The right insurance can prevent monkeypox from interfering with your travel plans abroad

Just as people were finally preparing to travel outside India after two years of pandemic-induced lockdown, another viral outbreak appears to have reared its ugly head – this time it’s monkeypox.

So far, more than 257 suspected cases and 120 confirmed cases have been recorded in 23 countries globally, and while the World Health Organization (WHO) said the monkeypox outbreak “will not turn into a pandemic”, but if you intend to travel abroad India Here are things to consider and buy a comprehensive travel and health insurance policy.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare, usually mild disease, usually caught from infected wild animals in parts of Africa. It was first discovered in 1958, when two outbreaks of smallpox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys preserved for research, hence the name “monkeypox”.

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How will health and travel insurance cover monkeypox?

  • Monkeypox is a viral infectious disease, and most current health and travel policies will cover the expenses incurred.
  • In India, monkeypox will be covered under most travel and health insurance, provided it supports outpatient treatment (OPD) expenses.
  • As such, there is no need for an additional special insurance policy for monkeypox only.

Kapil Mehta, co-founder of SecureNow Insurance says, “Monkeypox virus is not an exception in any health or travel insurance. Typically, monkeypox is treated on an outpatient basis. Since most travel insurances cover outpatients, these costs will be paid for. If the insurance is Your health insurance covers outpatient treatment, that will be covered. If you are in the hospital, both travel documents and health insurance will cover that.”

What if I was outside India and contracted monkeypox?

Monkeypox was first found in 1958, when two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease occurred in research colonies of monkeys, hence the name.
  • If you are outside India and contracted monkeypox, your travel insurance will cover it as per the terms of the policy.
  • It will not be covered by your health insurance.

“First, we have to understand that all infectious diseases, including monkeypox, are covered under a basic health insurance policy,” says Rakesh Jain, CEO of Reliance General Insurance. “If someone is diagnosed and admitted to hospital in India on/after arrival, It will be covered under an individual health insurance policy, not under a travel insurance policy. The travel insurance policy expires once the travel is complete.”

What expenses will travel insurance bear?

There are two scenarios for this.

1] If you contracted monkeypox and recovered without being hospitalized, i.e. in hotel or isolation centres:

  • Any cost incurred (medications, outpatient doctor fees, etc.) will be covered by travel insurance (in case of treatment abroad) or health insurance policy (if treatment is in India).
  • But if you have monkeypox and recover without any medical treatment or you are in isolation centers designated as a precaution without any effective medical treatment, these isolation fees/expenses will also not be paid.

The travel policy will cover the expenses of hospitalization in accordance with the terms of the policy. Besides the cost of outpatient treatment, consultations, diagnostic expenses and medical expenses will be paid according to the terms of the policy. If only insulation expenses are incurred without effective treatment, they will not be covered either in health or travel policies at any particular centre, says Rajavendra Rao, chief distribution officer at Future Generali India Insurance.

“The key aspect here is whether there is an active treatment line during isolation. If the treatment requires isolation and monitoring, for example, as is common during coronavirus, costs will be paid. However, if isolation is not for treatment, but a protocol To protect others, the insurance claim may not be paid,” Mehta adds.

2] When your condition is serious, and you have to be airlifted/medically evacuated or hospitalized in a foreign country, the following conditions appear:

  • The emergency medical evacuation will be paid under the travel policy as per the terms and conditions of the policy depending on the need for the evacuation to India for medical purposes.
  • If you do not need any medical treatment, your health insurance will not pay for any treatment undergoing abroad, but your travel insurance may be subject to its terms.
  • The travel insurance policy will not pay for medevac if you contract monkeypox and you return to India without the need for a medical evacuation.
  • So, basically, if you go back to India and then get treatment here for monkeypox, your travel insurance will not cover the costs, but your health insurance policy may pay for it depending on the terms of the policy.
  • But note that not all travel insurance policies will pay for an emergency medical evacuation; Therefore, read the terms and conditions carefully while purchasing one.

“If it is an emergency medical evacuation, it will be paid for (through the relevant travel insurance policy). But suppose you are planned to return to India within the said time, it will not be covered,” says Yogesh Agarwal, founder of Onsurity, a platform Technology-led, monthly subscription-based employee health benefits.

Mehta adds: “There will also be specific requirements as to why evacuation was necessary in the first place and treatment was not provided in the country where you got sick. For example, the costs of evacuation are more significant when you get sick in an area where the medical infrastructure is poor, and evacuation is necessary to get Life-saving treatment quickly.”

Other essential things to keep in mind

travel insurance
If you do not need medevac, any treatment received outside the United States will not be covered by your health insurance, but travel insurance may, depending on the terms of the policy.

1. When purchasing a travel insurance policy, check the specific coverage of the policy because not all of them cover medical expenses.

“In terms of international travel insurance, it is important to note that some travel policies only cover accidental death and hospital stay due to accidents, but not hospitalization. If a customer chooses the medical expense feature in their travel policy, all emergency medical costs will be covered, Such as hospitalization and outpatient costs and cashless hospitalization during an overseas trip,” adds Jain.

2. Besides, there is also a time gap between the purchase of the insurance policy and when it becomes effective.

“Monkeypox is a viral infection. So all regular health insurances cover hospitalization for infectious diseases, and they are not subdued within 30 days of starting, because this is a waiting period for a new policy,” adds Agarwal.


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