For the longest time, health insurance in India almost entirely focused on allopathic treatments only. However, things changed in 2013. In its health regulation for the same year, the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) asked health insurance companies to include coverage for AYUSH treatments (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) in their policies.
Ok, what but are AYUSH treatments?
Even though Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy are century’s old, not many individuals know of them and even fewer consider them as viable treatment options. Most people view them as spa therapies & wellness techniques. However, AYUSH treatments are usually a combination of conventional medicine and traditional therapeutic practices – many patients and doctors swear by these treatment methods as well!
The Ministry of AYUSH.
After the IRDAI asked health insurance companies to cover these alternate treatments in 2013, the Government of India formed the Ministry for AYUSH the following year. In coordination with the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH), the Ministry for AYUSH began setting quality standards for hospitals that offered treatments under AYUSH. The initiative saw over 50+ hospitals across India being authorised to provide AYUSH treatments to patients.
While this was happening, public and private health insurance providers in India created & released a list of 97 AYUSH treatments, along their indicative pricings and lines of treatments that would be covered.
A further boosts.
Until recently, AYUSH coverage was only provided if the policyholder underwent treatment at a government hospital or at a healthcare institute recognised by the government of India and/or accredited by the Quality Council of India or NABH. This reduced the choices for policyholders and made AYUSH treatments less viable.
However, Arogya Sanjeevani, the new standard health insurance policy introduced by the IRDAI in January, 2020 has changed this. Under this policy, you are not limited to NABH or stare accredited hospitals. You can visit any healthcare facility where treatment procedures are carried out by AYUSH practitioners.
This means that, besides central or state government hospitals, you can also choose to undergo treatment at teaching hospital attached to AYUSH colleges recognized by central authorities, standalone hospitals, and any healthcare facility with more than 5 inpatient beds. However, the facility should also have a dedicated AYUSH section with round the clock supervision by an AYUSH practitioner, and a well-equipped OT. Along with this, the facility should also maintain patient records and provide the same to the authorized representatives of the insurance company.
What if I don’t have the Arogya Sanjeevani policy?
Well, it depends on your health insurance policy. Newer plans usually cover AYUSH treatments right from the word go. Other plans offer an add-on for AYUSH treatment. If you want to include AYUSH treatments in the coverage of your plan, it makes sense to consult your health insurance provider today and go over this topic in detail. We hope this article has been helpful for you, good luck and take care of your health!