Budget 2020

IRDAI: Existing policy to cover hospital stay for vaccine after-effects

(This story originally appeared in on Mar 19, 2021)

HYDERABAD: Worried about taking the Covid vaccine shot because of the fear of adverse reactions? Fret no more, as your existing health insurance policy will also cover the cost of any hospitalisation arising as a result of the jab.

This important clarification came from insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) on Thursday amid rising Covid cases across the country and concerns over vaccine hesitancy.

“It is clarified that in the unlikely event of hospitalisation following an adverse reaction to Covid vaccination, hospitalisation is covered under the health insurance policies subject to the specific terms and conditions of the policy,” the IRDAI said.

Amit Chhabra, health insurance head at Policybazaar.com, said this IRDAI notification clarifies that any hospitalisation on account of after-effects of vaccination, that require an active line of treatment in a hospital, will be treated like any other ailment and covered by the insurance company.

An industry expert pointed out this is the first time that an adult vaccination drive is being carried out on such a mass scale in India and so far policyholders lacked clarity about their existing health plans covering adverse side effects. Bhabatosh Mishra, director of underwriting, products and claims at Max Bupa Health Insurance, pointed out that the IRDAI’s latest announcement will further reassure people to take the Covid vaccine without fear and with confidence.