The cost of healthcare has increased significantly in the past few years. The pandemic, especially, has been a key factor in the rise of healthcare costs. India saw the highest rate of medical inflation in all of Asia at 14% in 2021. This means that visits to the hospital can cost you quite dearly.
When people think of medical costs, they tend to limit their understanding to surgery costs, ICU charges, doctor’s fees, and so on. However, sometimes, it is the small things, usually referred to as consumables, that can hike up your medical bills considerably. This is where the consumables coverage in your health insurance policy comes to aid.
What items are considered ‘consumables’?
Essentially, any medical items that are used once or twice for a patient’s treatment and then discarded are referred to as consumables. As per a list made available by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), there are a total of 199 medical items that can be termed consumables. An insurance provider can exempt the coverage for these 199 items under their various individual and family health insurance plans. *
Most consumables can be classified into categories, such as:
Items used during surgery:
This may include things, such as cotton, needles, surgical tape, syringes, and so on, used for treatment, as well as items like gloves and gloves worn by surgeons and nurses.
This category includes items/services, such as acquiring a birth/death certificate, admission kits, discharge papers, medical records and documentation, daily charts, and so on.
Regular maintenance items:
Bottled water, and hygiene items, such as sanitary pads, toothbrushes and toothpaste, tissue paper, and so on, come under this category.
When you compare health insurance plans, it is vital that you check whether the insurer is providing coverage for these items.
* Standard T&C Apply
Benefits of consumables coverage under health insurance
Increases access to good-quality treatment
Sometimes, the actual cost of the surgery may be covered by the health insurance plan. But you may still be hesitant about getting admitted to a good-quality hospital due to the high charges of consumables involved. A health insurance policy that provides consumables coverage takes care of this aspect.
As compared to the other riders, the consumables add-on is quite cost-effective, especially when you consider the high costs of consumables these days.
Helps during long-term treatment
If you or any of the members under the family health insurance plan are at risk for long-term hospitalisation, then buying the consumables add-on can be quite beneficial. In such a situation, the daily cost of being admittedto the hospital can be quite high. Coverage for consumables, such as air conditioners, television, attendant charges, IV injections, and so on, can be quite heavy.
* Standard T&C Apply
The consumables coverage under a health insurance policy depends on the insurer. Do connect with your insurance provider to get a better understanding of this coverage.
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