November 27, 2016
Insurance Coverage to Ayurveda Treatments Okayed
The policy-holders seeking treatment under alternative traditional medical systems such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy will no longer have to pay from their pocket for the hospital bill.
The Government has finalised a standardised protocol to include such treatments under insurance coverage, a move that would go a long way in bringing traditional medicine at par with allopathy in the country.
A decision in this regard was taken recently at a meeting under the chairmanship of Ayush Secretary AM Sharan with his officials, representatives from Insurance Regulation and Development Authority as well as insurance firms and the Ayurveda Hospital Management Association.
After intense deliberations, the stakeholders agreed to consider the specific therapies and treatment procedures along with average period of hospitalisation and rates, for the diseases which need to be treated on indoor basis. “The rates which were submitted by the AHMA keeping in view various aspects were agreed upon to be considered as benchmark rates based on which the insurance companies will soon develop customised products/ insurance policies,” said Dr Induchoodan Menon, Treatment Standardisation Committee convener of the AHMA.
He said that the protocol has already been prepared, keeping the total treatments scientific with flexibility for physicians to select suitable therapies and medicines in individual cases.
Dr Menon further added that scientific derivation of total treatment cost will help the insurance companies to fix the premium. “Medicine cost of 30 days pre-hospitalisation & 60 days discharge medicines have also been mentioned separately.”
On the issue of the grievances and representations from the insurance beneficiaries, it was also suggested to set up a panel of experts to be consulted by the insurance companies in settling the insurance claims of Ayush treatments and related matters.
Dr Menon noted that in fact the ayurveda community and the common people had been persistingly demanding the inclusion of ayurvedic treatments under health insurance scheme for a long time.
However, the positive move has been finally made after a mutually agreed common protocol for diseases satisfying scientific aspects, systematic costing considering statutory norms and also agreeable with insurance norms.