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In today's world, purchasing health insurance is paramount for safeguarding your well-being. The right health insurance not only shields you from the financial burden of medical expenses but also offers peace of mind. Comprehensive coverage allows you to focus on your health without worrying about the associated costs.
With medical inflation at a whopping 14%, escalating healthcare costs and unforeseen medical emergencies, have you ever wondered if your current health insurance policy would be enough in case there is a medical emergency? Would the coverage you opted for last year be sufficient this year as well? If these questions have been hovering over you, then it is time for you to consider consumable cover in health insurance. When you choose health insurance covering consumables, you can ensure that you have adequate coverage, which provides financial security and ensures access to quality healthcare.
Read on to understand the meaning of consumables, consumable cover in health insurance and also its importance.
Let’s understand the concept with an example-
32-year-old Rajan Mehra had a ₹10 lakh health insurance policy. Last month, he suffered from a stomach infection and had to spend 4 days in the hospital. With a high sum-insured policy, Rajan was quite sure that his policy would cover all his medical bills. While the policy did cover a big share of the bill, Rajan was surprised to see that a big chunk of the money had to be paid by him as well. As he went through the bill, he realised there were so many items that had been added to his out-of-pocket expenses. It was then that he realised that such disposable items like bandages, syringes, and dressings during hospitalisation were categorised as consumables and were not covered under his health plan.
You may wonder why companies do not provide consumable cover in health insurance. One of the main reasons that consumables are not a part of regular health plans is that they are typically single-time used items. Simply put, they are the medical equipment that is discarded after use. During your treatment, a lot of such products are used and then discarded. Thus, these can shoot up the medical bills, which might further add up to the insurer’s expenses significantly.
Another important factor is that the choice of each item depends on the hospital. The brand of each product can differ from hospital to hospital, and so can the price range. For example, a box of tissue paper can range from ₹20 to ₹100. These items may appear minuscule but can slowly add to the final bill easily by about 5% to 15%, especially in case of prolonged hospitalisation.
You also need to remember that the hospital has to cater for waste as well. For example, during your 2-day hospital stay, you used the toothpaste only twice, but you will be charged for the entire tube. Similar will be the case with all other items.
>> Also Read: Know about OPD Cover in a Health Insurance Plan
In 2016, the IRDAI, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, released a list of 199 items that are not payable by the insurance company. These can be classified into 4 main categories:
This category of consumables includes cotton, gloves, syringes, surgical tape, slings, braces, masks etc.
Items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, caps, belts, baby food, diapers, bags, slippers, tissue papers, combs, wet wipes, etc., come under housekeeping.
Documentation is an important part of hospitalisation. The certificates/ paperwork include daily health charts, prescriptions, death/ birth certificates, medical records, visitors' passes, etc.
Within the room charges, there are a number of charges that may not be covered under your health insurance policy. For example, telephone, television, air conditioner, attendant charges, etc.
The four categories of consumables cover a wide range of products. The biggest benefit of consumable cover in health insurance is that you can significantly cut back on your out-of-pocket expenses. This benefit not only fosters affordability in healthcare but also protects you from bearing the entire burden of frequently used medical supplies. Health insurance covering consumables can lessen your financial strain after hospitalisation.
Investing in health insurance is a proactive step toward a secured and healthy future. However, it is also important that you review your health insurance coverage from time to time so that you can ensure sufficient coverage for yourself and your family members.
Considering the list of inclusions and exclusions of a health plan is the second most important thing. In most cases, consumables are not covered in a regular policy. These otherwise small yet cumulative expenses can add up to the total medical bill that you have to pay. Therefore, having health insurance covering consumables can be a smart choice. If you have a health plan with us or want to purchase Care Health Insurance , make sure to consider the consumable cover in health insurance so that you can enhance the coverage of your base plan and further cut back your claim-related expenses.
Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.
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