The draft circular by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority ( IRDA) on policies for people with HIV/AIDS, issued this month, may come into effect from April 2014. Insurers are expected to put in place a board-approved underwriting manual, claims manual, proposal form and other necessary systems before this date.
A vast majority of those afflicted in India are in the age bracket of 15 to 49 years. As per estimates, about 2.4 million Indians are living with HIV/AIDS. Children less than 15 years account for 3.5% of it while 83% are in the age group of 15-49 years.
Health cover for people suffering from HIV/AIDS already exists. With advances in medical treatment, insurers are able to put in place cost structures. Some standalone health insurance providers like Star Health & Allied Insurance offer such insurance. "We offer group covers to NGOs for their members. Our policy prescribes the entry parameters," V Jagannathan, chairman, Star Health said.