The value addition that a dengue cover provides becomes apparent when the patient undergoes treatment on out-patient basis. A dengue plan covers all out-patient expenses, such as medical tests, medicines, and doctor’s consultation. “Only 12-15 per cent of people get hospitalised for dengue. All the rest are treated on an out-patient basis, something that is not covered by a standard health insurance
policy,” says Mahavir Chopra, director-health, life and strategic initiatives, Coverfox.
The way the premium is charged in these disease-specific policies is also different. A dengue cover charges the same premium from all customers, irrespective of age. The premium also remains constant on renewal. In a standard health insurance plan, the premium is closely linked to age, and may increase slightly each year, with major hikes at intervals of five years or so.
The waiting period in these policies is also short. “These policies come with a very short waiting period of just 15 days to ensure that the person is not infected with dengue at the time of purchase. It is also available to all categories of people, including those who have been rejected for normal mediclaim policies,” says Antony Jacob, chief executive officer, Apollo Munich Health Insurance. Policyholders are also not required to undergo any health check-ups to buy these plans. A self-declaration in the proposal form suffices.
These are fixed benefit plans. “If you are diagnosed with dengue, these fixed benefit plans pay you the full sum insured, irrespective of actual hospitalisation or medical bills," says Vaidyanathan Ramani, head-product and innovation, Policybazaar.com.
A dengue insurance policy also helps to keep the accrued no claim bonus in your main mediclaim policy intact. “These policies are ideal for people who do not want small claims to affect the accumulated no-claim bonus in the mediclaim policy,” says Anoop Pabby, managing director and chief executive officer, DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance.
The key disadvantage of these policies, of course, is that they are of no use if you are diagnosed with any disease other than dengue.
Even people with a mediclaim policy may buy these policies for additional cover, as they cost very little and will compensate you for OPD expense in case you fall prey to the disease.