New health insurance policy for the newborns

Due to the increase in the no. of newborns battling for life in Neonatal ICU, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has changed the definition of a newborn baby as “a baby born within the policy period and aged up to 90 days”.

The IRDA has taken this step to help the Newborn Medical Insurance Committee of National Neonatology Forum(NNF), which has been fighting for insurance coverage for newborns. 

This will help many parents in taking insurances for the treatment if any complication occurs after the birth. At present, the parents have to spend around Rs 17,000 to Rs 25,000 a day to save their newborns placed on ventilation due to various complications.

“Every newborn should be covered by medical insurance since birth. Parents should be acknowledged and encouraged about the insurances for the newborns during antenatal visits. At present seven companies are offering insurance to newborns. It can be taken as a tool to reduce neonatal mortality rate,” said Dr. Prashant S Urs, co-chairman, Newborn Medical Insurance Committee and a Bengaluru-based neonatologist.

Insurance schemes are made for a newborn covering all the minor and major disorders are yet to be applied. Until then, the parents have to rely on their maternity plan and family floater that mention newborn care.

Earlier the insurance schemes that mention newborns coverage were restricted it to vaccination in the first 90 days from the child’s birth. According to Dr. Urs, infants were benefited from family health insurance schemes only after they were 90 days old.

One insurance company, in the maternity section, offers 1 Lakhs for newborns but the neonatologists say the amount is too small when the child is in the neonatal ICU.

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