24 Mar, 2021 | Health Insurance

Can getting a Covid19 vaccine affect my health and life insurance policies?

Mahavir Chopra
By Mahavir Chopra
Founder, Beshak.org.
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The first phase of Covid vaccines have been rolled out across the country, and we finally breathe a sigh of relief. There’s no doubt we all want to get ourselves and our families vaccinated as soon as it’s our turn, and return to normal lives. 

Having said that - there are some questions a lot of us have about how getting the shot could impact our health and life insurance policies, if at all they do. In this article, we attempt to clarify some of those questions you might have - so you know exactly what to expect and prepare for every turn of events.

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Top FAQs for the impact of the Covid vaccine on health and life insurance policies

  • Will insurers be able to use the medical history and health declarations I make during the vaccination process?

From our research, we found that not everyone is required to declare medical history while filling up the Covid19 vaccine form. (For COVISHIELD for example, medical history is only required to declare co-morbidities in people aged 45 - 59 years, so they become eligible for the vaccine).

As far as we know, the only way insurers will get any information about your health is from you or a source you’ve authorised (like the hospital that processes your insurance claim). They cannot access any other documents/ information you submit elsewhere, without your consent - and hence, they wouldn’t be able to access your covid vaccination document either. The only possible exception we can think of for this would be the case of a fraudulent policy purchase or claim. 

Having said that - this is no excuse for you to hide details about your medical history or provide incorrect information on the proposal form to your insurer. This could lead to complications in the future with your claims getting rejected or even the policy getting cancelled. So - you must always share correct, detailed and accurate information of all your health conditions and pre-existing diseases while applying for a policy. 

Further - it goes without saying that you should provide an accurate medical history including any allergies you might know of, treatments you’ve gone through and medicines you’re consuming on the Covid vaccination form as well. This will help the vaccinating authority to make an informed decision about whether or not you can receive the vaccination safely. 

  • What can happen if I declare a health condition that was diagnosed after I bought the insurance policy, on the COVID19 vaccination form?

In a word - nothing. If these conditions were diagnosed after your policy was approved, you have no obligation to inform the insurer about the change. This is true for both health and life insurance plans. 

However, you might need to inform the health insurance company about these changes in your health/ medical conditions when you’d like to upgrade your cover. Based on those declarations they will decide the new premium amount you will be required to pay (or decline the upgrade). 

  • What if I remember an old health condition while filling the vaccination form, that I missed informing the insurer about? 

In this case, we recommend that you inform the insurer about this missed piece of information, immediately. Based on the new declaration, they will either decide to continue the policy without any changes, increase your premium or cancel the policy altogether - if it isn’t a good deal for them. 

Even in the worst case that your policy gets cancelled, you’re better off than paying several premiums and running a policy - and have your claim rejected/ policy cancelled on the grounds of misrepresentation. 

  • Will my health insurance cover my costs if I have any serious reactions to the vaccine, and need to be hospitalised? 

Yes. According to a recent IRDAI circular, any hospitalisation that occurs as a result of an adverse reaction to the Covid19 vaccination will need to be covered by all health insurance policies, provided the following conditions are fulfilled. 

Hospitalisation should be - 

  1. As per standard clinical protocols
  2. Recommended by a doctor
  3. Should need active treatment (and is not purely for monitoring or test purposes)

Here’s an excerpt from the press release from IRDAI, clarifying the same. 

We hope that we managed to answer at least some of your questions about the impact of getting the Covid19 vaccine on your existing health and life insurance policies. As we receive more questions on our Forum, we will continue to update this article with the most commonly asked questions. 

Have a question? Post it in the comments below or on our Forum here - and get answers from experts! In the process, you might even help out other users seeking similar insights!

Post your question now!

Key takeaways
  • Insurers cannot get your medical information from any source, including the Covid19 form without your consent. 
  • If any changes in your health status happened after you got the insurance plan, it’s not your duty to inform the insurer about them. 
  • If you’ve forgotten to report some medical history to your insurer, that you just remembered while filling the Covid19 vaccination form - inform your insurer about the miss immediately. 
  • All health insurance policies are required to cover complications arising out of the Covid19 vaccine administration - as announced by IRDAI.
Mahavir Chopra
Written by,
Mahavir Chopra, Founder, Beshak.org.

Mahavir is the Founder at Beshak.org. Since 2005, Mahavir has been building tech-based startups that compare and advise insurance products to individual buyers. In his last role, he was the Chief Business Officer at Coverfox. Mahavir is a recognized professional in the personal insurance field. He has contributed to leading business publications, including The Economic Times, Business Standard, Mint, DNA, and Moneycontrol

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