YOUR MEDICAL INSURANCE AND COVID-19
With the current pandemic, we all wondered whether or not we were covered by our medical insurance plan. So we decided to ask Pascal Nguyen, director of PNG Private Office.
“If I had to give a simple answer, most health insurances, including international ones, cover COVID-19-related costs”, says Pascal. He confides to us, however, that this is not necessarily the case for cheaper local insurance. My Relocation Asia’s insurer specifies that it is wise to inquire about the offer we have taken out directly with our insurance.
In some countries, local insurers have set up a special “COVID-19” plan, which aims to cover only medical expenses related to the coronavirus in order to fill the gaps in original insurance plans. If your insurance covers costs related to COVID-19, the conditions will be similar to any other viral illness according to the terms and conditions, amount, deductible and waiting period of your policy. Please note:
- In case of hospitalization, the fee will be reimbursed according to the “inpatient” coverage policy;
- In the event of a positive COVID-19 screening test without hospitalisation, the fee will be reimbursed according to the “outpatient treatment” category. If the test comes out negative, it will considered by your insurance as a “regular check-up”. You will therefore not be reimbursed unless you have included this cover in your policy.
You should also be aware that some costs will not be covered by your medical insurance in case of COVID-19:
Quarantine fees, there are two scenarios:
- If you are infected with the virus and are quarantined in a hospital to receive treatment, then your insurance will cover the hospitalization and treatment fee;
- If you are simply quarantined at home or in a hotel as a precautionary measure, for example because you have been in contact with an infected person, your insurer will neither cover the costs of accommodation nor food. The same applies to loss of income due to a quarantine as it is not a matter of health.
Experimental treatments are excluded by the insurers. For example, chloroquine treatments are not covered until they have been approved by the government.
Pre-existing conditions. If your insurer has excluded any treatment related to respiratory troubles or their complications because of a medical history, then there is a risk that COVID-19-related-expenses will not be covered.
NB. Should you have doubts about this matter, it is better to inquire directly with your insurer or your broker.