Winning Bizness Desk
Most insurance policies do not work in war zones and ongoing battles between Russian and Ukrainian forces have underlined the need for such policies that also provides cover in such situations. This is a very common known fact that medical emergency expenses severely affect almost everyone in life sooner or later irrespective of their location. Whether they are living in a peaceful area or in a foreign country where war is going on or they are going through a long painful journey through the war zone to reach a safe country, as in the case of thousands of students arriving in India. In such a crisis like this abroad, it becomes important to get emergency treatment as soon as you reach a safe place. Therefore, it is important to know whether your health insurance policy purchased from Indian health insurance companies will work in such conditions.
Domestic health policies hardly works
The scope of health coverage depends on the type of health insurance policy purchased. Most Indian health insurance policies do not provide coverage for treatment done outside India. Abhishek Mishra, CEO and Principal Officer, Bonanza Insurance has opined that domestic health insurance policies only provide coverage for medical expenses within India leaving policy holders helpless to bear the medical expenses out of his/her own pocket.
Global policies that work
There are many health insurance policies in India that provide global coverage. If you have purchased such a policy, your chances of getting treatment coverage are high. Here are some examples of policies that provide overseas medical coverage. It has policies like Active Assure Diamond Plan from Aditya Birla Health Insurance, Global Personal Guard Plan from Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance, Health Connect Supra from Liberty Health Insurance, Heartbeat Health Plan (formerly Max Bupa Health Insurance) from Niva Bupa Health Insurance.
Even if you have a policy that offers global coverage, coverage is not guaranteed in a situation like Russia-Ukraine battle. Being trapped in a foreign country during a war is an exceptional situation that will not be covered by most health insurance policies. Rakesh Goel, director of Probus Insurance, says that unfortunately such claims can be rejected in case of Ukraine crisis. Many insurance companies do not have cover in cases of war and war-like event or invasion, attack by foreign enemies, hostilities, civil war, rebellion, military or usurpation of power.
Although your Global Health Cover may not work in a war zone, it will come in handy when you move to a neighboring country where Global Coverage will work.
What you should do?
If you are abroad for a short period like vacation or in connection with some business then you do not need to buy a foreign health plan. Mishra says people who are going abroad for a short duration can opt for a travel insurance policy as it covers medical expenses for treatment abroad.
If your stay is going to be longer for study or employment, then it is better to get local health insurance. Mishra says that for those who go abroad for a long period, it is advisable to buy a new health insurance policy from that country to get medical emergency cover.
Some countries force people to buy a health plan, while in other countries it is left to the individual to decide. Goyal says that whenever a student moves to a country outside India—especially in the US and Europe, they should have a health insurance policy. Once you leave the country and move abroad, the local overseas policy may become redundant. Hence, a health insurance plan purchased in India with global coverage can be of great help once you are out of the war zone.