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24-hour hospitalization in mediclaim is not a sacrosanct rule

It is common knowledge that a typical health insurance policy covers your hospitalization expenses... provided the patient has stayed in the hospital for treatment for a minimum of 24 consecutive hours.

However, it is a relatively little known fact, that this rule does not apply to all treatments.

Known as Day Care Procedures, many health insurance policies also cover them, even though the stay in hospital is less than a day.

Contrary to popular perception, list of such day care treatments is fairly exhaustive. For your information, an illustrative list of these is given below:

i.       Dialysis
ii.      Parental Chemotherapy
iii.     Radiotherapy
iv.     Eye Surgery
v.      Removal of Kidney Stone 
vi.     Tonsillectomy
vii.     Dilation and Curettage
viii.    Dental surgery due to accident
ix.     Hysterectomy
x.      Coronary Angioplasty and Angiography
xi.     Surgery of Gall Bladder, Pancreas, Bile Duct
xii.     Hernia, Prostate, Hydrocele
xiii.    Gastrointestinal surgery
xiv.    Surgery of Nose
xv.     Appendix
xvi.    Surgery of Urinary System
xvii.   Surgery of Throat and Ear
xviii.   Fracture, Dislocation (excluding hairline fracture)
xix.    Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
xx.     Laproscopic therapeutic surgery
... and more
... plus any other disease or treatment that the insurance company / TPA is agreeable to.

Further, due to technological advancements there are many treatments and surgical procedures that can nowadays be done under a general / local anesthesia in less than 24 hours. In past, such treatments involved more than 24 hours of hospitalization. As such, in addition to the above, most health insurance policies pay for such treatments too.

Moreover, with many new developments in medical science, this list of less-than-24-hour treatments is increasing day-by-day.

By the way, in certain circumstances even the hospitalization may not be insisted upon... the cost of treatments at home too are payable. Termed as Domiciliary Hospitalization Benefit, it is payable when the treatments normally require hospital stay but are carried out at home because
(a) either the patient is not in a condition to be moved to a hospital or 
(b) there is no accommodation available at the hospital.  

Therefore, make sure that you read your health insurance policy "thoroughly", so that you are fully aware of what is payable and what is not.

Important : Procedures and treatments that are carried out in the OPD (Out Patient Department) are generally not covered in the policy.

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