18 June, 2021

A Virus They Won’t Cover

Why are mediclaim reimbursements so unpredictable in Covid cases?

A Virus They Won’t Cover

When 61-year-old Latha was admitted in Chennai’s Sooriya Hospital for COVID-19 treatment in July, her family didn’t expect the cost could take away all their savings. She was there for a month, and the hospital raised a bill for Rs 14 lakh. Latha, who had health insurance from Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Limited, asked the company to reimburse the bill. The company didn’t refuse to pay, but asked the hospital to rationalise the treatment cost. Agreeing to pay only Rs 4.4 lakh, Star Health wrote to the hospital, “As per the government order that has been reinforced by the Tamil Nadu ­government, such exorbitant billing shall be taken to the notice of the government.” The hospital agreed to settle for Rs 4.49 lakh.

General Insurance Council, a body representing health insurance companies, has filed some such bills in the Supreme Court to dispel the notion that they are refusing to settle claims. If lack of transparency in hospital ­billing is allowed to continue, the council said, “insurance companies would be...

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