Omicron and Health Insurance

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Many researchers and scientists said that we may have to learn to live with the Covid-19 virus since overcoming it completely seems like a far-fetched possibility for now. And with constant mutations in Coronavirus every few months or so, this advice from our scientists seems to be becoming our new reality. The newest variant we have in our midst now is the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus. Highly infectious and spreading at an alarming rate in several countries, Omicron has brought back the scare that the Delta variant came with last year. Since prevention is the only sure-shot key to stay safe from Covid-19 infection, let’s explore all the precautionary options, including insurance plans that are available to us.  

What is Omicron?

The newest variant, Omicron is the B.1.1.529 variant of the Covid-19 virus which comes with no less than 30 mutations on the spike protein. This high number of mutations makes it the fastest spreading Coronavirus variant yet. Omicron was first discovered in South Africa very recently on November 26nd, 2021. Since Omicron is highly infectious, that cases in South Africa multiplied at an incredible rate and doubled up in only one week. This is why Omicron has been branded as a ‘variant of concern’ by WHO. The thing about Omicron is that it is not as severe as the Delta variant in terms of symptoms. Most patients infected with the Omicron variant only get mild symptoms at maximum and many don’t get any symptoms at all. 

Symptoms of Covid-19 Omicron

As of now, symptoms of Covid-19 variant Omicron are seen to be very similar to that of the common cold. New symptoms have been coming to light as the infection spreads. Given below is the complete list of symptoms of Covid-19 variant Omicron as available so far:

  • Fatigue or tiredness regardless of the physical stature or age of the patient
  • Sore and itchy throat
  • Headache and body ache
  • Red eyes and rashes 
  • Diarrhoea
  • High Basal Temperature
  • Persistent cough 
  • Discolouration of toes and fingers

Symptoms at Severe Stages of Infection 

  • Troubles in breathing
  • Loss of mobility and speech
  • Severe chest pain which remains persistent

Health Insurance Plans for Omicron

UAE, like many other countries from around the world, has adapted its insurance game as per the current requirements of the healthcare landscape. This means, most healthcare services and benefits related to Covid-19 and its variants are covered by insurance companies. Covid-19 coverage can be easily found in many of the basic health insurance plans. Special add-ons or riders are also made available to be taken with basic health insurance policy in the UAE. The scope of the cover and the comprehensive depends on your health insurance provider completely though. There are a few basic things that would be covered by most plans offering Covid-19 health insurance such as hospitalisation costs. But more exclusive benefits can differ from provider to provider. 

Benefits of Health Insurance Plans for Omicron

Given below is a list of a few basic benefits that health insurance policy with Covid-19 cover comes with:

  • Hospitalisation Cover: You will be covered for all hospitalisation expenses as well as the medical expenses that occur during your time in the hospital. 
  • Domiciliary Treatment Expenses: If you are being treated at home for Omicron, the insurance plan will cover the cost of medical services received. 
  • Consumable Cover: Things like PPE kits, gloves, and masks are categorised as consumables. Most health insurance plans cover these expenses for you as well. 
  • Ambulance Cover: Ambulance services used to take the patient to the hospital may be covered by some plans as well. 
  • Pre-and Post-Hospitalisation Expenses: Almost all other pre-and post-hospitalisation expenses are also covered when it comes to Omicron health insurance policy. 
  • Daily Hospital Cash: Daily hospital cash may be allotted to cover services like room rent for the period of your hospitalisation. 

Things to Keep in Mind About Omicron Health Insurance Policy

  • Not all health insurance providers will offer Covid-19 coverage as a part of their basic coverage. You may have to take it as an add-on with an additional premium chargeable. 
  • Make sure that you examine the contents and coverage scope for Covid-19 and variants when you buy the plan or the add-on. 
  • Co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles may apply to Covid-19 cover as well. Take a good look at it. 
  • Cashless claims are generally available with most health insurance providers who offer Covid-19 health insurance policy. Make sure you use it. 
  • Examine the whole list of insurance providers that offer Coronavirus cover before you settle on one. Some top providers like Daman offer highly comprehensive coverage for Coronavirus treatments but the cost can be equally high. Read policy wordings carefully before choosing one provider and find a cost-effective plan.
  • Home quarantine expenses and quarantine at centres categorised as non-recognised is not covered in Covid-19 health insurance policy. 
  • Diagnostic tests conducted via unauthorized clinics and centres are not covered.
  • Treatments and hospitalisation not approved by the doctor are also not covered.  

Are Your Covered for Omicron by Your Existing Plan?

If your insurance provider adds the provision of Covid-19 cover to your existing plan with a few changes in the premium, you can be covered without any further ado or changes. If your insurance provider offers add-on cover for Covid-19 coverage, you can get the coverage on your existing plan itself. The provision of pre-existing diseases may apply if you already have or have had Covid-19 infection before buying the plan. A waiting period may apply here. 

In a Nutshell

Omicron and all other strains of the Covid-19 virus are wreaking havoc across the world. But we continue to fight by being cautious and following proper Covid-19 guidelines. Staying sharp is the key here since yet another new disease is on its way from the west – Delmicron. It is a combination twin-spike of the Omicron and Delta variant and has the potential to create a super strain that is much deadlier than the others. So, make sure that you have your health insurance plan ready and follow proper social distancing and sanitation protocols.