COVID-19 or more commonly known as the novel Coronavirus has brought the whole world to a standstill. With cases of Coronavirus infections increasing at an alarming rate, several nations continue to be in a blockade state. As of May 12, 2020, 4.18 million confirmed cases and 2.18,000 deaths have been recorded due to this unprecedented worldwide pandemic. We as a nation have also been seriously affected by the Coronavirus epidemic, with 46,008 active cases and 2,293 deaths as of May 12. In these difficult times, the Indian government has adopted and is actively taking the necessary steps to ensure that ongoing medical care is available to Indian citizens and the spread of COVID-19 is contained. Considering the seriousness of the situation, the India's Regulatory and Insurance Development Authority (IRDAI) has also issued a notice to insurance companies to expedite the handling of complaints filed in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this directive, all existing health insurance policies would extend their coverage to include Coronavirus without any specific exclusion. This means that if you already have a health insurance policy in place, you will be covered for claims related to Coronavirus disease. All complaints relating to Coronavirus will be handled according to the following rules: The policy will cover for hospitalization costs related to Coronavirus disease; the policy will also cover medical costs incurred during the treatment of the disease; in addition, all medical expenses incurred during the quarantine period will be reimbursed by the insurance provider. All Coronavirus guidelines have been in force since March 4, 2020 and have been made public through a circular "Guidelines on claims management reported under Corona Virus, Ref. No: IRDAI / HLT / REG / CIR / 054/03 / 2020. ”The guidelines are dictated by Section 14 (2) (e) of the IRDAI Act, 1999. At the same time, health insurance providers have also developed customized policies to meet the needs and requirements of the situation. Coronavirus Health Insurance Coverage General and health insurance companies have introduced an exclusive Coronavirus health insurance policy that offers coverage against medical bills in the event of contracting COVID-19 disease. As part of the coverage, insured will be covered for pre and post hospitalization costs, ambulance costs and treatment costs for Coronavirus-related symptoms. Recourse to a health insurance policy of the C oronavirus can prove to be a timely solution for people who do not have existing health insurance coverage and would like to have protection against the prevalent disease. However, these COVID-19 specific policies also have some limitations. Currently, Coronavirus health insurance policies are available for a limited period of 1 year and cannot be renewed. Health insurance policies usually have an initial waiting period of 15-30 days. This implies that policyholders cannot avail of Coronavirus insurance coverage if they test positive for COVID-19 or file a claim within the waiting period of the health insurance policy. What to do? With the Coronavirus pandemic creating an alarming situation, a Coronavirus health insurance policy can keep you financially safe. While the Coronavirus health insurance policy may be a good option for the time being, it may leave you vulnerable after a year. In addition, you will be left without coverage for all other ailments and treatments, so an ideal solution would be to consider a regular health insurance plan. This will ensure adequate coverage for various forms of disease and for the treatments required, including COVID-19. Another consideration would be the search for health insurance plans for family members to protect loved ones. Having said that, before opting for a regular health insurance policy, make sure that your health insurance has the following key features: Room rental cap This determines the amount of room rental costs that your insurance provider will support in case of hospitalization. The amount charged by hospitals for hospitalization of the patient in case of hospitalization constitutes a significant part of the hospital bill. Therefore, choose an insurance policy that covers 100% of the room's rent. Network Hospitals Make sure your health insurance provider has a large network of hospitals on its list. Network hospitals are a group of hospitals associated with the insurer where you can get cashless treatment. You can opt for a cashless claim only when you are treated by a network hospital. Therefore, it is recommended that you opt for an insurance provider that has a large network of hospitals. Pre-existing illness and waiting period All health insurance policies have a predefined waiting period for pre-existing illnesses. A policy covering pre-existing diseases and offering the shortest waiting period should be considered. Records of settlement of claims Currently, information on how insurers respond and treat their customers is easily accessible and available on the Internet, news and various other mediums. Choose a health insurance company that has a high claims settlement ratio and a regular claim process. While the claims settlement track record can be objectively assessed on the basis of the claims information published by IRDAI each year, the process can be judged by the reviews of existing customers. Age of renewal Health-related complications can increase with age. Therefore, opting for an insurance policy that has the maximum renewal of age would be a wise choice. There are also policies that offer you lifelong renewal options. Such policies could be the ideal choice, given the rising health care costs and life expectancy. One of the main insurance companies that stands out for all the characteristics mentioned above is the Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company. In addition to these features, Bajaj Allianz's health insurance policies also provide coverage against Coronavirus disease. Furthermore, without any third party involvement, Bajaj Allianz boasts a 94% claims settlement rate and promises to settle claims within a short time. It also becomes an attractive option as it is possible to book online the insurance policy for the protection of individual or family health of Bajaj Allianz, without the problems of documentation and physical visit to the offices. Also, getting quotes for the desired plan is easy with their online health insurance premium calculator. Before purchasing the health insurance policy, you must carefully read all the terms and conditions of the policy. Take note of all inclusions and exclusions in advance. If you have any questions, you shouldn't hesitate and get canceled by contacting the insurance provider. This way, you can avoid any inconvenience in the next step. If you choose a specific COVID-19 policy, or a broader health insurance plan, or even if you already have a health insurance policy, be sure to inform your insurance provider at the first time you are diagnosed with Coronavirus disease. or related symptoms. All cases related to Coronavirus will be speeded up and dealt with carefully by insurance providers. In fact, this is a good time to take stock of your health needs and make sure you are properly prepared. A comprehensive health insurance policy is the best shield against health uncertainties and rising medical inflation.