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Health Insurance Now Covers Both Donor & Donee in Transplant Surgeries

Will bring cost of such surgeries down by 20% to 40%.

With the number of transplant surgeries in India on the rise, insurers have come out with healthcare plans that cover the medical expenses of both donors and donees. This is a long overdue shift from traditional plans under which the donee had to cover even the donor’s medical expenses. This extra burden on the donor 20% to 40% of the total treatment cost was a major hurdle in many transplant surgeries till now.

These are the reasons, according to KG Krishnamoorthy Rao, MD and CEO, Future Generali India Insurance, why all insurers today have come out with such plans.

This move, experts say, will bridge the gap between the 15,00020,000 transplant surgeries performed in India every year; and the 1,00,000 and 2,00,000 patients who need liver and kidney transplants, respectively. A gap which will now, hopefully, be narrowed.

Experts have started opining that buying these healthcare plans is advisable. This follows from the fact that hospitals and healthcare organizations also prefer donor-donee plans as they share liabilities.

It is not just the healthcare plans that are being modified, all new healthcare plans that are launched these days have this donor-expense cover incorporated in them. Liberty Videocon General Insurance, for instance, recently entered the health insurance market with a flagship plan that covers organ donation expenses up to the sum assured. Roopam Asthana, director and CEO, Liberty Videocon General Insurance, has said that this plan covers expenses incurred towards donor's screening and treatment for harvesting of the organ donated.

The CEO of mid-size private general insurance firm (name withheld) was quoted in the press as saying, "Now, with the advancement of technology, both public and private companies are now averse to providing a cover. But, the individual has to disclose this at the very beginning to avoid rejection of claims in the future."

These plans have received a further boost with IRDA mandating that 12 critical illnesses be covered by health insurers, along with donor expenses.

(Source: This article has been adapted from the article "Insurance Cover for Organ Transplants to Ease Donor Costs" that appeared on December 22, 2014 in business-standard.com.)