PUNE: Telemedicine costs will be covered under medical insurance in accordance with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s (IRDAI) new guidelines with effect from Thursday.
“This is very relevant during the time of Covid-19, when physical visits by the doctors to check patients have become difficult,” National Insurance Academy director G Srinivasan said.
Telemedicine includes off-site medical consultations through telephone and video calls, online chats. Health experts were unanimous that inclusion of these aspects as part of the insurance coverage would make health plans “more inclusive”. “There is a possibility that the insurers may relook at the premium rates for individual and family floater policies. In case of group policies, the premium rates could be looked at the time of renewal based on the experience of claims,” Srinivasan said.
National Insurance Academy chair professor Segar Sampathkumar said most changes made by the regulator were “a welcome move”. He said, “The added facility can apply to those policies providing outpatient treatment , wherever consultation with the medical practitioner is allowed in the terms and conditions of the policy contract as an overwhelming majority of health insurance products relate to hospitalization”.