It’s possible you would have heard of treatment systems like Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. These six traditional systems of medicine, collectively called AYUSH treatment, are very popular today. Thanks to some help from the government, these treatments had an export value of $446 in 2019.
Initially, AYUSH treatments were unregulated, which is why they was no cover for AYUSH in health insurance. However, in 2003 the Government of India formed the Department of AYUSH, which became the Ministry of AYUSH in 2014. With that, there was more regulation of these systems.
Now, the National Board for Hospitals and the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has authorized AYUSH in health insurance and made them a part of the healthcare system. That means not only are they regulated, but also covered under your health insurance.
Here’s a look at how you can use your health insurance or employee medical insurance and claim for AYUSH in health insurance.
Benefits of AYUSH Treatment
The IRDAI defines AYUSH treatments as those medical and healing treatments that are strongly rooted in the ancient sciences of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy.
Some of the many benefits of AYUSH treatment include:
- It is more cost-effective and has lesser or no side effects as compared to allopathy
- They target the origin of the problem, whereas allopathy is focused on providing relief
- There are no risks of drug addiction unlike with modern medicine
- These systems are rooted in naturally occurring elements, rather than the artificial nature of modern medicine making them a healthier alternative.
Due to these reasons, AYUSH treatments have become increasingly popular all over India, especially in older patients.
AYUSH in Health Insurance
In 2013, the IRDAI allowed health insurance companies to include cover for AYUSH in health insurance but did not make it compulsory. That means that many individual and group health insurance plans do not support AYUSH treatment. That’s why it is wise that you opt for a plan that provides cover for AYUSH in health insurance.
If you are an employer, ensure you provide AYUSH in health insurance for your team. That way, you are giving your employees more options when it comes to their healthcare. You are also giving them the option to treat themselves with a system that is healthier, and safer.
Before you do however, there are some key things you need to know. There are limitations of health insurance for AYUSH treatment. For one, they offer cover for only in-patient AYUSH treatments. Out-patient treatments are not covered. If you want to know more about the out-patient department, here’s a handy blog we wrote.
Here are a few other key points to keep in mind when picking employee healthcare plans with an AYUSH medical scheme:
- Insurance can only be claimed if an individual is admitted to an AYUSH center for over 24 hours. He/she needs to be considered an in-patient for the insurer to recognize the treatment.
- Expenses can be claimed only for treatments done at government-approved AYUSH hospitals, or those accredited by the Quality Council of India/National Accreditation Board on Health (NABH).
- Some group health insurance plans provide AYUSH cover as an add-on, and not a standard part of your insurance policy. That means they will have a separate Sum Assured that can be used only for AYUSH treatments.
- You can only claim insurance for Ayurveda, Yoga, Siddha, and Homeopathy. Naturopathy and Unani are usually not covered, as are other alternative systems.
- Not all health insurance plans offer support for cashless treatments for AYUSH treatments. In many cases, you will have to pay for the treatment and file a reimbursement claim.
Do remember that the following will not be covered by any health insurance plan:
- Health rejuvenation (massages, spa treatments) that aren’t medically necessary
- Expenses related to investigation and evaluation won’t be covered. You can only claim for treatment expenses.
- Treatment taken at a facility that is not accredited/licensed
- Out-patient treatment related expenses
Onsurity’s Comprehensive Healthcare Memberships
If you are looking for affordable employee healthcare for MSMEs and startups, why not consider Onsurity? Our healthcare memberships come with great benefits like doctor teleconsultations, fitness tracking, discounted medicine delivery and lab test booking.
Furthermore, under the group health insurance with the Onsurity Plus membership, members can take advantage of cover for AYUSH treatments under which Ayurveda Unani, Siddha and homeopathic treatment are covered. That’s just one of the many benefits of a healthcare membership with Onsurity.