Five decades ago, the dengue fever was known to just about a handful of nations. Today it is a deadly endemic that has enveloped more than 120 countries. In 2016, there was an abnormal surge in dengue inflicting over one lakh people pan India and the numbers this year have already crossed 11,000. The unreported numbers run in millions. Like every coin has two sides, advancements in various fields have arguably been one of the major causes of this rampant disease.
Transport networks that knit our world together have spread the mosquito across the globe and the explosion in urban living over the same period has ensured breeding grounds for them. Over the last few decades the rate of infection has increased 30 fold, say world experts on dengue. Dengue will continue to spread out across the world owing to the intensifying temperatures.
During dengue season in India, unavailability of hospital beds has become a serious concern over the last few years. Most people get hospitalised because of dengue scare resulting in a stress and panic situation. Very few people are aware of the fact that dengue patients need hospitalization only in extreme cases; by and large only supportive treatment at home is sufficient. People prefer hospitalization partially because home-care is not covered under the conventional health insurance plans.
Do you know that the economic burden inflicted by only dengue fever on India is a whopping $1.11 billion a year? Now, that’s a huge sum we’re looking at and who is going to finance it? Existing health insurance plans cover dengue but alarmingly only 4-5% of the Indian population have bought health insurance policies thus adding an immense burden on out-of-pocket expenditure.
Gap in healthcare financing for Dengue
- Existing health insurance plans do cover dengue but only 4-5% of the Indian population has health insurance. Hence, there is an immense burden on out-of-pocket expenditure.
- Home care and OPD expenses for dengue are not covered by any health insurance plan.
- Premium of conventional health insurance plans is age sensitive and requires medical underwriting.
A large population of the country cannot afford to have a full-fledged health insurance cover. However, economical health insurance plans that cover tropical diseases like dengue can encourage such consumers to get their family and themselves insured for specific needs.
Apollo Munich’s Dengue Care
Bridging this gap, for the first time in India, Apollo Munich launched Dengue Care – an Over the Counter (OTC) standalone health insurance for the most widespread infectious disease, dengue fever. Dengue Care provides a standalone cover for dengue and that too at a surprisingly affordable cost of Rs 444 for a sum insured of Rs 50,000 and Rs 578 for a sum insured of Rs 1,00,000. It also provides coverage of Rs 10,000 for home care and outpatient expense like diagnostic tests, doctor consultation, home nursing and pharmacy, something that no other insurer offers.
Furthermore, premium of conventional health insurance plans is age sensitive and require medical underwriting, whereas Dengue Care comes at a flat premium for all ages and requires no underwriting. Unlike many health insurance policies, the waiting period of this plan is a mere 15 days. Another great feature of this policy is that there are no prior medical examinations required to avail it, regardless of age. People of all ages, gender and health conditions can buy this plan including those who have been rejected for traditional health insurance policies. To know more about Dengue Care, visit the link.
The dengue virus spreads and develops at a rapid rate, barely leaving time to protect oneself from the onslaught. So choosing a financial protection tool to protect yourself from issues that may arise later is your safest bet.
About the author
Antony Jacob spearheads Apollo Munich Health Insurance towards achieving the aim of Uncomplicating health insurance for its stakeholders. As CEO, Antony has been steering the company up the growth ladder since April 2009. Being among the first employees of the health insurance sector, he brings enormous knowledge and vast expertise to the organization, besides enthusiasm and professional exposure in other sectors.
Before joining Apollo Munich in 2009, Antony was a Regional Finance Director, Asia & Middle East, based in Dubai, for the RSA Group. Between 2004 and 2007, Antony was the Managing Director of Royal Sundaram Insurance in Chennai, a company he was involved with right from its inception.Born in Chennai, Antony is a Chartered Accountant, besides being a graduate from Loyola College, Chennai.