NEW DELHI: In a move that is expected to reduce out of pocket expenditure for new parents, at least one major insurance company has agreed to insure the unborn child for birth defects and surgical problems during infancy.
The Indian Academy of Pediatric Surgeons (IAPS), that had long deliberations with insurance companies and finally made a breakthrough with at least one private company — Star Health and Allied Insurance company which agreed to provide the cover — is in discussion with many other insurance providers, officials said.
“Many insurance companies do not offer cover for birth defects or surgical problems during infancy. This is a major cost burden for many families and parents who have just recently commenced their jobs and are not having the financial liberty to get their child treated at hospitals of their choice,” IAPS president Dr Ravindra Ramadwar said.
Around 1.7 million children are born with birth defects every year.
While most insurance companies do not provide such cover, families are often distressed due to high cost of treatment. In the absence of adequate insurance cover for such children, many couples opt for abortion of their child who has been diagnosed to have even the smallest congenital malformation in the antenatal sonography.
Dr S Prakash, MD of Star Health said during an online conference on pediatric surgery that the company is passionate in its responsibilities towards these small babies and it has rolled out a new policy where a couple who has enrolled with them for two years would be entitled to get insurance for any birth defect that their child is born with. The company has finished all its formalities and is awaiting an IRDA nod before it can roll out this policy for the benefit of the common public in the next few weeks.