Health Insurance with OPD Cover: Benefits, Coverage and Plans

  • postauthorOnsurity Editorial
  • postdateApril 22, 2024
  • postreadtime9 min read
  • Share

Health Insurance with OPD Cover

Health insurance is a shield that protects individuals and families from the financial burden of medical emergencies. Traditionally, health insurance primarily focused on covering hospitalisation expenses. However, with evolving healthcare needs and increasing healthcare inflation, the concept of health insurance plans with OPD cover has gained prominence.

In today’s fast-paced world, ensuring comprehensive health coverage is paramount. As medical expenses continue to rise, having robust health insurance that covers not only hospitalisation but also out patient department (OPD) expenses is becoming increasingly essential.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of health insurance plans with OPD cover, its benefits, inclusions, exclusions, and much more.

Also, Read: Types of Health Insurance

What is OPD Cover in Health Insurance?

OPD Full Form – Out Patient Department

OPD cover, also known as out patient department cover, refers to the provision in health insurance policies that reimburses or provides cashless coverage for expenses incurred on consultations, diagnostic tests, medications, and minor procedures conducted outside the hospital premises.

It essentially extends the coverage beyond hospitalisation to include routine medical expenses incurred at OPD clinics, diagnostic centers, and pharmacies.

Why Choose Health Insurance Plans with OPD Cover?

Opting for insurance with OPD cover offers several advantages:


  • Enhanced coverage: OPD cover broadens the scope of coverage, ensuring comprehensive protection against a wide range of medical expenses.
  • Financial security: It provides financial security by mitigating the out-of-pocket expenses associated with routine doctor consultations, diagnostic tests, and medications.
  • Preventive care: With OPD cover, individuals are more likely to seek timely medical advice and preventive care, leading to early detection and better management of health issues.
  • Convenience: OPD cover facilitates hassle-free access to healthcare services without the worry of bearing the entire cost upfront.

Suggested Read: Group Health Insurance Policy

Benefits of OPD Expenses Cover in Health Insurance

The benefits of OPD expenses cover in health insurance plan are manifold:


  • Cost savings: OPD cover helps in controlling healthcare costs by covering expenses incurred on routine doctor consultations and diagnostic tests, thereby reducing the financial strain on individuals and families.
  • Comprehensive care: It ensures holistic healthcare coverage by encompassing both inpatient and out patient medical expenses, enabling individuals to avail of timely medical interventions as needed.
  • Improved health outcomes: By facilitating regular health checkups and doctor consultations, OPD cover promotes preventive healthcare practices, leading to better health outcomes and early detection of potential health issues.
  • Peace of mind: Having OPD cover provides peace of mind, knowing that one is financially protected against unforeseen medical expenses and can access quality healthcare services when required.

Related Read: Benefits of Group Health Insurance

Inclusions of Health Insurance Plans with OPD Cover

The inclusions of OPD cover in a health insurance policy encompass a range of essential healthcare services aimed at addressing out patient medical needs. While specific coverage may vary across policies and insurers, here are the typical inclusions:

1. Consultation fees

Health insurance policies with OPD cover often provide reimbursement or cashless coverage for consultation fees incurred during out patient visits.

This includes fees paid to various healthcare practitioners such as general physicians, specialists, surgeons, and allied health professionals.

2. Diagnostic tests

Comprehensive OPD cover extends to expenses related to diagnostic tests necessary for diagnosis and treatment planning.

This includes a wide array of diagnostic procedures such as blood tests, urine tests, imaging studies (X-rays, MRI scans, CT scans), electrocardiograms (ECGs), and other specialised tests.

3. Medications

OPD cover typically includes reimbursement or cashless coverage for prescribed medications purchased from pharmacies.

This ensures that policyholders have access to essential medications prescribed by healthcare providers during out patient consultations.

4. Minor procedures

Health insurance plans with OPD cover often extend coverage for minor medical procedures performed at OPD clinics or out patient facilities.

Examples of minor procedures may include wound dressing, suturing, injections, nebulization, and minor dermatological procedures.

5. Health checkups

Some health insurance policies offer coverage for preventive health checkups at designated healthcare centers or diagnostic facilities.

These health checkups aim to detect early signs of health issues, promote preventive care, and facilitate timely intervention to maintain overall health and well-being.

6. Specialist referrals

OPD cover may include coverage for specialist doctor consultations and referrals deemed necessary by the attending healthcare practitioner.

This ensures that policyholders have access to specialised medical expertise when required for their healthcare needs.

7. Alternative therapies

Certain health insurance plans may offer coverage for alternative therapies such as Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, and Unani treatments as part of OPD cover.

This provides policyholders with a broader spectrum of treatment options aligned with their individual preferences and healthcare beliefs.

8. Teleconsultation services

With the advancement of technology, some health insurance policies may include coverage for teleconsultation services.

Teleconsultation enables policyholders to consult healthcare professionals remotely via video calls or telephonic conversations, ensuring convenient access to medical advice without physical visits to healthcare facilities.

Also, Read: Pre and Post Hospitalisation Expenses

Exclusions in OPD Health Insurance Plans in India

While OPD cover in health insurance plans offers comprehensive protection for out patient medical expenses, it’s essential to be aware of the exclusions that may apply.

Understanding these exclusions helps policyholders make informed decisions and manage their healthcare expenses effectively. Here are some common exclusions in OPD health insurance plans:

1. Cosmetic treatments

Expenses incurred on cosmetic procedures or treatments that are not deemed medically necessary are typically excluded from OPD coverage.

This includes procedures such as cosmetic surgery, botox injections for cosmetic purposes, hair transplants for non-medical reasons, and other aesthetic treatments.

Treatment required due to self-harm is also not covered under OPD health insurance plan.

2. Experimental treatments

The costs associated with experimental or investigational treatments, which are not yet established as standard medical practices, may not be covered under OPD cover.

Experimental treatments often involve emerging medical technologies, innovative drugs, or procedures undergoing clinical trials, and their efficacy and safety may not be fully validated.

3. Non-prescription medications

Expenses incurred on over-the-counter medications or supplements, which do not require a prescription from a healthcare provider, may be excluded from coverage.

Non-prescription medications include vitamins, dietary supplements, pain relievers, cold and flu remedies, and other self-medication products available without a doctor’s prescription.

Also, Read: 10 Most Common Exclusions in Health Insurance

4. Alternative therapies

Certain alternative therapies or treatments not recognised by standard medical practices may be excluded from OPD cover.

This may include treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbal medicine, naturopathy, and other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities not endorsed by conventional medical institutions.

5. Dental treatments

Unless specified otherwise in the policy, dental treatments and procedures are usually excluded from OPD cover.

Dental treatments such as routine dental check ups, cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canal treatments, braces, and dental surgeries are typically considered separate from general OPD expenses.

6. Vision care

Medical expenses related to vision care, including routine eye examinations, prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgeries (e.g., LASIK), are commonly excluded from OPD cover.

Vision care is often categorised under specialised coverage, separate from general OPD expenses, and may require an add on vision insurance or rider benefits for coverage.

7. Weight loss treatments

Medical expenses incurred on weight loss treatments, including weight loss surgeries, specialised diet programs, and medications for weight management, may be excluded from OPD cover.

Weight loss treatments are often considered elective or lifestyle-related rather than medically necessary and may not be covered under standard health insurance policies.

Also, Read: 10 Best Fitness Apps in India

Claim Settlement Process for OPD Insurance in India

The claim settlement process for OPD cover generally involves two methods:


  • Reimbursement claims
  • Cashless claims.

Reimbursement claims:

In reimbursement claims, the insured pays for the OPD expenses upfront and then submits the relevant bills, receipts, and medical reports to the insurer for reimbursement. The insurer assesses the claim documents and reimburses the eligible expenses as per the policy terms and conditions.

Cashless claims:

In cashless claims, the insured avails of healthcare services at network hospitals or clinics affiliated with the insurer. The insured presents the health insurance card or policy details at the time of availing services, and the insurer directly settles the approved medical expenses with the healthcare provider, eliminating the need for upfront payment by the insured.

Also, Read: A Guide to Health Insurance Claim Process

Who Should Buy Health Insurance with an OPD Cover?

A health insurance policy with OPD cover is suitable for:


  • Individuals with regular medical needs: Those who require frequent doctor consultations, diagnostic tests, or medications can benefit from OPD cover by reducing their out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  • Families with children or elderly members: Families with children or elderly members who may require routine healthcare services, including vaccinations, health checkups, etc., can benefit from OPD cover.
  • Individuals seeking preventive care: Those who prioritise preventive healthcare and wish to avail of regular health checkups, screenings, and consultations should consider opting for a health insurance policy with OPD cover.

Also, Read: Domiciliary Hospitalisation

Eligibility to Avail OPD Health Insurance Cover in India

The eligibility criteria for availing OPD cover in health insurance may vary across insurers and policies. However, individuals typically need to fulfill the following criteria:


  • Policy eligibility: The individual must hold a valid health insurance policy that includes OPD cover as a benefit or as an add on feature.
  • Premium payment: Regular payment of health insurance premiums is essential to maintain coverage, including OPD benefits.
  • Pre-existing conditions: Insurers may impose waiting periods or exclusions for pre-existing conditions before availing OPD benefits.
  • Network providers: OPD cover may be applicable only at designated network hospitals, clinics, or healthcare providers empaneled with the insurer.

Quick Read: Difference Between Network and Non-network Hospital

Top Health Insurance Plans with OPD Cover

In order to use OPD diagnosis and treatment services, you must have an OPD-inclusive policy.

The top 5 providers of OPD health insurance in India are provided below in case you’re unsure which policy is the greatest:

Health Insurance Company Costs Benefits

Care Health Insurance – NCB Super Premium

Starts at Rs. 919/month 

Coverage of 7 lakhs  

Coverage is restored once a year 

Over 250+ cashless hospitals  

Claims paid within 3 months 

Niva Bupa – ReAssure 2.0 Bronze+  

Starts at Rs. 783/month 

Coverage of 5 lakhs 

Unlimited coverage restoration  

Over 270+ cashless hospitals  

Star Alliance – Star Comprehensive 

Starts at Rs. 689/month 

Over 5 lakhs coverage  

Over 280+ cashless hospitals  

Restoration for coverage once a year  

Aditya Birla Capital – Activ Health Platinum Enhanced

Starts at Rs. 764/month 

Coverage of up to 5 lakhs 

Over 330+ network hospitals  

Over 2.5 lakhs no claim bonus 

Bajaj Allianz – Individual Health Guard – Gold


Starts at Rs. 929/month 


Covers up to 5 lakhs  

Over 320+ cashless hospitals  

Over 50,000 No claim bonus  


Things to Consider While Buying Health Insurance with OPD Cover

Before purchasing health insurance with OPD cover, here are some essential factors to consider:


  • Coverage limit: Evaluate the maximum limit for OPD medical expenses coverage to ensure it meets your anticipated healthcare needs.
  • Network hospitals: Check the list of network hospitals to ensure convenient access to quality healthcare services.
  • Claim settlement ratio: Research the insurer’s claim settlement ratio to gauge their reliability and efficiency in claim processing.
  • Policy terms: Review the policy document carefully to understand the inclusions, exclusions, waiting periods, and claim procedures associated with OPD cover.

Difference Between OPD Treatment and Day Care Treatment

While both OPD treatment and daycare treatment refer to medical procedures that do not require overnight hospitalization, there are subtle differences between the two:

OPD treatment:

OPD treatment includes consultations with healthcare professionals, diagnostic tests, and medication administration conducted in out patient settings such as clinics, medical offices, or diagnostic centers.

Daycare treatment:

Daycare treatment encompasses medical procedures or surgeries that necessitate specialized care and observation for a few hours but do not require an overnight stay at the hospital. These procedures may include cataract surgery, chemotherapy, dialysis, and minor surgeries.

Also, Read: Difference Between Life Insurance and Health Insurance


Health insurance with OPD cover plays a pivotal role in safeguarding individuals and families against unforeseen out patient medical expenses. By offering comprehensive coverage for consultations, diagnostic tests, and medications, OPD cover promotes proactive healthcare seeking behavior and ensures financial preparedness for medical emergencies.

When choosing a health insurance plan with OPD cover, it’s crucial to assess your healthcare needs, review policy features, and select a plan that provides adequate coverage within your budget.


1. Is OPD treatment covered by health insurance?

Many health insurance plans today cover out patient treatments. There may be times when you need to add it as an optional benefit to your full-service health insurance.

2. How do you claim insurance for OPD?

You can claim insurance for OPD in two ways – through reimbursements and cashless claims. For both, you need to fill in the necessary documents, inform your insurance provider, and ensure that your hospital covers that type of claim.

3. What does health insurance cover for out patient visits?

OPD, or out patient department coverage, covers any medical care for which you do not require hospital admission. By filing this claim, the insured can avoid being admitted to the hospital and have their medical bills paid for by the insurance provider.

4. Who is eligible for OPD?

Any patient who needs frequent hospitalization and is insured under their healthcare policy for OPD services can claim OPD coverage.

5. How do I claim OPD expenses?

You can claim OPD expenses by submitting bills for diagnostic tests, prescriptions, medication bills, and doctor’s notes.

6. Can I buy health insurance that covers only OPD treatment?

Many health insurance policies have a clause for OPD treatment or one where you can add on to your policy.

7. How do you buy health insurance with OPD coverage?

When planning to buy your health insurance policy with OPD coverage, remember to check that it meets your medical requirements. Compare some policies to ensure that you get the best one available.

Blogs you may like


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *