As India continues to battle against the second wave of coronavirus, the country is now witnessing rare fungal infections—black fungus and white fungus. Moreover, many states have announced these as epidemic diseases. These diseases are affecting patients who have either recovered or are suffering from covid-19.
Ankit Agrawal, CEO and co-founder, InsuranceDekho, said that in the wake of this infection outbreak, the Union government has urged all the states to proclaim black fungus as an epidemic disease. The state governments of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Maharashtra have announced it as an epidemic and have started taking several preventive steps to safeguard the people from these deadly infections.
“More than 10,000 cases of black fungus and hundreds of white fungus cases have been recorded across the country till now,” said Agrawal.
Besides, the treatment cost for these infections at private hospitals is also costly and can be unaffordable for many.
Black fungus, also known as mucormycosis, is a rare infection caused by a group of moulds known as mucormycetes, which are generally found in soil, plants, manure and decaying vegetables and fruits.
It affects the nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses and eye, causing blindness and other severe medical conditions. Diabetes and high doses of steroids are the major stimulators of this infection.
White fungus, also known as candidiasis, is a fungal infection caused by the candida yeast, a fungus type. It affects people with low immunity and pre-existing medical conditions such as HIV, cancer, diabetes, etc. People are more vulnerable to it as the moulds can be easily inhaled, spreading to vital organs such as lungs, kidneys, brain, etc.
“Policyholders can heave a sigh of relief to know that the treatment cost related to black fungus and white fungus is covered under all comprehensive health insurance policies by default as these diseases are in-built and thus, you need not hold any special health plan to be covered,” said Agrawal.
However, policyholders have to fulfil the terms and conditions as specified in their health insurance policy like informing their insurer about pre-existing illnesses, planned or emergency hospitalization, submitting all the required documents, etc. At least 24 hours of hospitalization is required to make a claim.
Some states have geared up to incorporate black fungus cover in their state health insurance programmes.
Agrawal said: “The government of Maharashtra has announced that patients suffering from black fungus will get covered up to ₹1.5 lakh under health insurance schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Jan Arogya Yojana. The Rajasthan government has announced the Chiranjeevi Yojana Insurance Scheme to cap admission and treatment costs at private hospitals for those suffering from the disease.”
Besides, if you are covered under the employer’s group insurance or have a super top-up plan, the policy will cover fungal diseases.
However, coronavirus-specific policies might not cover these diseases.
“Though mucormycosis is found to be caused by the heavy dosage of steroids to cure covid patients, unfortunately, covid-specific policies don’t cover the treatment of mucormycosis, as there is still a grey area whether the diseases will be covered. In such a case, settlement of the claim will depend on the insurer,” said Naval Goel, founder and CEO, PolicyX.com.
So, if you have comprehensive health insurance, you can raise a claim for the treatment of black fungus and white fungus. You can avail of a health insurance claim by sending an intimation of hospitalization to your insurer, and then locating a cashless network hospital near you. Keep the requisite documents handy for a hassle-free and quick claim settlement process.
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