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  • How Health Insurance Works

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 18, 2023

    Health insurance is essential and the most widely purchased insurance product. The rising cost of medical care combined with a sedentary lifestyle makes it a must-have. Health insurance covers different medical conditions and allows you to lead a stress-free life.

     Health insurance is usually available as an individual plan and a family floater policy. The scope of coverage for both is identical except for the use of the sum insured. Let us proceed and learn

    How does health insurance work in India?

    Health insurance is specifically designed to provide financial protection against various illnesses. In exchange, the insurer requires you to pay a premium. The cost of this product is determined by several factors, the most important of which is your age and medical history.

     As a Policy Owner, you are entitled to benefits up to the sum insured. In general, medical insurance policies cover the following expenses:


     Pre and Post-hospitalization expenses

    Daycare procedures

    AYUSH treatment recognized by government institutions

    In-patient expenses

    ICU charges

    Indoor expenses

    However, keep in mind that the scope of coverage may differ between insurers. Every policy has a waiting period, and benefits are available once that period is over. As a result, thoroughly reviewing the policy wording is critical.

     Deductibles are another important factor to consider. It is the amount you must pay out of pocket at the time of settlement. There are two types of deductibles - mandatory and voluntary. If you increase the latter, your premium will be reduced while your liability will increase.

    How does health insurance renewal work?

     Health insurance benefits are available for a fixed time frame. After this period expires, you will have to renew your policy by paying the required premium. During renewal, you can add riders to expand the scope of coverage. If you don't make any medical claims, your insurance coverage will increase up to a certain limit.

     Nowadays, insurers allow both online and offline renewal.

  • ICICI Lombard's Health Insurance Claim Ratio

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 10, 2023


    A medical emergency can be a frightening situation. It not only renders you unable to work for the duration of your hospitalisation but makes it difficult to pay the treatment bills. To protect yourself and your loved ones from such occurrences, purchase comprehensive health insurance. The policy covers in-patient care, ICU expenses, pre and post-hospitalisation charges, consultation fees, and more. But, your health insurance will be useful only if your insurer has a streamlined claim process and high claim settlement ratio

    When purchasing medical insurance for yourself or a loved one, always check the list of network hospitals provided by the insurer. Check to see if you can file your claim online or if the sole option is to visit the insurer with a stack of documents and wait for days for your bill to be reimbursed.

    ICICI Lombard health insurance claim process

    ICICI Lombard is noted for its instant coverage and speedy claim settlement process. With a settlement ratio of 99.7%, ICICI Lombard is one of the best insurance providers in the medical insurance industry. You can file a claim with ICICI Lombard by following these three simple steps:

    • Initiate

    Contact our claim executives as soon as a medical emergency occurs by dialling 1800 2666. You can also request via the IL Take Care App.

    • Verification

    Our claims team will verify the medical documents you shared. If everything checks out, your request will be processed further. 

    • Tracking

    You can track the real-time claim status with just a few clicks on your mobile device.

    Claim procedure for cashless hospitalisation

    ICICI Lombard has over 6700+ network hospitals across India, reducing your financial burden during the medical crisis.

    • Visit the nearest network hospital. Keep a list of network hospitals handy to avoid the last-minute hassle.
    • Go to the health desk counter and show the third-party administrator (TPA) your health card.
    • TPA will complete the pre-authorisation request application and submit it on your behalf to the ICICI Lombard claim team.
    • The claim executives will review the request form and verify the medical reports before approving the request.
    • Once the request is approved, you can avail of treatment for free. 
    • Post-treatment, the bills will be settled directly with the hospital.

    Note: If the cashless claim is rejected due to missing information or another insignificant reason, you must pay the bills from your pocket before filing the reimbursement claim.

  • Prevention is Better than COVID-19 Cure

    by Amit Moolya | Dec 30, 2022


    The immune-evading BF.7 variant of Covid-19 is wreaking havoc in China. According to various media reports, the disease is currently affecting millions daily. Given the severity of new strains and potential mutations, the Indian government has increased surveillance of people flying from China and its neighbouring countries. If the necessary measures are not put in at the right time, India may face the same fate as China. Furthermore, when Covid strikes, the healthcare infrastructure is overburdened, increasing the cost of disease treatment. Thus, in the interest of health & financial security, it is advisable to not just get a health insurance but also practice preventive measures against the spread of the virus.

    Let's go over some precautionary measures that you may follow to avoid infection from this lethal virus.

    Use masks & follow hygiene habits

    When going out in public, make sure to wear a mask. For added protection, use a K95 or N95 mask. If at all possible, avoid going out in public places or crowded areas. However, because there is no lockdown and offices are open, the only way to prevent the virus is to

    • Practise social distancing
    • Isolate in case of symptoms (fever, cold, cough, or breathlessness)
    • Sanitise regularly

    Get vaccinated

    The government's previous massive vaccination campaign aided India in reducing the virus's threat. However, if you have not yet been immunised with any of the authorised vaccines, you should do so right away. Those who have been vaccinated must make an appointment to receive a booster dose or a nasal spray that has recently been introduced to boost immunity against the virus.

    Get Health insurance

    Insurance does not prevent the virus from infecting you, but it does come into play if you are infected. The cost of treating covid cases can be high because, once severe, it can affect other parts of the body. To deal with covid, the IRDAI implemented the Corona Kavach policy.

    Corona kavach is an indemnity plan that covers the cost of covid treatment if you are hospitalised for more than 24 hours after being diagnosed with this ailment. The sum insured under this policy ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5,00,000. The policy includes pre and post-hospitalisation expenses, comorbid conditions, ICU charges, and domiciliary treatment.

    Final Words

    Covid prevention is always preferable to cure. A reliable medicine to treat this virus has yet to be developed. Remember - the preparation to protect yourself against this virus begins with the purchase of health insurance, which is followed by precautions such as wearing masks, getting vaccinated, and practising social distancing.

  • GST on Health Insurance

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Dec 27, 2022


    The Government introduced the Goods & Services Tax, popularly known as GST, in 2017. GST consolidates multiple indirect taxes such as excise duty, VAT, and service tax under a single umbrella. It also helps business owners to understand the tax implications better and allows them to conduct business transactions more smoothly.

    GST applies to almost all goods and services, including health insurance products, sold across the country. When you buy health insurance plan, you must pay an 18% GST. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how GST affects your medical insurance. However, before that let us first understand what GST is and how it works.

    What is GST?

    GST is a single indirect tax that you—the consumer, must pay when purchasing household goods such as clothing and food. Furthermore, this tax is applicable if you avail of any services such as dining, transportation, or insurance.

    Types of GST on Health Insurance

    • Central GST (CGST)

    This portion of GST goes to the Central government's account.

    • State GST (SGST)

    The component of GST is collected by the state government on intra-state transactions.

    • Integrated GST (IGST)

    IGST is split evenly between the Central and the state government. Here, the concerned state is where the goods or services are consumed.

    • Union Territory GST (UGST)

    You must pay UGST if you have consumed goods or services in a union territory such as Chandigarh and Andaman & Nicobar. 

    In India, there are five GST slabs—0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. The Government has clearly defined which services or goods will be subject to which tax bracket.

    Impact of GST on health insurance

    Health insurance has become expensive since the implementation of GST. Earlier, when purchasing health insurance, the policyholder was charged a 15% service tax. The components of the service tax are:

    • Basic service tax – 14%
    • Swach Bharat cess – 0.5%
    • Krishi Kalyan Cess – 0.5%

    Since the tax rates were revised, you must now pay an additional 3% in taxes when purchasing or renewing medical insurance

    Tax savings under section 80D

    Investing in health insurance not only protects you financially in the event of a medical emergency but also allows you to save a significant amount of money on taxes. Section 80D of the income tax allows you to bring down the tax payable amount by up to Rs 1,00,000. Here is the table detailing the tax benefits under section 80D

    Covered Individual Maximum Deduction
    Insurance premiums paid for self, spouse, or dependent children, all under the age of 60 years. Rs 25,000
    Insurance premiums paid for self, spouse, dependent children, and parents, all under the age of 60 years. Rs 25,000 + Rs 25,000
    Insurance premiums paid for self, spouse, dependent children, and senior citizen parents. Rs 25,000 + Rs 50,000
    Insurance premiums paid for self, spouse, dependent children, and parents, all over the age of 60 years. Rs 50,000 + Rs 50,000

    In addition to the insurance premium, you can also claim a deduction for the amount spent on the preventive health check-up. The maximum exemption limit, in this case, is Rs 5,000.

  • Understanding the ICICI Lombard Health Insurance Policy Upgrade

    by Amit Moolya | Dec 27, 2022


    The New Features of ICICI Lombard Health Insurance

    We have upgraded our health insurance policy to make it more comprehensive and inclusive. With this new version, you can avail a host of new benefits:

    • Zone-based pricing - premium advantage in line with the treatment costs in your zone
    • Pneumococcal Vaccine discount
    • Guaranteed No-Claim Bonus of 20% of sum insured for every claim-free year (with a maximum of 100% bonus)
    • Unlimited reset up to 100% of sum insured for unrelated illness and once for same illness
    • Medical procedure expenses for organ donor up to the sum insured
    • Home care cover up to 5% of sum insured (max up to `25,000)
    • Limit for Cataract cover up to 10% of sum insured (maximum up to `1 Lakh per eye)

    The company has also introduced a variety of complimentary services on the IL TakeCare app to help its customer stay healthy, safe and informed about their health

    📲 Face Scan 👩‍⚕️ Hello Doctor 💻 Online Health Assistance
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    Zone-based pricing

    With our new zone-based pricing, you can get premium advantage in line with the treatment cost prevailing in a particular zone.

    Zone definition

    Zone A Mumbai, Haryana, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Ahmedabad, Surat , Delhi, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad & Rest of NCR (excluding Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (excl Noida city), Bulandshahr, Alwar, Bagpat, Bharatpur, Jhajjar, Jind, Nuh, Panipat, Rewari)
    Zone B Pune, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat (excl. Ahmedabad and Surat), Bengaluru, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana (Incl. Hyderabad), Pondicherry, Uttarakand, Chhattisgarh
    Zone C Rest of India (Punjab, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Tamil Nadu (excl. Chennai, Pondicherry), Odisha, North Eastern States, Andaman & Nicobar, Rest of Karnataka, Rest of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rest of Maharashtra, Rest of UP)
    Zone D Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (excl Noida city), Bulandshahr, Alwar, Bagpat, Bharatpur, Jhajjar, Jind, Nuh, Panipat, Rewari


    Based on your pincode, if you fall in zone A, you will continue to have the freedom to get treatment across India without zone based co-pay (Co-pay is a share of claim amount that you’d have to bear). For other zones, you will need to share a part of the claim amount for treatments at a hospital in higher zone.

  • Understanding Deductibles in Health Insurance

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 02, 2022

    Deductibles in Health Insurance Plans

    Having an insurance policy may not cover you entirely during a medical emergency. This is because of a mostly overlooked aspect of health insurance called deductibles. A health insurance deductible is the amount payable by the policyholder while raising a claim. This amount is predefined in the policy plan. For example, if you raise a claim of Rs 1 lakh and the deductible mentioned in the policy is Rs 40,000, the insurer will approve payment of Rs 60,000 only after adjusting the deductible amount. It is the amount that you need to pay before the insurer starts to pay against the claim. In other words, you must pay medical insurance deductibles out of your pocket.

    Why are deductibles included in health plans?

    Deductibles are included in health insurance policies to discourage policyholders from making trivial claims. This also ensures that people don’t misuse their health covers to avail of hospitalization for minor medical concerns.

    Relation with health insurance premium

    The risk burden of the insurer reduces when there is a deductible amount in the health insurance policy. Therefore, health policies with high deductibles amount generally have a low insurance premium amount. If the amount of the deductible is low or non-existent, the premium amount will be higher.

    Types of health insurance deductibles

    • Policyholders can select voluntary deductibles amounts as per their budget and affordability. and decide their premium amount accordingly.
    • A compulsory deductible is pre-decided by the insurer at the time of policy purchase. While buying a health policy with a compulsory deductible, the deductible becomes just another point in the list of policy terms and conditions. The compulsory deductible doesn’t have any impact on the premium amount.
    • A cumulative deductible is applicable in family floater plans. In these policies, the insurance cover is a cumulative amount applicable to all the members of the family floater policy. Accordingly, the deductible amount is also applicable to all members cumulatively.
    • A comprehensive deductible keeps on adding till you pay the amount applicable in your health policy. It is a single deductible that applies to all health covers, but it is not available in India at present.
    • Non-comprehensive deductibles apply to specific parts of the policy and not the entire policy. Thus, it is deducted only when you raise a claim against such medical treatments to which the deductible is applicable. For any other claims, the deductibles clause is not triggered.
  • All You Need to Know About the New Strain of Coronavirus

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 24, 2022

    Experts say the mutant variant of coronavirus, which is believed to have originated from the UK, is even more infectious and dangerous.

    2020 was a tough year. The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus disrupted the lives of millions of people across the globe. While some lost loved ones to the disease, many had to face financial turmoil as they lost their jobs due to the global lockdown.

    However, just when the lockdown restrictions began to ease around the world, and everyone started believing the calamity is over, the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) announced that it had found a new strain or variant of the coronavirus. According to doctors and scientists, the mutant coronavirus variant is more contagious and even more dangerous than the original strain.

    Citing this new coronavirus's danger, the UK Government imposed the most stringent lockdown in the country from January 5. Now, the questions that arise are, "What are the symptoms of this new COVID variant?", "Does India need to worry?", "Are the current vaccines going to be effective?", etc.

    In this article, you will find information related to the new strain of coronavirus, including its symptoms, threats, associated dangers, and precautions you need to take. Read on.

    The new coronavirus strain: What is it?

    The new strain of the coronavirus was first identified in a man living in the south-east of England. The variant was named "VUI 202012/01" by the UK scientists. It includes a genetic mutation in the 'spike' protein, which is the reason for its highly contagious nature. According to researchers, this strain of the coronavirus has a minimum of 17 changes of mutation.

    How harmful is the new Covid strain?

    As per early reports, the coronavirus's new variant is highly contagious and can spread up to 70% faster than the original strain. In fact, in the UK, more than 60% of COVID patients are found to be infected with this new strain of coronavirus. What's more worrying is the fact that this variant is mostly infecting the people between 30 to 60 years of age.

    Keeping in mind the threat this Covid strain poses to the population, several countries have temporarily suspended UK citizens' arrival on their shores. Few cases of infections have also been reported from Denmark, South Africa, Netherlands, Australia, France, and Italy.

    What's the situation in India?

    The new variant of coronavirus has entered India as well. However, the spike in the number of cases isn't too alarming, and the situation is mostly under control. As per government data, the total number of people who have tested positive for the UK strain of coronavirus stood at 165 on January 28.

    Keeping in mind the safety of its citizens, the Indian Government has extended the temporary restrictions on the arrival of flights originating from the UK till February 14. Several states such as Maharashtra, West Bengal and Kerela have also taken various steps to control the spread of the mutant COVID-19 variant.

    What are the common infection symptoms?

    The Office of National Statistics (ONS) conducted a survey to identify the most common symptoms in new covid positive cases. According to the ONS reports, some of the new COVID variant's symptoms include cough, sore throat, muscle pain, joint pain and fatigue.

    The reports also suggested the differences between the new coronavirus strain symptoms compared to the old one. It pointed out that the people infected with the latest COVID-19 variant are less likely to experience the loss of smell and taste, which was a common symptom of the original strain.

    What are the precautions that you need to take?

    The precautions you need to take to avoid getting infected from the new coronavirus's new strain are no different. You should frequently wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitisers to keep your hands clean and germ-free. Also, you should always wear a mask and follow social distancing norms in public places.

    In case you experience any of the symptoms, consult a doctor immediately and get yourself tested for the infection. In case you're found to be positive, obey the existing isolation rules and abide by the restrictions till you recover completely.

    Will the current vaccines work against the new variant?

    As per the scientists, there is no evidence that the current vaccines, including the ones developed by Pfizer and BioNtech in the UK and Covaxin or Covishield in India, will be ineffective against the new coronavirus strain. In fact, a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) has found that Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is entirely effective against the mutant variant.

  • Employer’s Group Health Insurance: Should You Include Your Parents?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 24, 2022

    Group health insurance plan along with individual health insurance provides adequate health coverage to your parents

    The depth of love your parents have for you can never be measured. They have always been your backbone but at a ripe age, health is probably the first companion that starts deserting them and may take away their hard-earned savings along with it. The exponential rise in treatment and medicine costs compounded with limited scope of income can ruin their ‘golden days’.

    The best gift you can provide to your aging parents is securing their healthcare expenses through a health insurance plan. You can buy a separate health insurance policy for your parents or you can include them in the Group Health Insurance (GHI) plan provided by your employer.

    What is a Group Health Insurance?

    Companies often provide group health insurance coverage to its employees and their family. The premium for this scheme is borne by the employer to create a loyal and motivated workforce. The employee may add his/her spouse, children and parents to this group health insurance plan.

    Since the risk is spread across the group, the premium for group health insurance plan are less than individual plans. The organization may design a self-insured plan or may select a pre-planned group insurance policy provided by general insurance companies.

    How is it Beneficial for My Parents?

    Separate health insurance plans for your parents at a ripe age may cost you much more since they are highly prone to illnesses. The best way is to include them in the group health insurance (GHI) plan provided by your employer. Here’s how it can benefit your parents:

    • They cannot be denied the health coverage on the basis of their medical history. No medical examination is required under GHI plan and the claim settlement is also smoother.
    • There is no waiting period for any disease and you can claim the health cover for your parents right from the first day.
    • Pre-existing diseases are not excluded from the health cover. So, if your parents are already diagnosed with certain ailments, they are also covered under the GHI plan.
    • You can even customize the GHI plan provided by the employer by adding a top-up to increase the coverage amount for your parents.
  • Need for Patients with Hypertension for Health Insurance

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 24, 2022

    When Arun went to the doctor for his routine check-up, he was quite amused to know that his blood pressure was found higher than normal and he was diagnosed with hypertension. He recognized its high risk factors could lead to cardiovascular diseases and kidney failures, and therefore immediately decided to buy an individual health insurance plan for himself because he knew it can ruin his finances.

    High blood pressure or Hypertension is ranked as third most risk factor for attributable diseases in India. Research also shows that overall prevalence of hypertension in the country to be around 30%, with more than 320 lakh people being affected. Although you cannot control contracting the disease amid sedentary lifestyle and work pressure, you can always look to stay protected against hefty medical emergencies that could empty all your savings.

    Hypertension Can Prove Fatal

    Hypertension can arise due to several reasons and stress tops the list. Modern lifestyle and events from your personal or professional life can give rise to stress which leads to high blood pressure. It can cause many severe health conditions like heart attack, brain haemorrhage, kidney problems, etc. Even a slightly high blood pressure can lead to a stroke.

    The rising inflation in medical sector makes it really hard to take care of hefty medical bills for treatment of such diseases. People are also willing to switch to private hospitals in order to get quality treatment but incur very high expenses for doctor’s fees, medicines, diagnostic tests, and hospitalization charges etc.

  • Key Terms to Know Before Buying Health Insurance

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jul 05, 2022

    As the world is still reeling under the COVID-19 pandemic and is struggling to attain normalcy, health insurance has become even more significant in ensuring peace of mind. Health insurance provides a cover of assurance that you will be taken care of in the face of a medical crisis. Healthcare, today, is very expensive and a little something can cost you lakhs of rupees in the name of quality treatment and hospitalization costs. However, just getting any health insurance is not enough, what you need is the right cover that meets your needs without going over your budget. Here are some things to know before buying health insurance, including the important health insurance terms and conditions, to help you make an informed decision.

    Health insurance conditions

    Most insurance companies have their own set of conditions laid out for policy seekers. You must meet these conditions to be able to enjoy the policy benefits. Some of them are:

    - Pre-policy health checks:

    • At times, health insurance companies ask you to undergo several pre-policy health checks at their cost. These health checks help them assess your health risk profile so that they can offer a policy that best suits your needs. As an added advantage, you also get to know if there is something to look out for in terms of your health conditions.

    - Waiting period:

    The waiting period is a very important aspect of c. When you buy a health insurance plan, in the first month, the insurance companies only cover an accidental injury. This is considered a cooling-off period in which the insurance company can check if some problem might not have been missed in the health checks.

    - Deductibles:

    Deductibles are very important in terms of health insurance conditions. Deductibles are meant to help insurance companies while preventing misuse of medical insurance policies through frivolous claims. A deductible is the percentage amount of your medical bills that you are required to pay out of your pocket—generally 15% or 20% of the total bill amount as well as non-medical and administrative expenses. One good thing about deductibles is that for people who lead a healthy lifestyle and are at low risk, adding a higher voluntary deductible helps in bagging a higher discount on policy premiums.

  • Tax-Reducing Bills and Receipts in Health Insurance

    by tanvi staging | Jul 04, 2022

    Bills and receipts, which you thought had little value, can help you save tax

    There are several ways to reduce the income tax payable, and out of these, most are unknown to us or often forgotten. Invoices and receipts of various expenses are examples of such commonplace items that can help reduce your tax liability.

    Here are 8 invoice-related tax deductions in accordance with The Income Tax (IT) Act 1961, which you can claim to save more this year:

    1. Children's Tuition Fee Receipt

    Any tuition fee paid by you for the education of your children (maximum 2) is allowed for deduction under Section 80C. This payment can be to any recognized school, college, university or other educational institution situated within India for the purpose of full-time education of your children. It also includes payments for playschool, pre-nursery and nursery.

    2. Medical Insurance Premium Receipt

    Payment of medical insurance premium for yourself, your spouse and dependent children qualifies for tax deduction under Section 80D. Likewise, payment of medical or health insurance premium for your parents, whether dependent or not, qualifies as a deduction under this section.

    3. Bills for Preventive Health Checkups

    If you have not yet exhausted your deduction limit under Section 80D and you have a bill for a preventive health checkup, you can claim this bill and get a maximum of Rs. 5,000 as a deduction. This deduction is included within the overall limit of Rs. 25,000 of Section 80D (Rs. 30,000 in case of senior citizens) for the financial year 2014-15.

    4. Meal Coupons and Hotel Bills

    If your company issues meal coupons (like Sodexho) as a perquisite, you can make your meal expenses tax-free under Section 17. Meal expenses are not taxable up to Rs. 2,600 per month. If you are a business owner, you can save tax by indicating all meal expenses incurred as a part of your business – for example lunch or dinner meetings with various stakeholders of your business – as business expenses.

  • Covishield or Covaxin: Which is the Better Covid-19 Vaccine?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jul 04, 2022

    The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live. The new normal includes wearing masks, sanitisers, social distancing, restricted movement, work from home, online shopping and more. Another important aspect of this new normal is getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and get covered with good health insurance. While doctors believe that getting the covid vaccine may not be enough in avoiding infection, but it can certainly contain the severity of the condition. In India, the two most popular options for COVID-19 vaccines are—Covaxin and Covishield. Are you finding it difficult to choose one?


    Made by Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad-based biotechnology company, Covaxin is the first Indian vaccine against the COVID-19 causing coronavirus. It is made from an inactivated virus; the virus was killed before incorporating it into the vaccine. When introduced to a healthy human body, the inactivated virus triggers an immune response, developing antibodies to fight it. These antibodies prove useful in preventing a severe case of COVID-19 when the person is exposed to live coronavirus. The vaccine, stored between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, is taken in two doses with a gap of four to six weeks between the two shots.

    The common side effects of Covaxin include fever, nausea, headache, pain and swelling at the site of injection, muscle ache and even fatigue in some cases.


    Covishield was developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and its Indian variant is manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune. While Covaxin is made using an inactivated coronavirus, Covishield is made from a viral vector obtained from a different virus usually found in Chimpanzees. The viral vector is modified to imitate the novel coronavirus. Covishield can be stored for up to six months at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. This too is taken in two doses at a gap of 6 to 8 weeks. Moreover, Covishield is claimed to develop more antibodies in the human body, thus needing a longer time gap between the two shots.

    Covishield’s side effects are more or less the same as Covaxin and include pain and tenderness at the injection site, fever, nausea and weakness.

  • Coronavirus Vaccine Prices in India: All You Need to Know

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jul 04, 2022

    In May, the Indian government had expressed confidence in achieving 100% COVID-19 vaccination of adults by the end of 2021. While India is running a global race to achieve complete vaccination to beat the novel coronavirus, there are four types of Covid vaccine in India that are being used to contain the pandemic among the masses. It is important to get covered with good health insurance which covers corona related expenses in this pandemic. Let us take a look at these vaccine options, their similarities and differences, and cost.


    Manufactured by India’s largest vaccine maker, the Serum Institute of India, Covishield was developed by Oxford University, in collaboration with Cambridge-based pharma and biotech company AstraZeneca.

    Covishield has been developed on the viral vector platform using a modified version of a common cold virus. The vaccine is taken in two doses and is found to have an efficacy of 76%, which increases up to 82% with a gap of 12 or more weeks between the two shots. Covishield has been cleared for vaccination by 117 countries so far. Many countries have opened their international borders for Covishield-vaccinated people, including 10 countries from the European Union.

    In India, Covishield is being offered free of cost at government vaccination centres. However, if you get the jab in a private hospital, you may have to pay up to Rs 780 per dose—Rs 600 as the price of the dose, Rs 30 as GST and Rs 150 as the service charge.


    Covaxin is developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology. Covaxin contains dead coronavirus, which prompts the immune system to develop antibodies against it. Covaxin is administered in two doses that should ideally be four weeks apart. Phase 3 trials of Covaxin showed a 77.8% efficacy. Although 13 countries have approved the use of Covaxin, the World Health Organization (WHO) is yet to give its nod to the vaccine.

    In India, Covaxin is offered free of cost in government medical centres, while private hospitals can charge not more than Rs 1,410, which is inclusive of Rs 1,200 as the price of the dose, Rs 60 as GST and Rs 150 as the maximum service charge.

  • Reconsidering Knee Replacement

    by tanvi staging | Jul 04, 2022

    One of the largest joints in the body, the knee is often a cause of concern for most individuals. A healthy knee, which allows us to move, walk and run around with fluidity and flexibility, is now facing the brunt of modern lifestyles and habits. With increasing disposable incomes, availability of home delivery of food and everyday items, and easy transportation people have become less mobile.

    Right from clothing to grocery, everything can be ordered and delivered from the comfort of your home or office, without the need for visiting the store. Moreover, the unhealthy lifestyle including reduced physical activity and poor eating habits are adding onto the burden on the knees along with causing other problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and putting the heart at risk.

    Having a knee replacement surgery could be a life changing decision, irrespective of your age. However, make sure you ask yourself and your doctor these 5 questions before opting for knee replacement surgery.

    1. Have you tried enough alternative options?

    2. Usually doctors first suggest non-operative options such as physical therapy, weight loss, suitable light exercises or medications to strengthen the knee. Knee surgery is more of an “elective” procedure rather than a prescribed option. Hence, make sure you evaluate these options and try them to check if it alleviates the pain and makes life easy with natural remedies and less invasive procedures.

    3. Are you doing it at the correct age?

    4. Knee replacements are not as durable as your natural knee structure and lasts for only 15-20 years. If you are getting a knee replacement done at the age of 50 then you may want to reconsider a revision surgery at the age of 65 or 70. Moreover, considering that you will be older by the time you reach your 60s or 70s, the second surgery would be more difficult and harder to perform successfully. Hence, it is advisable to consider knee replacement surgery if you are over 50 years.

    5. Which would be the ideal surgery for your knee?

    6. Getting a total knee replacement surgery is not the solution for your knee pains. Your knee surgery depends upon a variety of factors which include your age, physical health, extent of the pain and discomfort, and other factors. Hence, it is best to take opinions for the ideal surgical procedure for your knee pain. There are various knee surgery options such as total knee replacement, partial knee replacement, knee arthroscopy, cartilage treatment as well as knee osteotomy.

    7. What could be the outcome of your surgery?

    8. Knee surgery could be a life-altering decision as it will not only affect you physically but mentally too. It is best to research and take different opinions from trusted and experienced surgeons to evaluate the possible outcomes once you undergo the surgical process. Knee replacement does not guarantee improved mobility or pain alleviation, although it may certainly help your cause. Hence, it is important to have appropriate expectations and prepare yourself mentally to undergo the treatment.

    9. What could be done to increase the odds for a successful surgery?

  • Boosting Immune System Naturally with No-Frills Yoga

    by tanvi staging | Jul 04, 2022

    As life swings back to the new normal after the lockdown has lifted, we are faced with newer challenges. The biggest one is stepping out of our homes to resume our work life in times when COVID-19 cases in India have not even ceased to multiply. So what could be that one thing that can guard us against the COVID-19 pandemic other than wearing a mask, using a hand sanitizer, maintaining social distancing and getting a Complete Health Insurance ? It’s our very own immune system! It is a pre-requisite to keep it strong and what could be a better way to do so naturally than through some easy yoga poses.

    Yoga has proven time and again that it can help reduce our stress levels and keep us calm. Stress, on the other hand, is known to have an adverse impact on our immune system because of the chronic inflammation that it triggers. So when yoga has an anti-inflammatory effect on our body, in a way it ends up keeping our immune system intact. As a result, we are in a better position to defend our health from infections or flu.

    Read more about how you can support your immunity against COVID-19

    Now, yoga can’t do much for you if you only keep watching some amazing ‘How to do yoga to boost immunity’ videos all the time. Also, it won’t help to start practicing yoga and then give up in 3-4 weeks. For yoga to work for you, you need to keep practicing it with consistency. Don’t be turned off thinking you don’t have a fancy mat, activewear, belts, or bricks to get started with yoga. Yoga, in its purest form as practiced in ancient India, still proves to be equally fruitful to health. Hence, on the occasion of International Yoga Day, we have put together a yoga sequence that will help you reduce stress and boost your immune system without you having to depend upon any extra gears.

    Though yoga keeps you healthy and safe physically as well as mentally, a health insurance plan keeps you safe financially, so that you grab your yoga mats and practice yoga stress-free.

    Start by doing a gentle warm-up of 5-10 minutes:

    • Rotate your head clockwise and anti-clockwise.
    • Swing your arms in circles.
    • Do some jumping jacks.
    • Twist your waist, stretch towards the left side and then right.
    • Move your ankles in circles.

    Once you feel your heartbeat rising gradually, it’s about time to begin the yoga asanas.

    1. Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

    Known to strengthen your shoulders, chest, core and legs, this pose leaves you feeling relaxed.

    Trikonasana (Triangle pose) 

    Duration:: Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat 3 times on every leg.

    Benefits of triangle pose: Releases the tension in your shoulders, reduces stress and anxiety, improves blood circulation, concentration and balance. It is considered to be one of the best yoga poses that boost your immune system.

    2. Uttanasana (Forward Fold)

    This is a powerful pose where oxygen reaches your brain since it is at a lower position than your heart, leaving your cells energized..

    Uttanasana (Forward Fold) 

    Duration: Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds and take deep breaths.

    Benefits of forward fold: Eases congestion in sinuses, thereby boosting your immunity. Relieves stress, anxiety and beats insomnia. Keeps you calm.

    3. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

    This pose falls under Suryanamaskar (sun salutation). It opens your lungs, strengthens your spine and increases your energy.

    Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) 

    Duration: Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds and breathe normally.

    Benefits of corbra pose:Relieves stress and fatigue, elevates your mood. Also helps with asthma and breathing problems.

    4. Shishuasana (Child pose)

    This pose will help you relax after you have nailed the earlier three poses. Unlike the others that must be done in the morning, you can do this pose whenever you need a break in the middle of a stressful day.

    Shishuasana (Child pose) 

    Duration: Hold for 1 to 3 minutes.

    Benefits of child pose: Works best for getting a sound sleep, eases back pain, relaxes your entire body and boosts your immune system by stimulating the lymphatic system.

    5. Matsyasana (Fish pose)

    When you get into this pose, the thyroid gland is stimulated, which further helps to boost your immunity. Matsyasana also eradicates toxins from your digestive system.

    Matsyasana (Fish pose) 

    Duration: Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. Breathe normally.

    Benefits of fish pose: Combats anxiety and fatigue. Helps with respiratory problems, eases back pain, releases tension in your neck and shoulders.

    6. Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall)

    A fairly simple pose, but you can’t imagine a yoga sequence to boost your immune system without it. It relaxes your nervous system and thus helps to strengthen your immunity.

    Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall) 

    Duration: Start by holding the pose for 5 minutes, then increase the duration with practice.

    Benefits of legs up the wall pose: Relieves stress, headache, migraine, insomnia, anxiety and menstrual cramps. It is also known to help with fertility problems.

    7. Anand Balasana (Happy baby pose)

    It can help you end your yoga session on a fun note. It is a great pose to detoxify your hips and calm your mind.

    Anand Balasana (Happy baby pose) 

    Duration: Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. Breathe normally.

    Benefits of happy baby pose: Releases tension from your lower back, increases vitality, reduces stress and fatigue, elevates mood and rejuvenates your mind. Thus, working wonders to boost your immunity.

    5 health tips you should not miss to follow even on a busy day:

    • Meditate
    • Eat on time
    • Get enough sleep
    • Drink enough water
    • Add green veggies to your diet
  • Difference Between Network and Non-Network Hospital

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jun 20, 2022

    Spike in medical inflation has significantly pushed up hospitalisation expenses, making health insurance an absolute must. Knowing about the list of network hospitals is among the several things you must consider while buying a health plan. There are several benefits on offer while undergoing treatment in a network hospital.

    However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t avail of treatment in a non-network hospital. It’s essential for you, as a policyholder, to understand the difference between network hospitals and non-network hospitals so that you can make a prudent choice when the need arises. This article aims to decipher the differences between the two on different parameters. Let’s get started.

    Meaning of Network Hospitals in Health Insurance

    Network hospitals in health insurance refer to hospitals and clinics with which your health insurer has a collaboration, and these hospitals are on the empanelled list of your insurer. Every health insurer has a tie-up with different hospitals (in your state and outside), clinics, and treatment care centres.

    These are known as network hospitals with which your health insurance company has a contract. When you get admitted to any network hospital, you are eligible to receive cashless treatment facilities, subject to the policy’s terms and conditions.

    Meaning of Non-network Hospitals in Health Insurance

    Non-network hospital means hospitals, clinics, and treatment centres that are not on the empanelled list of your health insurance. In other words, your insurer doesn’t have a collaboration with them. If you end up hospitalised in a non-network hospital, you can’t avail cashless treatment facility.

    Though every health insurance company strives to have an extensive network of hospitals, some are left out. No health insurance company can have a tie-up with all the hospitals and medical treatment centres present in the country. However, leading hospital chains and reputed clinics are on the empanelled list of health insurance companies.

    Parameters on Which Network and Non-network Hospitals Differ

    1. Cashless Treatment Facility

    Cashless treatment facility is one of the fundamental differences between a network and a non-network hospital.  It essentially means that you don’t have to end up paying upfront when you are hospitalised in a network hospital. Inform your insurer about hospitalisation and submit the relevant documents to the third-party administrator (TPA).

    In a network hospital, your insurer directly settles hospitalisation expenses incurred. However, the case is different in the case of a non-network hospital. When you get yourself treated in a non-network hospital, you have to make payments upfront.

    Once you are discharged, you need to submit the relevant bills and reports to your insurer. After due diligence, the insurer reimburses you the hospitalisation expenses incurred based on the policy purchased by you.

    2. Documentation and Formalities

    Documentation and formalities are a straightforward process in a network hospital. Present your health card to the TPA (third-party administrator), get in touch with your health insurer, and you are done. They take the process forward. You don’t have to undergo the cumbersome process of keeping all documents, including doctor’s reports, bills, etc to claim your insurance.

    However, things are different in a non-network hospital. You have to keep all the documents carefully as misplacing them can lead to claim rejection or being reimbursed a lower claim amount. If you happen to lose any document, arranging a duplicate for the same can be challenging. This will also delay the claim settlement process.

    3. Cash Arrangement

    When you get treated in a network hospital, you don’t have to worry about cash arrangements. As said, everything is cashless. However, if you get treated in a non-network hospital, you may need to deposit some cash upfront for admission. Also, you need to make regular payments during the course of treatment, which can be pretty challenging.

    During testing times such as these — when income is under stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic — arranging and paying cash in short intervals can be an uphill task. In such situations, you may end up borrowing money on high-interest rates that can further dent your finances.

  • Health Experts' Recommended Breakfast Foods

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jun 20, 2022

    Breakfast is important because it is the first meal after the longest period of fasting in a day. Usually, there is a gap of 10-12 hours between the previous day’s dinner and the next day’s breakfast. Whether you are a school-going kid, a gym enthusiast, a workaholic professional or a stay-at-home person, skipping breakfast can not only make you weary throughout the day but also increases your risk of developing a variety of diseases and illnesses. According to experts, integrating a healthy breakfast into your daily routine not only benefits your physical health but also enhances your mental wellbeing. However, many people are unaware of what to eat for breakfast and some even skip their morning meals. Today, in this article, we will focus on what to eat for breakfast and why.

    What to eat for breakfast?

    Whole grains:

    Whole grains are the grains of pseudo-cereals and contain all three parts of the grain—the bran, endosperm, and germ. Some of the common whole grains breakfast foods that are healthy include: 

    • Multi-grain dosa
    • Oatmeal
    • Barley
    • Whole-wheat bread

    Why are whole grains a key to a healthy breakfast?

    • Whole grains provide fibre as well as a variety of essential nutrients and minerals. Some of the vital minerals in whole grains include zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. 
    • Whole grains contain antioxidants, fibre, and vitamin K, which helps in lowering the risk of a heart attack.
    • Since whole grains are high in fibre, most health experts believe that it helps in preventing obesity and helps in weight loss.
    • Replacing refined grains from your morning breakfast and replacing them with whole grains lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes.

    Whole grain wheat fibre components act as a prebiotic, aiding digestion by feeding beneficial gut bacteria.

    Lean Protein:

    Lean protein foods are those that are high in protein but also low in less healthy nutrients such as dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. If you are looking for healthy breakfast food options that are rich sources of lean protein, consider including the following in your meal plan: 

    • Sprouts salad
    • Scrambled egg or cottage cheese (paneer)
    • Tofu chilla

    Oats uttapam and idli

    Why include lean protein foods in your breakfast?

    • Lean protein keeps your body healthy by helping you lose extra weight.
    • If you are a gym enthusiast, incorporating lean protein in your breakfast can help you gain muscle.
    • Since lean protein contains very little amount of saturated fat, it lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
    • Many lean protein sources such as yoghurt and chicken have high levels of zinc that help in boosting our immune system.
    • Lean proteins not only help you lose weight but also provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep your metabolism functioning smoothly.
    • Lean proteins are known for lowering blood pressure levels and increasing LDL cholesterol or, say, the good cholesterol in your body.

    Low-fat dairy:

    When compared to full-fat milk, low-fat dairy products have fewer calories and more protein. Consuming low-fat dairy products for breakfast lowers the risk of heart diseases since they contain less saturated fat. Some of the healthy low-fat dairy products that you can add to your breakfast are:
    • Skimmed milk
    • Yoghurt
    • Ice cream
    • Cottage cheese

    Why include low-fat dairy in your breakfast?

    • Low-fat dairy products such as yoghurt and cottage cheese are abundant in protein and calcium that help in building your muscles and improving your bone density.

    Including low-fat dairy or fat-free dairy in the diet helps in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes.

    Fruits and vegetables

    Including fruits and vegetables in your breakfast is also a great way to reduce your calorie intake. Since they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables come with a host of advantages. Some of the healthy fruits that you can include in your breakfast are:

    • Pineapple and cherry for anti-inflammation
    • Grapefruit, strawberries, and kiwi for boosting your immune system
    • Pomegranate for antioxidant
    • Watermelon for body detoxification
  • Improve Mental Health with Brain Exercises

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jun 20, 2022

    We generally tend to lead our lives within a fixed routine. Tasks like cooking, driving, cleaning do not require us to exhibit our mental strength. Just as you take steps to ensure your body is fit and healthy, you need to do brain exercises for your mind to remain healthy.

    These monotonous tasks do not provide our brain with enough stimulation, which is needed to keep our brain active and functioning well.

    Here are eight ways to not only achieve brain fitness but also make your day enjoyable and exciting:


    Beginning your day with mediation is one of the great techniques for brain exercises. It helps you feel refreshed overall and energized. According to studies, mindful meditation is highly effective. It stimulates new neural pathways, thereby improving your self-observational skills and helping you increase your mental flexibility.

    Besides, meditation has also been found to help improve your attention span and focus, empathy, and even build your immunity. Moreover, it has also been observed that meditation has the power to enhance your working memory's capacity, thus helping you keep your brain sharp.

    Use non-dominant hand

    The most effective techniques for brain exercises are those that are not necessarily easy. Using your non-dominant hand or the hand you don't usually use is one of the interesting ways to increase your brain sharpness.

    For instance, if you use your right hand for most tasks like brushing your teeth or even gardening, try doing that with your left hand. Since your brain is used to your dominant hand, using your opposite hand is challenging and one of the great brain exercises and stimulators.

    Try crosswords

    Indulging in crosswords or Sudoku or playing games like Tetris for approximately 15 minutes is another effective technique for brain exercises and a fun way to challenge your brain. These activities can significantly help you improve your brain's speed and memory and your analytical skills since they rely on logic, word skills and maths besides also being fun.

    Studies have found that crosswords improve your attention span and focus on desired tasks while enhancing your working memory, cognitive abilities, and overall functioning.

    Eat healthy

    Studies have found a link between green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish, and olive oil in your diet and improved brain sharpness, cognitive skills, and overall mental health.

    Regular intake of these foods reduces the risk of Alzheimer's by more than 50%. Eating healthy is thus extremely good for achieving brain fitness and maintaining good brain health.

    Body fitness = brain fitness

    Exercise helps you achieve brain sharpness and fitness and prevents your brain from ageing fast. When you do physical exercise, it is as good as your brain indulging in activities. A study found that doing physical exercise and thus indirectly doing brain exercises reduces your risk of experiencing dementia and cognitive impairment.

    Doing exercise such as walking or doing push-ups has been found to increase the generation of new brain cells, thus enhancing your brain's sharpness.

  • Health Insurance Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Apr 28, 2022

    The COVID-19 pandemic tossed life off gear in a matter of weeks throwing global economies in disarray. While the trail of devastation because of the deadly virus is well-documented, it also gave several critical lessons on different aspects, with health insurance being one of them.

    The once-in-a-century pandemic gave essential lessons on imbibing health insurance, which can help you stay better prepared should such an event occur in the future. What are these? Let’s find out.

    Health Insurance is Not a Want Anymore

    While the need for health insurance plans was always there, many people took it as an unnecessary expense. There was no significant urge to buy health insurance among the majority of the people. However, the pandemic changed this outlook. Data shows that people purchasing comprehensive health insurance plans stood at approximately 32% during pre-COVID times, and it shot up to 55% after the pandemic.

    Insurers witnessed a significant demand for health plans coming their way - a testament that health insurance is not a want but a modern-day need. Financial literacy advocates have always highlighted the need and importance of health insurance in one’s portfolio; it took a pandemic of this magnitude to drive home the point.

    So, if you don’t want your finances to take a dip because of COVID-19, it’s paramount to buy a health insurance plan at the earliest.

    Have Adequate Sum Insured

    Sum insured is one of the vital aspects to look for while buying health insurance, and it is the maximum amount your insurer pays in case of hospitalisation. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of purchasing health insurance plans and what was earlier thought to be adequate is not the case now.

    Many cases have come to the fore where hospitalisation bills have run into lakhs of rupees and are significantly higher than the sum insured offered by the policy. Hence, it’s essential to opt for a plan with a high sum insured to minimise out-of-pocket expenses. If you live in a metro, where treatment costs are higher than non-metros, it’s prudent to opt for a policy with a sum insured of at least Rs. 15 to 20 lakhs.

    Though it pushes up the premium, it will come to your rescue, should you need hospitalisation. Another way to ensure adequate coverage is to avail a top-up plan. A top-up plan is cheap and works on the concept of deductible. Once you have paid the deductible amount mentioned in the top-up plan through your base policy, the benefits kick in. It’s a cost-effective way to ensure you have a wider net to deal with large COVID-19 bills.

  • Maharashtra Relaxes Covid-19 Restrictions on April 2022

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Apr 06, 2022

    After two years since the imposition of Covid-19 restrictions in Mumbai and Maharashtra, the Maharashtra government withdrew all Covid-19 curbs on 1st April 2022. The decision was made following a sharp decline in cases during a state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on 31st March 2022.

    Covid-19 in Maharashtra took a significant toll on life, as the state was one of the worst hits during the pandemic. Cases were significantly high during the first, second and third wave of the pandemic. 

    However, things have changed over the past few months with concentrated efforts from the authorities and front-line workers. Hence, the Maharashtra Government decided to withdraw all the Covid-19 restrictions imposed under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

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