Do Health Insurance Plans Cover Congenital Diseases in India? 

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Adopting a nutritious diet, sufficient sleep and regular exercise can help prevent diseases and physical frailties. Nonetheless, individuals with Congenital Diseases seem to acquire these ailments even when maintaining healthy practices. The expenses for treating these conditions can be challenging. Hence, it is natural to question whether health insurance in India covers Congenital Diseases. 

Congenital diseases  

Congenital diseases, also known as congenital anomalies or genetic disorders, are conditions that are present in individuals from birth. These diseases can be either structural or functional congenital disabilities that develop during the baby’s time in the womb. 

Genetic mutations, environmental factors, maternal age, maternal nutritional status, infections, or socioeconomic factors may cause them. It is possible to detect these anomalies before birth, at birth, or during the early years of infancy. 

According to a joint report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Development (MOD) in 2016, approximately 1.7 million people in India suffer from congenital diseases, which accounts for 6-7% of the total population. While internal congenital diseases may not be visible, external congenital anomalies can be easily identified. However, babies with congenital disorders may experience health issues or disabilities throughout their lives. 

Some of the common types of congenital diseases include: 

  • Congenital heart disease 
  • Edward’s syndrome 
  • Cerebral palsy 
  • Phenylketonuria 
  • Club foot 
  • Thalassaemia 
  • Down syndrome 
  • Cystic fibrosis 
  • Sickle cell disorder 
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate 
  • Congenital hypothyroidism 
  • Spina bifida 
  • Fragile X syndrome 

Do Health Insurance Plans Cover Congenital Diseases in India? 

Yes, all standard health insurance plans in India offer coverage for congenital diseases by the 2019 guidelines of IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India). 

These plans encompass the expenses related to diagnosing and treating congenital diseases, including in-patient hospitalisation, daycare procedures, surgeries, pre-hospitalisation, post-hospitalisation, and more. The coverage amount can vary from Rs 50,000 to Rs 6 crore. 

However, the extent of coverage and the amount are contingent upon the specific health insurance plan you purchased. 

However, it is essential to acknowledge that health insurance plans in India do not cover all congenital diseases. According to the guidelines set by IRDAI, only internal congenital diseases are eligible for coverage under standard health insurance plans. In the case of an individual suffering from an external congenital disease, the insurance company will not be liable for covering the expenses related to the treatment.

Waiting period for congenital diseases 

Health insurance providers typically offer coverage for Congenital Diseases. Still, it’s important to note that you may not be eligible to file a claim for such a condition during the waiting period

Most health insurance plans have a waiting period of two years for coverage of congenital conditions. This means a claim can only be submitted for a congenital condition once two policy cycles have been completed. However, this condition applies only if the diagnosis is made after purchasing the health insurance policy. 

On the other hand, if the diagnosis was made before purchasing the policy, the disease may be considered a pre-existing condition. In this case, you may need to fulfil a waiting period of up to four policy cycles before being eligible for coverage. Carefully review your health insurance plan’s policy terms and conditions to obtain more information about the waiting period clause.

Tips to Prevent Congenital Diseases 

Here is a compilation of recommendations to help prevent Congenital Diseases for expectant mothers. If you are concerned about your baby’s well-being, these tips can provide reassurance and guidance in minimising the chances of your child being born with a congenital disorder. 

  • Avoid taking medications that may result in congenital disabilities.  
  • Ensure you receive the appropriate vaccinations, particularly for rubella.  
  • Consume nourishing food abundant in vitamins and minerals.  
  • Sustain an optimal body weight to promote good health. 
  • Avoid visiting areas experiencing outbreaks of infections like the Zika virus.  
  • Incorporate folic acid supplements into your diet during your reproductive years and in the initial stage of pregnancy.  
  • Refrain from consuming alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes while pregnant. 
  • Minimise exposure to dangerous substances such as pesticides and lead. Manage your diabetes effectively, if applicable. 


Congenital disorders have long-lasting consequences. Your child will not only have to cope with numerous health issues throughout their lifetime, but the costs of treatment will also deplete your savings rapidly. Fortunately, health insurance plans in India offer coverage for internal congenital diseases. Nevertheless, it is advisable to adhere to the suggestions above and make every effort to prevent your child from acquiring a congenital disorder.


Do health insurance plans cover all congenital diseases? 

Typically, health insurance plans do not cover all congenital diseases. According to IRDAI regulations, internal congenital conditions may be covered by health insurance. However, external conditions such as cleft lip or palate, clubfoot, lumbar spina bifida, and others may not be covered. 


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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