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Does a Health Insurance Plan Cover STD Testing and Treatment?

By Vikas Chandra Das
10 October 2022, 3:35 PM

Whether your health insurance policy covers sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or not comes second. First and foremost, practice safe and protected sex, no matter what. STDs refer to infections one contracts when they have unprotected sexual contact. Bacteria, viruses, or parasites usually cause these. Even if they overcome embarrassment or shame, many patients do not seek medical help for STDs as they are unaware of the expenses associated with testing and treatment. Despite the discomfort, they are reluctant to undergo a test because they are unsure if their health insurance policy covers STDs. Well, a very few health insurance plans include STD testing and diagnosis coverage. It is, therefore, essential to compare health insurance policies and providers and opt for one that would pay for STD-related expenses. 

If you have or regularly indulge in risky sexual behaviour, it’s crucial to get tested, irrespective of whether you experience symptoms. Getting tested and treated is non-negotiable, especially if you exhibit symptoms because STDs can spread to other organs, are communicable and may even lead to death if you do not seek timely and quality medical care. 

Determining if Your Policy Includes STD Testing and Treatment

As stated above, a very few health insurance plans cover testing and treatment for STDs. Insurers settle claims to a certain amount for infections, including HIV, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhoea, and others. However, it would help to ensure this, as the provision and extent of cover differ from insurer or insurer and even plan to plan. You also should be mindful of the kind of coverage to reap health insurance benefits. For example, you could use diagnostic testing and preventive screenings that an insurer provides. 

Your plan’s ability to pay for STD testing and treatment will depend on many variables, including age, gender, medical history, pregnancy, and more. Most health insurance policies provide HIV testing for customers aged between 15 and 65 years. On the other hand, coverage for infections such as gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, and others may be unavailable. Typically, these tests are a part of the preventative health benefits of insurance policies.  

Difference Between Diagnostic Testing and Preventive Screening

You can tell whether or not you will have complete or partial coverage for STDs depending on if it’s preventive screening or diagnostic testing. If you do not exhibit any STD symptoms, the insurer will view it as a preventive screening and measure. On the other hand, if you show signs and experience discomfort, it becomes a diagnostic test. For instance, you must undergo a diagnostic test if you complain of itching and burning with discharge in your genitals. While insurers provide coverage for preventive screening, most health insurance plans do not cover diagnostic tests entirely, and you may need to foot the bill for the procedure. 

The ideal way to be sure is to read your policy’s wording carefully. Before buying health insurance, contact the insurer’s customer care over email or call, and visit its website to read the terms and conditions. 

How is STD Diagnosis Conducted?

Whether you are symptomatic or asymptomatic, the specialist will prescribe one or a combination of some of the following STD tests:

  • Urine tests
  • Blood tests
  • Biopsy
  • Physical examination of genitals
  • Laboratory test of the genital discharge
  • Swab tests

In general, these tests are non-invasive and painless. However, the specialist may recommend a different procedure depending on the kind and severity of the disease. 

Some of the Best Health Insurance Plans for STDs

Now that we have the possibility of insurance coverage for STDs out of the way, here are some options you can consider for the best protection against exorbitant medical bills. It will also allow you to obtain appropriate coverage for diagnosis and treatment.

  • Star Net Plus Health

HIV patients are the primary target market for Star Net Plus health insurance. With a maximum insured amount of INR 50,000, India’s only policy covers STD illnesses.

Max Bupa Health Premia

The plan indemnifies hospitalisation and daycare expenses for conditions due to an HIV infection. The coverage is available up to a limit (INR 50,000) after a 48-month waiting period, and the policyholder needs to be medically prescribed hospitalisation. 

How STD Coverage Helps

The cost of testing significantly decreases if your health insurance policy includes STD coverage. If the high price is a concern, you must get tested with the appropriate coverage rather than not at all. 

Read more - Health Insurance Plan: A Blessing in Disguise


STDs can cause incredible damage to your health and overall life if you don’t receive timely and quality medical care. Consider buying health insurance that covers testing and treatment, and ensure that it meets your needs and expenses. If you provide some crucial information, you can also determine the premium amount using a health insurance premium calculator. However, one cannot emphasise enough on practicing protected sexual contact and being with one partner at a time.

Read more - 5 Main Reasons Why a Health Insurance Policy is Important


1. Why do health insurance companies exclude STDs?

STD treatments are long-term, may go on for an entire lifetime, and are expensive. Since it’s a risky proposition for the insurers, they generally exclude it.

2. What should I do if I test positive for an STD?

Consult with a specialist and seek treatment right away. It is essential to inform your sexual partner about the diagnosis so that they can get tested and seek appropriate care for the virus. If your policy includes STD coverage, choose either a cashless or reimbursement-based treatment. 

3. Do insurers cover HIV?

Yes, owing to advanced medical treatments, the life expectancy of people with HIV has significantly increased. However, only a few insurers provide coverage for HIV. However, there are certain conditions:

  • If the infection is pre-existing in the insured. If detected 90 days after the policy’s commencement, the insurer cancels the policy. 
  • The patient needs to be sponsored by an NGO or Government agency
  • The insurer will only pay for diagnostic procedures and subsequent STD treatment, not the cost of medical therapy
  • The plan will not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions

4. Are there guidelines on safeguarding an HIV patient’s privacy?

Yes, the law mandates a strict confidentiality clause that insurers cannot reveal the applicant’s name and identity.

5. What’s the best way to buy health insurance with STD coverage?

Online health insurance is the ideal option for coverage at the lowest possible cost. Compare health insurance policies by different insurers, and check the prices and features before picking the best one.

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