan. Further, you may also avail of such treatments for your family members through family health insurance policies.

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