Over the past 15 to 16 months, treatments at private hospitals in all major cities across the country have become more expensive, with the inclusion of essential protective equipment and consumables for staff that are passed on to hospital bills. hospitalization of consumers. In fact, inpatient costs have increased by 35-40% for all large private hospitals, especially with the increased consumption of consumables like PPE kits, syringes, as well as the added costs. disinfection.
While before COVID-19, the average hospital bill was between Rs 50,000 and Rs 60,000, during COVID-19 crises, it rose to Rs 80,000 – Rs 90,000. Over the past year , the cost of COVID-19 beds in private hospitals is around Rs 10,000 per patient per day. For a 15-day hospitalization for the treatment of COVID-19, the hospital bill mainly amounts to Rs 1.5 lakh – Rs 2 lakh.
Increase in the proportion of consumables
Before COVID-19, consumables made up around 3% to 5% of hospital bills, but since the start of the pandemic, the share of consumables in hospital bills has increased to 25% to 30%. This has left several families across the country struggling as they take out loans or seek help from family and friends to pay hospital bills.
For example, a family in Bangalore was puzzled to see that 40% of their hospital bill was for consumables which included the cost of PPE kits, N95 masks, disinfection of examination rooms and many other products. . The bill given to them by a private hospital was Rs 2.5 lakh which included consumables worth Rs 1 lakh. The story is similar across PAN India, with people worrying about the high cost of consumables on their hospital bills.
Indeed, according to the underwriting rules of insurers, consumables are not the responsibility of the insurance company. As a health policyholder, it is important that you know that your insurer may not cover you for consumables and that the cost of these expenses will only be borne by you in the event of hospitalization.
Horsemen to the rescue
Fortunately, given the significantly high proportion of consumables in hospital bills, insurers have now started to offer endorsements that can be purchased with basic plans to cover the cost of consumables in your hospital bills. For now, two leading insurers, namely Care Health Insurance and Max Bupa Health Insurance, offer such endorsements. The feature can be used through any Care Health insurer’s plan by adding the Care Shield rider and the Safeguard rider from Max Bupa Health Insurance. These two riders cost around 5% of the premium for the basic plan.
For example, if you choose Max Bupa’s Health ReAssure plan which has an annual premium of Rs 8,000, then Safeguard Rider’s annual premium would be Rs 400. These two endorsements help settle the claim for unpaid items and don’t. have no impact on PNE if demand is up to 50,000. These two jumpers can be purchased with any health coverage from Care Health Insurance or Max Bupa Health Insurance to cover consumables and non payable items such as belts, gloves, suspenders, masks, spirometer, thermometer and other similar items. In addition to consumables coverage, the Care Shield rider also supports preventative check-ups, wellness, home care, medical consultations, and diagnostics.
According to the available trends, the claims reimbursement rate among people who have coverage for consumables is 94% while those who do not have coverage for consumables is 83%. This means that for people who have coverage for consumables, the claims reimbursement rate is 11 percentage points higher than for people who do not have coverage for consumables. These numbers are expected to increase by several as COVID-19 is here to stay for a long time and the practice of using consumables for patients during hospitalization will also be followed in the long term. It is therefore even more important to add a consumables rider to your basic plan for complete coverage against coronavirus infections.
(By Amit Chhabra, Health Insurance Manager, Policybazaar.com)