After upgrading the department of AYUSH to ministry status in November 2014, the government is keen to show it means business.
It has now issued guidelines and benchmark rates for insurance coverage of Ayurvedic treatments. As per the guidelines, 20 categories of diseases will get coverage. The insurance cover will include treatment undertaken at government hospitals, Ayurveda college hospitals, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) accredited hospitals and registered private clinics with 15 beds and minimum of five qualified and registered Ayurveda doctors.
The guidelines specify 20 categories of diseases for insurance coverage with its clinical conditions for hospitalization therapies, which can be performed in such diseases and the duration of hospitalization.
- Greevasthambha (cervical spondilitis, cervical spondilosis)
- Kateegraha (IVDP, sciatica, low back ache)
- Apabahuka (frozen shoulder)
- Pakshaghata (paralysis)
- Ardita (facial paralysis)
- Vataraktha (rheumatoid arthritis, gouti arthritis)
- Amavata (rheumatic fever)
- Sarvangavata (motor neuron diseases)
- Sandhigata vata (degenerative joint disorders)
- Twak vicara (skin diseases)
- Arbuda (benign and malignant growth)
- Arshas and bhagandhara (haemorrhoid, fistula, fissure)
- Moothraghata (renal dysfunction)
- Kashtarthava (amenorrhoea, PCOD)
- Mamsakshaya (muscular dystrophy)
- Drishti dosha (different eye diseases) and
- Sirasoola (headache, migraine)
Would be covered by insurance firms
As per the benchmark costs for individual therapies/interventions, Abhyanga (Ayurvedic therapeutic massage) will cost Rs 1,145 per session. If Abhyanga is added with Sweda (therapeutic steaming procedure), the cost will go up to Rs 1,280.
Rates include procedure cost, medicine cost, price of accessories, HR expenses and cost for equipment maintenance, the guidelines have been laid out.
Room rent can be charged extra, as per insurance norms. If the treatment is taken at a NABH-accredited hospital or one situated in metro cities, 25 per cent hike in treatment costs can be considered. This also includes pre and post-procedure cost at Rs 75 per day.
Induchoodan, treatment standardisation and accreditation committee convener of the Ayurveda Hospital Management Association (AHMA), who prepared the treatment protocol and costing, approved by Ayush, Idra and other stakeholders, believes this will revolutionize the Ayurvedic sector in the country.
AHMA was trying for this approval through the general insurance council, Irda and ministry of Ayush for several years. Indochoodan, who is also an NABH (Ayush) assessor of quality council of India, said standardisation and insurance coverage are essential for the survival of Ayurveda.