Nellore: Hospitals demand cash payment from insured
- As insurance amount attract taxes, the hospitals are deliberately avoiding cashless transactions to patients
Nellore: Some corporate/private hospitals in the city denying treatment to those people who are having insurance coverage for COVID-19 showing various reasons. The reasons, according to financial experts, are that majority of hospitals don't want to show full charges on record and hence they are demanding some portion of amount should be paid in the form of cash deposit and the balance amount will be claimed afterwards.
Insurance claims attract taxes and hence, they are willfully avoiding cashless transactions. In case, the patient demands admission, they simply say about the non-availability of beds.
People, in fact, bought insurance policies fearing about facing huge expenditures for hospitalisation in case they get affected by the virus. But the practical situation in the district and in the nearby Chennai city is similar as some hospitals are simply refusing to claim the full insurance amount and have been demanding paying lump sum amount of Rs. 2-3 lakh at the time of admission. Subsequently, they are claiming just some portion of the bill amount from the insurance policy.
Insurance companies failed to offer coverage in the policies for COVID-19 during the initial days fearing facing huge losses in case the situation becomes a severe pandemic with more fatalities. They observed the situation from March to July and observed that the death rate was only around 1-2 per cent and started offering policies even up to 65 years of age.
The government also suggesting people above 70 years of age for their safety from the infection and statistics also proved that even elder persons are also recovering from the infection if they don't have any co-morbidities. People also showed interest in the health policies as the pandemic may badly hit their finances. Some companies set a cap of the maximum age limit up to 50 and later they relaxed it up to 65. Now, majority of companies are offering policies and people started purchasing.
"Though we are having insurance coverage, a corporate hospital in the city asked to deposit Rs 2 lakh at the time of joining. We paid another Rs one lakh and finally, they used insurance coverage for the rest of amount. A similar situation we faced for another person in Chennai city where they demanded paying Rs 3 lakh initially and adjusted Rs 1.50 lakh from the coverage afterward," said a medical professional, who recovered from Covid. Further, an administrative officer from a corporate hospital said they are facing claim issues because of guidelines of the ICMR and AIIMS and hence, they are not accepting cashless treatment.