Traditional systems of medicines such as ayurveda, unani, siddha and homeopathy have been used in India since ancient times. Now, the whole world has realized its benefits and is slowly moving to herbal drugs for treatment. In India, more than 60 % of the physicians are non-allopathic practitioners.
Owing to this growing popularity of alternative forms of healthcare, last year the IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) had approved a proposal that brought these alternate medicare under the scope of health insurance.
As a result, many public and private insurers are slowly coming out with health policies which extend a cover to alternative medication. While each of these insurers differ in the scope and extent of cover provided, here are some of the basic features.
- Only a portion or a percentage of the total cover is extended to these alternative treatments in the form of day care procedures or OPD (out patient department).
- The treatment under such healthcare has to be availed in select hospitals to be eligible for the claim. This is owing to such treatments still being non-standardized and difficult claim assessment mechanisms.
- While ayurveda, homeopathy, unani, siddha, acupunture are covered, naturopathy has been left out.
A few health insurance companies like HDFC ERGO, Star health and Future Generali have already launched plans covering these forms of treatment and more service providers are likely to follow suit in the days to come.