In the midst of an increase in the number of diseases we see in modern life, many people's focus has shifted towards alternative or traditional treatment. Alternative medicine is very much in vogue these days, especially for chronic diseases. Whether you opt for allopathic treatment or alternative treatment, both come with a cost attached to them. Most of us buy a health insurance policy to manage the cost of treatment when we fall sick or get hurt in an accident. Previously, though, only allopathic treatment (western medicine) was covered under health insurance policies and coverage was not available for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy). At that time, if one opted for alternative treatment, then the cost of that treatment had to be borne by them, in addition to paying the premium for comprehensive health insurance. The situation has changed now and brought relief to the health insurance policyholders. Today, most health insurance companies cover alternative treatment.

(Read More: myUpchar Bima Plus Health Insurance)

  1. What is AYUSH Treatment
  2. Health coverage for traditional treatments
  3. Why opt for AYUSH treatment
  4. Where to get alternative treatment
  5. Claim coverage under alternative treatment in health insurance
  6. Exclusions of traditional health cover
  7. Read the fine print carefully

In the year 2013, IRDA, which regulates the insurance sector, issued a new guideline under which alternative treatment was also covered in health insurance policies. Cashless treatment is usually not available under this cover, but you can get the amount spent on the treatment reimbursed. Many health insurance companies have come up with offers of AYUSH treatments, especially for those above the age of 60 years. Right now, the medical industry in our country is trying to strike a balance between the prevailing medicine and alternative treatments. Keeping this in mind, many companies are also offering coverage for alternative treatment under their health insurance policies. The myUpchar Health Plus policy also gives claim settlements for alternative treatment.

Various lifestyle diseases can be effectively treated with the help of alternative treatments. If you believe in alternative treatment more than allopathy, then you should give it a special focus while choosing a health insurance plan. When you’re deciding to buy health insurance, make sure that you check if it covers alternative treatment, the extent of this coverage, if it costs extra and what the claim process for it is.

(Read more: What does health insurance cover)

Today, if you want to take a health policy that covers traditional treatment, then there is no separate policy available for this but alternative treatment is covered under most comprehensive health policies. It is worth noting that while Ayurveda is covered under most insurance policies today, the cover for other systems like Naturopathy and Unani is hardly available in any. Many insurance companies also cover traditional treatment in their group health policies.

(Read more: Cashless health insurance)

If you are taking a health insurance policy, which also covers AYUSH treatment, then read all the terms and conditions carefully. Below are some of the benefits of AYUSH treatment:

  • AYUSH method provides a holistic approach to healthcare by removing the gaps associated with medical services.
  • It offers healthcare that thinks about the overall wellbeing of the individual.
  • It has very few side effects and costs less than other forms of medicine.

(Read more: What is not covered in health insurance)

If you want coverage under alternative treatment in your health insurance policy, then you have to get the treatment done at a government hospital or government-recognized hospital. Apart from this, you can also get alternative medicine treatment at a center recognized by the Quality Council of India (QCI) and the National Accreditation Board of Health (NABH).

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How much coverage you will get for alternative treatment under your health insurance depends on your insurance company. Many health insurance companies cover only Ayurvedic treatment, while others cover all the treatments under AYUSH. Apart from this, there is capping in different health insurance policies regarding the treatment. At present, 7.5-25% of the sum insured is paid as an alternative treatment claim.

(Read more: Senior citizen health insurance)

Alternative treatment is also called alternative medicine, AYUSH treatment and traditional treatment. Under this, you will not get a claim for the following treatment:

  • Naturopathy treatment
  • Relaxing treatments such as steam bath, sauna, oil massage
  • Hospitalization for the purpose of examination only
  • Out-of-country treatment
  • Getting treated at a healthcare center that does not fall under the category of a hospital

The coverage of traditional treatment in health insurance has steadily increased over the years. Despite this, many conditions and cappings still exist, which you should consider carefully before taking a policy. If you want to be sure during the claim settlement, you should inquire about each and every treatment that your policy will offer you. The idea is to choose a health insurance plan that takes care of your health on a priority basis. To know more about the health insurance you are going to take, read the policy brochure and prospectus carefully. Additionally, after taking the policy, read each and every rule in the policy bond. If you do not agree to the terms, you can return the policy during the free-look period of 15 days.

(Read more: Pre and post hospitalization cover in health insurance)

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