Covid-19 has killed millions across the world and in India as well. For some, they have been lucky to survive the deadly infection, however, the nightmare for many is not over yet. There have been many reports of post-covid complications, including the deadly fungal infections that have followed the aftermath of the virus’s impact.
While people had hardly come out of the trauma of Covid-19’s second wave, reports started emerging of a new post-covid complication that included symptoms of fever, headache, cough, pain, shortness of breath, black discolouration over the nose, redness around the eye and nose, alteration in mental status, bloody vomit, etc.
There have also been many incidences of Black Fungus (Mucormycosis) in India. This fungal infection has mostly been seen in COVID-19 survivors. As the fungal infection grows among patients suffering from diabetes, kidney ailments, and cancer, several states are reporting a rise in the number of such cases.
The biggest worry now among Covid-19 patients and survivors is whether they are covered for post-Covid-19 complications under their health insurance plans. Here is some helpful information on the same.
Additional Reading - How To Get Covid-19 Health Insurance
What is black, white fungus?
Black fungus, also known as mucormycosis, is an infection primarily caused by a group of moulds known as mucormycetes. These are generally found in soil, plants, manure and decaying vegetables and fruits. The rare infection is known to affect the nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses and eye. It may cause blindness and other severe medical conditions in some patients. Diabetes and high steroid doses are known to be the major stimulators of this infection.
White fungus, also known as candidiasis, is an infection caused by the candida yeast that is a type of fungus. It affects people who have low immunity and any pre-existing medical conditions such as HIV, cancer, diabetes, etc. Since the moulds can be easily inhaled, these could spread to vital organs such as lungs, kidneys, brain, etc. and affect people easily.
What does Covid Health Insurance Cover include?
As India continues to see multiple Covid-19 cases, there are countless families that have been affected financially due to high treatment expenses at private hospitals across the country. Many people don’t know if their existing health insurance policies are enough to meet Covid-19 treatment costs in case they are hospitalised.
Many insurance providers in India started offering covid-specific health insurance plans in 2020. Most of these insurance policies are designed to cover the hospitalisation cost of policyholders. These are mostly available from the day a policyholder tests positive. The terms and conditions of these policies state that Covid-19 is not part of the pre-existing illness list.
Individuals who have already purchased a Covid-19 health cover should check if their plans are inclusive of pre-and post-hospitalisation expenses.
Does your health insurance cover post-covid complications like the deadly black fungus?
Policyholders can now breathe easy because treatment costs for black and white fungus are known to be covered by the most comprehensive health insurance policies. These diseases are in-built within the policy, so one does not need to have a separate health plan for such post-covid complications.
Those who are planning to buy a health insurance plan should consider buying a comprehensive plan with a higher premium. This is advisable since the cost of treating infections like black fungus & white fungus are significant in private hospitals. This could make the treatment unaffordable for many people. Therefore, having a high cover will be beneficial.
Policyholders must follow the terms and conditions of the health insurance policy, including notifying their insurance provider of any pre-existing illnesses, planned or emergency hospitalisation, furnishing all required documents, etc.
Many states are known to have incorporated black fungus cover within their state health insurance programmes. The Government of Maharashtra announced that patients who are suffering from black fungus are covered up to Rs 1.5 lakhs under health insurance schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Jan Arogya Yojana. The Rajasthan government too announced the Chiranjeevi Yojana Insurance Scheme to set a limit on the admission and treatment costs at private hospitals for Covid-19 treatment.
Always check if there is a waiting period for Covid-19 health insurance cover to provide for treatment costs.
For those who already have Covid-19 insurance, it is important to check if the policy provides cover for post-Covid complications. People who are thinking of buying a Covid-19 specific plan should ensure that post-Covid complications will be covered in the plan, especially for illnesses like black or white fungus. Simultaneously, ensure to manage your finances well so that you have sufficient financial backup for possible Covid-19 treatment.
- What causes black fungus after Covid?
An epidemic of a post-covid complication called the black fungus is storming across India as many people recovering from Covid-19 are known to have been affected. This inflection is caused by factors including contaminated oxygen equipment and high usage of steroid drugs for the treatment of certain COVID-19 patients.
- Is black fungus covered under current health insurance plans?
Many insurance providers are rejecting claims related to treatment costs of black fungus infection that are known to be a post-covid complication. Therefore, insured individuals must check with their insurance provider about all the post-covid complications that are covered under the plan.
- Do I need a separate health cover for Covid-19?
If you have an already existing basic health cover, you don’t need to buy a separate plan for Covid-19 since most insurance providers provide cover for the same within the basic plan.
- How much is the Covid-19 treatment cost in India?
Depending on the severity of the infection and the hospital/location of the hospital, the treatment cost for Covid-19 could vary. For severe cases, the treatment costs may come to lakhs of rupees.
- Which is the best policy for Covid-19?
Corona Kavach is an exhaustive health insurance plan that is specially designed for Covid-19. Most basic health plans also cover for basic treatment costs of Covid-19, however, many may not provide for post-Covid health complications.