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IRDAI to direct insurers to prioritise COVID-19 claims, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

As on April 20, a total of 900,000 COVID-19 health claims worth Rs 8,642 crore were settled by insurance companies.

April 22, 2021 / 08:06 PM IST
Image: Reuters

Image: Reuters

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the insurance regulator should direct companies to prioritise authorisation and settlement of COVID-19 claims.

Sitharaman said reports are being received of some hospitals denying cashless insurance. To deal with this situation, the finance minister spoke to Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) chairman SC Khuntia to take immediate action.

"In March 2020, COVID-19 was included as a part of comprehensive health insurance. Cashless available at networked or even temporary hospitals," she added. 

As on April 20, a total of 900,000 COVID-19 health claims worth Rs 8,642 crore were settled by insurance companies. General insurers have received close to Rs 15,000 crore health insurance claims pertaining to the Coronavirus treatment.

In July 2020, IRDAI had also clarified that all general and health insurers must recognise claims incurred at the government-recognised temporary hospitals for COVID-19. Even tele-consultations that are paid can be covered under health insurance. 

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Moneycontrol had reported earlier how there is a constant tussle between hospitals and insurers on COVID-19 hospitalisation rates.

Insurers rue that hospitals are not following the standard rate cards that were issued in June 2020 by industry body General Insurance Council. Hospitals, on the other hand, have said that all patients cannot be put under capped rates.

It was also reported earlier how hospitals have increased treatment costs due to the infection-control measures adopted after the COVID-19 outbreak. This was passed on to the customers resulting in higher bills. But insurers are of the view that insured customers are being unfairly charged.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 22, 2021 08:06 pm

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