• Health Insurance Coverage for AYUSH Treatment

    Health Insurance
    • Premiums as low as Rs12/day for coverage of Rs.4 Lakhs*
    • 10,000+ hospitals for cashless treatment
    • Claim up to Rs. 55,000 deduction under section 80D**

    Before the advent of modern medicine, most of the people in India relied solely on traditional medicine when it comes to medical treatment. However, the limitations in traditional medicine and easy access to allopathic treatment shifted the focus to modern medicine in the recent decades. Though not the commonly used medical treatment method, traditional medicine has made a comeback in the recent days with its increasing popularity among the present generation. With a renewed interest in traditional medicine, the government has started focusing on various research projects to revive this system in India.

    In 2003, the government of India established the Department of AYUSH (short for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy) in a bid to develop traditional medicine and provide easy access to alternate medicine. This led to the establishment of the Ministry of Ayush in the year 2014. The ministry offers its support for various research institutes and councils involved in AYUSH treatment. With the involvement of the ministry, AYUSH treatment in India is regulated and offered as regular medical treatment.

    Advantages of AYUSH treatment

    Alternate medicine has become popular in the recent days mainly due to the benefits offered under this treatment. Some of the major advantages of AYUSH treatment can be listed as follows:

    • AYUSH treatment is relatively cheap, and it is easily accessible for people in different locations across the country. In certain remote areas, alternative treatments could be the only available modes of treatments available to the common public.
    • Traditional medicine plays a major role in the belief system of India. A wide section of the general public continues to use some form of traditional medicine for their everyday requirements.
    • There is a big concern among the general public regarding the safety issues and side effects associated with chemical drugs. These issues are extremely minimal with traditional medicine.
    • In addition to curative treatments, AYUSH offers plenty of preventive treatments for patients. There are ways in which a person can incorporate AYUSH treatment without making major changes in one’s lifestyle.
    • AYUSH offers plenty of simpler treatment choices for various chronic illnesses like diabetes, kidney ailments, cardiac ailments, etc.

    Health insurance for AYUSH treatment

    There are many health insurance companies that offer coverage for AYUSH treatment. Since yoga is more of a physical therapy than a medical treatment, it is not usually covered by health insurance plans. Besides ayurveda, unani, siddha, and homeopathy treatment, other alternate treatment choices like aromatherapy, acupuncture, acupressure, magnetic therapy, etc. are not usually covered by medical insurance. Before you subscribe to a health insurance cover for AYUSH treatment, you must be aware of the following things:

    • Most of the AYUSH coverage offered by insurers are reimbursement-based claims. Cashless treatment is not a common thing for alternate treatments.
    • AYUSH treatment has a specific sub-limit in most health insurance plans. Most insurers allocate a specific percentage of the sum insured for alternate treatments. There are also plans with a fixed amount as sub-limit for AYUSH treatment.
    • Though AYUSH coverage is offered by many health insurance plans, it will be acknowledged only if the treatment is taken in government institutes or treatment centers approved by Quality Council of India or National Accreditation Board on Health.
    • In certain cases, you may have to pay extra premium charges to get coverage for AYUSH treatment. Also, health insurance plans with AYUSH coverage are typically costlier than those without them.
    • AYUSH coverage is offered only under a regular health insurance plan. It is not possible to buy a health insurance cover dedicated exclusively for AYUSH treatment.
    • In most cases, any claims related to AYUSH treatment is approved only if the patient is hospitalised at least for a few days.

    Health insurance plans offering AYUSH treatment

    There are many insurers in the market that offer health insurance plans with coverage for AYUSH treatment. Some of these plans can be listed as follows:

    Insurer name Plan name Extent of coverage
    ICICI Lombard General Insurance Complete Health Insurance Up to sum insured limit
    Apollo Munich Health Insurance Easy Health Standard Up to Rs.20,000
    Religare Health Insurance Care Up to Rs.30,000 (varies based on plans)
    Star Health Insurance Medi Classic Insurance Policy Up to 25% of the sum insured subject to a maximum of Rs.25,000 per policy period
    HDFC ERGO General Insurance Health Suraksha Policy Up to the sum insured limit
    Max Bupa Health Insurance Health Companion Up to the sum insured limit
    Future Generali Health Total Up to the sum insured limit

    In addition to these policies listed here, a few other health insurance plans in the market also offer AYUSH treatment benefits. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has recommended health insurers in the market to provide coverage for alternate treatments recognized by the government of India.

    Conclusion

    With the recent increase in awareness about the benefits of traditional medicine, there are plenty of takers for health insurance covers that offer AYUSH benefit. Medical insurance plans that offer this benefit tend to charge a little extra on premiums. However, it may be worth spending that amount considering the range of treatment choices available under AYUSH benefit. If you are planning to try out alternate medicine in the near future, it is better to have a health insurance cover that offers this benefit.

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