Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says IRDAI directs insurance companies to prioritize COVID-19 claims

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the insurance regulator IRDAI should give priority to authorization and settlement of COVID-19 claims to companies.

Sitharaman said that reports of cashless insurance refusal were being received by some hospitals. To deal with this situation, the Finance Minister spoke to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) Chairman SC Khuntia to take immediate action.
“In March 2020, COVID-19 was incorporated as part of comprehensive health insurance. Cashless available in networkless or temporary hospitals,” she said.

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On 20 April, a total of 900,000 COVID-19 health claims worth Rs 8,642 crore were settled by insurance companies. General insurers related to coronovirus treatment have received health insurance claims worth Rs 15,000 crore.

In July 2020, IRDAI also clarified that all general and health insurers must recognize claims made for COVID-19 in government-accredited temporary hospitals. Even paid tele-counseling can be covered under health insurance.
It has been described earlier how COVID-19 is constantly in conflict between hospitals and insurance companies over hospitalization rates.

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Insurance companies say hospital industry bodies are not following the standard rate card issued in June 2020 by the General Insurance Council. On the other hand, hospitals have stated that not all patients can be held at shaded rates.

It was also reported earlier how hospitals have increased treatment costs due to infection-control measures adopted after the COVID-19 outbreak. This was given to customers as a result of the high bill. But insurers are of the view that insured customers are unfairly charged.

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