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Are Diagnostic Charges Covered by Health Insurance?

Updated On Aug 29, 2023

Navigating the intricacies of health insurance can often leave individuals questioning the extent of their coverage. Among the crucial inquiries is whether health insurance encompasses diagnostic charges. As medical diagnostics play a pivotal role in identifying and managing various health conditions, understanding the extent of coverage for these expenses is essential. This article delves into the complexities of health insurance coverage for diagnostic charges, shedding light on what medical tests and procedures  may include and the factors influencing their inclusion. By unravelling this aspect of health insurance, individuals can better comprehend their policy and make informed decisions regarding their healthcare expenses.

What Constitutes Diagnostic Expenditures? 

Diagnostic expenses pertain to a range of medical assessments, invasive and non-invasive, undertaken to either confirm or eliminate potential health concerns within an individual's body. The expenses associated with these tests can vary significantly due to factors such as the testing method, diagnostic equipment, and more.

Are Diagnostic Charges Covered by Health Insurance

Predominant Diagnostic Examinations in India

 A selection of the most prevalent diagnostic tests encompasses:

  1. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  2. X-rays
  3. Ultrasound
  4. Mammography
  5. Computed Tomography (CT) scans
  6. Fluoroscopy
  7. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans
  8. Blood samples
  9. Colonoscopies
  10. Biopsies

Hence, it is imperative to ascertain the coverage of these aforementioned tests and associated particulars before acquiring any health insurance schemes. The noteworthy aspect of these evaluations lies in their potential expenses, varying from several thousands to hundreds of rupees. Consequently, understanding these costs is crucial if you have an ailing family member or a pre-existing medical condition.

Is Diagnostic Expenditure Included in Health Insurance? 

Absolutely, most health insurance policies encompass the costs of diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, and blood examinations. However, the extent of coverage can differ depending on the specific insurance plan. These diagnostic charges are typically eligible for coverage if they are deemed relevant to the ongoing treatment during the hospitalisation period.

It's crucial that the patient's hospital stay adheres to the minimum duration stipulated in the health policy. Generally, diagnostic tests prescribed for outpatient (OPD) cases aren't covered by standard health insurance plans. In instances where governmental limits are imposed on diagnostic test charges, the insurance provider will adhere to these guidelines.

Nevertheless, many health insurance schemes encompass pre and post-hospitalisation expenses. Consequently, the insurer might cover diagnostic costs incurred 30 to 60 days prior to hospitalisation and up to 90 to 180 days following discharge. The extent of coverage, however, is contingent on the particular insurance plan selected.

Hence, the prudent selection of a comprehensive health insurance policy is imperative to safeguard yourself and your family from potential financial strain.

How To Choose a Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan?

Navigating the array of medical insurance options requires a thorough understanding of their limitations. To select an appropriate policy, consider these steps:

  1. Independent Research: Instead of relying solely on recommendations, take the initiative to conduct your research. Compare various plans, grasping their distinctions. Leverage online resources to swiftly analyse pros and cons.
  2. Plan Variability: Different plans encompass diverse expenses, spanning from diagnostic tests to maternity care and global coverage, emergency air ambulance, etc. Your choice should align with your needs and financial constraints. Determine if your preferred plan includes MRI coverage.
  3. Scrutinise Terms and Conditions: Many individuals overlook policy terms and conditions before committing. Prioritise comprehending the fine print, delving into inclusions and exclusions. Verify whether insurance covers services like ultrasounds.
  4. Seek Clarification: When uncertain about policy specifics, engage with the insurance provider to clarify doubts. If you're unsure about diagnostic test coverage, inquire if MRI, X-Ray, and ultrasound fall under the insurance umbrella.
  5. Reputable Insurer Selection: Opt for a respected insurance company guaranteeing a robust health insurance plan featuring ample MRI coverage, efficient disbursements, reasonable premiums, and valuable perks. A reputable provider ensures excellent customer service and swift financial aid during emergencies.

Health insurance serves as a vital financial tool, safeguarding your finances while ensuring uncompromised medical care. Consequently, the choice of a reputable insurer significantly influences your financial security.


Understanding the coverage of diagnostic charges by health insurance is vital managing medical expenses. While policies differ in their extent of coverage, being informed about what tests are included, the need for referrals, potential out-of-pocket expenses, and the appeals process empowers individuals to make informed decisions. By proactively engaging with insurance providers and healthcare professionals, individuals can navigate the complexities of diagnostic charge coverage and optimise their healthcare experience.


Q1. Are all diagnostic charges covered by health insurance? 

Health insurance coverage varies widely, and not all diagnostic charges may be covered. Some policies include a range of tests and procedures, while others may have limitations. It's important to review your policy's coverage details to understand which diagnostic charges are included.

Q2. What types of diagnostic tests are usually covered by health insurance? 

Common diagnostic tests such as blood tests, X-rays, MRIs, and certain screenings are often covered by health insurance. However, coverage can depend on the specific policy and the medical necessity of the test. Pre-authorisation might be required for certain high-cost tests.

Q3. Do I need a doctor's recommendation for diagnostic test coverage? 

In many cases, a doctor's recommendation or referral is required for health insurance to cover diagnostic tests. Your healthcare provider can guide you on the appropriate tests based on your medical history and symptoms.

Q4. Will I need to pay a deductible or co-payment for diagnostic charges? 

Yes, many health insurance plans involve deductibles, co-payments, or coinsurance for diagnostic charges. The amount you'll need to pay out-of-pocket can vary based on your policy's terms. It's crucial to review your policy's details to understand your financial responsibilities.

Q5. What if my health insurance denies coverage for a necessary diagnostic test? 

If a necessary diagnostic test is denied coverage, you can appeal the decision with your insurance company. Your healthcare provider can assist you in providing the required documentation to support the medical necessity of the test. Additionally, some policies have a process for filing appeals.

Also Read: 

Critical Illness Insurance Policy for Stroke Patients in India


This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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