Cooling off Period in Health Insurance

The Cooling-off period is the duration during which a Covid-19 affected person cannot buy health insurance coverage. This ‘cool off’ period can range from a few days to a couple of months. During this time if the insurance applicant is affected by a certain illness then he/she may not be able to buy medical insurance coverage. This ‘cool off’ period can range from a few days to a few months.

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    Simply put, it is like a deferment period or the time taken by a person to completely recover from an illness and thereby become fit to be insured. Usually, the cool-off period applies to all the health plans in India.

    How does Cooling-off Period Works in Health Insurance?

    This Cooling-off period provides time to evaluate customer’s health fairly and accurately. A few health insurance companies in India have introduced a 'cooling-off' waiting period for COVID-19 survivors who are planning to buy a health insurance policy.

    For instance, some applicants can be asymptomatic, and might now know that they are suffering from COVID-19. But down the line, they can get diagnosed with coronavirus. And if someone has been diagnosed with SARS CoV-2 they have to wait for 15-90 days from the date of diagnosis to apply for medical insurance cover.

    People who have contracted the virus; have to wait for full recovery before they can buy health insurance cover to avoid any chances of relapse. It is imperative to ensure that the base medical condition of the applicant has improved and does not impose high- risk. Also, please note that this doesn’t impact the health insurance premiums.

    Additionally, there is no difference between vaccinated and non-vaccinated applicants. It implies that all the normal health insurance policies will go under a cooling-off period to assess and decide on the acceptance of the insurance application.

    So, if an individual who is suffering from any medical condition applies for health insurance cover, the application is underwritten as per the insurer’s underwriting policy and if he/she is diagnosed with acute infection, then acceptance is only provided after the condition is resolved.

    What can you do?

    You should buy health insurance cover before you get infected with the Coronavirus to be able to avail the policy benefits without any delay. Make sure that you go through the policy terms and conditions carefully and check if the policy covers COVID-19 infections.

    Also, you need to disclose all the information at the time of policy issuance to avoid any discrepancies that can later lead to claim rejections. Also, it is important to renew your health insurance policy before its expiry and check the claim amount that you can get. 

    Bottom-line

    Health insurance has become a necessity, especially during the pandemic as it saves you from huge financial liabilities in case of a medical emergency. So, if you are in good health and not yet infected with the virus then it makes sense to get insurance coverage before a situation arises so that you can set off the costs incurred during the recovery period as well.

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