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Group health insurance for children with autism

Children with autism will now get a health insurance cover of upto Rs 1 lakh. Star Health and Allied Insurance has launched a group insurance policy for children with autism spectrum disorder. About 241 children from a Chennai-based NGO called Sankalp have already been covered under the policy.

According to this report, the policy provides an individual sum of Rs 1 lakh for the child. The cover includes in-patient management of medical and surgical complications associated with autism, such as seizures, soft tissue and bone injuries. It also includes medical and surgical procedures for muscle spasms and all infectious diseases, apart from other general medical and surgical therapies that require hospitalization.

The policy suffers from a couple of shortcomings. One, it is not an individual insurance cover. “An autistic child or his parents cannot buy this cover off-the-shelf. A group of autistic children will have to come together, say, through a self-help group, and then approach the insurer. This may not always be an easy thing to do,” says Kapil Mehta, founder and CEO, Secure Now Insurance Broker, in the report. The other health insurance for mental illness is Niramaya scheme.