- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects 1 in every 65 children born. Both parents and doctors have always expressed the need to have trained professionals for overall development of the child.
- The Star Health Insurance policy aims at catering to the needs of autistic children. As per the policy, children between 3 and 25 years of age who have been diagnosed with autism will Rs 3 Lakhs cover.
“We began this company over a decade ago with a vision to empower people with the financial assistance that they may require during medical emergencies/needs. Keeping this in mind we have always tried to bring out products that would cater special and specific needs to individuals, who are generally neglected by the health insurance industry” expressed V. Jagannathan, CMD, Star Health and Allied Insurance.
The policy covers all in-patient and out-patient treatments including therapies viz. behavioural therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
In-patient management of medical and surgical complications associated with autism including its treatment for seizures, soft tissue and bony injuries, medical and surgical procedures for spasm of muscles and infectious diseases.
S Prakash, COO, Star Health and Allied Insurance said one can avail the policy for one’s child/ children based on the diagnosis and treatment.“Providing need based insurance has been our mantra. We sincerely believe health insurance is not a privilege but a basic need in today’s world. Taking this into consideration, we structure each product in a way so that it reduces the hassle that people may have to undergo while availing the policy or making a claim, and can get the best benefits out of it,” added Dr Prakash.
Earlier, in 2016, the company had launched a group policy for autistic children in 2016 in association with a local NGO in Chennai for a period of one year.
“Our group policy helped us realise that each child diagnosed with autism needs specific individualistic treatment and attention and based on those learnings we developed this new product ‘‘Star Special Care’ that will allow parents to insure their children and provide much needed financial assistance in case of hospitalization of the child.,” mentioned Anand Roy, Executive Director and CMO, Star Health and Allied Insurance.
According to 2011 census data nearly 2.2 million children between the age-group of 2-9 years in India live with autism spectrum disorder.
“Indian Academy of Pediatrics welcomes insurance services for children with autism. However, care just be taken to prevent unethical practices or “treatment” without an evidence base (therapies without documentation or scientific proof). We now have National Guidelines made by IAP which clearly define the diagnosis and interdisciplinary management of autism. There is no room for arbitrary, non documented therapies. Insurance services may actually help regulation of these interventions and prevent quackery,” said Dr Samir Dalwai, National Executive Board, Indian Academy of Pediatrics and past Chairperson, IAP Chapter of Neuro developmental Paediatrics.