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Insurance Article

AYUSH Benefits & Alternate Treatment Insurance Cover: Things to Know

May 25 2016
Alternative Healthcare

Know how an in-patient AYUSH cover can benefit you and your family

In 2013, the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) asked insurers to provide cover for Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathic (AYUSH) treatments. Similarly, there are several ongoing government initiatives also, to promote alternative medicine, including the promise for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-like Ayurveda hospital.

In November 2014, the Department of AYUSH was elevated by forming a government body – Ministry of AYUSH – in order to develop education and research in the natural medicine departments and therefore make maximum medical assistance available to patients.

The departments include Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, homeopathy and other alternative medicine systems. The Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy was started in March 1995, whereas the name AYUSH was coined in March 2003.

Despite such government initiatives and interventions to popularise AYUSH, both the rural and urban Indian population are still largely inclined towards allopathic treatments. According to the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), 90% of the Indian population – both rural and urban – prefer allopathic treatments over alternative healthcare options.

However, AYUSH offers several benefits over allopathy, especially for recuperation from critical illnesses like cancer. It is believed to cause minimum side effects and considered to focus on treating the cause of the disease rather than just the symptoms. The treatment methods use organic components and are more cost effective.

AYUSH Benefits under Your Health Insurance Policy

With the IRDAI move asking insurers to provide cover for AYUSH treatments, the demand for health insurance for alternative treatments has increased to some extent. An AYUSH cover in your health insurance policy covers in-patient hospitalisation expenses.

What do AYUSH benefits cover?

The medical expenses incurred for in-patient treatment taken under Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy will be covered in the policy. It includes the following services under in-patient services:

  • Health recuperation programs
  • Special care provided against certain bodily malfunction
  • Medical condition provided to follow-up care or some type of therapeutic rehabilitative care
  • It also includes ongoing provision of nursing care to prevent their condition from worsening
What does AYUSH benefit not cover?

It is important to remember that AYUSH cover reimburses expenses for alternate treatment only when the treatment has been undergone in a government hospital or in any institute recognised by the government and/or accredited by Quality Council of India/National Accreditation Board on Health (NABH).

AYUSH does not cover expenses for hospitalisation for evaluation or investigation only. Treatments taken at a healthcare facility, which is not a hospital, are also excluded. Naturopathy treatments are also excluded under AYUSH cover.

Design Your Health Policy

Secure yourself against high treatment costs with a suitable health insurance policy. Choosing a policy with comprehensive coverage including AYUSH helps you opt for alternative medicine in times of need. ICICI Lombard offers health insurance policies that have AYUSH cover. Understanding the specific terms of the policy document will ensure you know what to expect from your cover.

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