The World Health Organisation declared coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern on 31 January 2020.
People across the global are taking precautions, but many will be worried about whether their health insurace will cover them if they get infected.
Health insurance providers Aviva and Aetna, part of US pharmaceutical giant CVS, told International Adviser they will.
Aetna’s medical director Mitesh Patel said everything from medical advice, visits to a physician and subsequent treatment will be covered according to members’ policies.
Similarly, the UK insurer said: “Aviva Health insurance customers in the UK would be covered should they contract the illness, subject to standard policy terms; however, it would be highly unlikely that they would be treated in any of the UK private hospitals as these are not set up for patient isolation.
“Our understanding is that patients diagnosed with coronavirus would be sent and treated in NHS isolation units.
“NHS Cash Benefit would be payable from Aviva private medical insurance policies in accordance with the terms and conditions for any NHS in-patient stay.”
In a statement on its website, Generali Global Health sought to reassure clients.
“While this is a rapidly evolving situation, based on the information available, the virus is not considered an epidemic or pandemic and you can rest assured there is no change to your Generali insurance coverage,” the firm said.
Check your policy
When IA asked Cigna the same question, the health insurer said that it would depend on the type of policy.
A spokesperson for the provider said: “We are closely monitoring developments related to the new coronavirus which has been traced to Wuhan, China.
“We advise members to follow guidance provided by the World Health Organisation and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which includes maintaining basic hygiene and exercising vigilance if in an affected region.
“We provide a wide-range of products and services globally. Our cover options vary, so if our members have detailed policy questions, we advise them to refer to their policy terms and conditions or contact their local representative.”
What about travel?
While Aviva only provides health insurance for UK-based customers, it does offer them travel insurance.
This means that “customers who have Aviva UK direct travel insurance would be covered for medical treatment overseas if they contracted the coronavirus”, the firm added.
“However, treatment would be subject to the locally available facilities, and medical repatriation or transfer to alternative medical facilities would be subject to any travel restrictions which are in place.”