04 February 2012
By Shilpy Sinha
Now, people who are HIV positive and those who are vulnerable to the disease like doctors and nurses can look forward to getting insured under health policy.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority has asked all life and general insurance companies to put in place an underwriting policy on health insurance for people suffering from human immunodeficiency virus–infected patients. This is for the first time Irda has issued guidelines on covering this segment. The guideline will be effective from October 2012.
In India nearly 5.7 million people are infected with HIV virus.
In a exposure draft issued today, the regulator said that policy should indicate the eligibility criteria. The regulator said that underwriting policy would address persons who are not yet showing AIDS symptoms but are in stage 1 or 2 of HIV infection. The regulations should comply with the treatment protocols of the medication following a very strict timeline.
The policy should provide clear guidelines on risks that would be denied. In addition, insurers will have to provide details of loadings at different stages of disease.
Insurers can state HIV or AIDS as critical illness, providing as a rider with a lump sum on becoming HIV positive, cover AIDS death as an insured even under health insurance policy and cover them under group schemes to cater to various segments of population. Companies have to provide comments in 30 days.
Only one insurance company– Chennai–based Star Health and Allied Insurance Company has a policy under group Insurance cover for the HIV positive patients.