Thursday, April 23, 2020

80% of deaths of Covid victims in Delhi is of those who are aged 50+

80% of deaths of Covid victims in Delhi is of those who are aged 50+

Statement of Delhi Chief Minister on 22 April -80% of deaths of Covid victims in Delhi is of those who are aged 50+ is a warning for all.

The reason is that as the age progresses beyond 50years human beings are prone to diseases like:
  1. Hypertension
  2. Diabetes
  3. Cardiac
  4. Bronchitis
  5. Lung diseases
  6. Pneumonia
  7. Chest diseases
This means that due precaution should be taken by persons in this age group. If they have Health Insurance policy - it will be better.

Mandatory medical insurance for employees post lockdown-Good for families

Mandatory medical insurance for employees post lockdown-Good for families

There is no denial that penetration of health insurance has to increase so that large number of persons who are not part of:
-Group Corporate health insurance (at present voluntary) through insurance companies 
-CGHS
-ESIC
-State Government Health Scheme
-Defence forces Health Scheme
-Railway Health Scheme
-Ayushman

The fact is that this number is very large as they are working for micro units, unorganized sector, are self employed or are what we call daily wage workers.

Under order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I (A) The ministry of home affairs government of India has made it mandatory for all employers, who resume functioning post COVID-19 lockdown in the country, to provide medical insurance to their employees.

As per clause 5 of Annexure – II of the revised guidelines and standard operating procedure for social distancing for offices, workplaces, factories and establishments, medical insurance for the workers is to be made mandatory.

We understand that as a follow up action to this notification of  the government of India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked all general and standalone health insurers to offer comprehensive health insurance policies either to individuals or groups in order to enable the listed organizations/employers/establishments comply with the government of India directives.

Ms. TL Alamelu IRDAI member (non-life) said, “The insurers are advised to devise comprehensive health insurance products with simple wordings, conditions and at affordable cost to be offered to the stated organizations”.

“The above referred organizations should be able to continue the medical insurance policy offered by insurers not only for the present situation but for all time,” said Ms Alamelu.

We see this is a great opportunity to increase the penetration of Health Insurance in the country.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Premium for Health Insurance – it will become possible to pay in instalments

Premium for Health Insurance - it will become  possible to pay in installments.

For last 6 years Insurance Foundation of India has been propagating that with a view to increase penetration of Health Insurance we should move away from compulsory yearly premium payment format to installments on the lines of Life Insurance premium which is :
  1. Monthly
  2. Quarterly
  3. Half yearly
  4. Yearly
IRDAI, the regulator has permitted general insurance companies or standalone health insurance companies to go ahead with installments format.

Implementation of the same will need few weeks of time as some changes in software are to be made. In near future we will see this being implemented and this will  bring relief to large number of policy holders, who might be feeling impact of reduced earnings due to Covid.

We are sure that penetration of Health Insurance will increase in the country. During 2020 21 we foresee health insurance premium to increase from Rs 50000 crores to Rs 70000 crores an increase of 40%

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Who are at most risk with Covid?

Who are at most risk with Covid?

We have been hearing that persons in higher age group and those who are having preexisting diseases like Cardiac, Hypertension, Diabetes, Lung or Chest related respiratory disease will be more prone to this disease. Therefore they should be very careful and take full precautions under lockdown.

In the very well written book “Covid The Pandemic Notebook” brought out by The Hindu we came across the following graphs. The first one is pertaining to South Korea and the second one is for China.

 



Data visualisations by Vignesh Radhakrishnan and Sumant Sen

Assuming the same trend is applicable for India we can expect that those with cardiac ailment and are in higher age group i.e. 60 + should be very careful.

Cashless approval and approval for final bill to be given within 2 hours for cashless hospitalization cases for Covid-19 Patients

Cashless approval and approval for final bill to be given within 2 hours for cashless hospitalization cases for Covid-19 Patients.

We welcome the instructions of IRDA to Claims Team of Health Insurers as well as TPA's to work on 24 hours basis so that:
1.    Approval for Cashless hospitalization is given to Insured or Hospital within 2 hours
2.    Approval for final bill required for discharge of patients is given within 2 hours of receipt of request from Hospital

This sends a good signal to health insurance policy holders. This will also result in start of treatment and release of beds for new patients.

At present health Insurance claims are running at 2 % of total cases which means only 2 patients are Health Insurance Policy holders who are applying for claims. 98 are mostly dependent on Government Hospitals or a very small number being treated in Private Hospitals are paying out of own pocket.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Obesity can be a great risk for Covid patients

Obesity can be a great risk for Covid patients
  1. We are aware that senior citizens should be careful in protecting themselves from this infection.
  2. Some more research studies are revealing the Obesity can be a great risk for Covid patients.
The study coming from the countries US, France and China is as follows “Emerging research into severe coronavirus cases has found that obesity appears to pose a much greater risk than expected. People with obesity often have other medical problems as well, but new studies - in the US, France and China - point to obesity itself as the second most significant complicating factor in severe corona virus cases, after age. Young adults with obesity appear to be at particular risk, even if they have no other health issues.”

The reason can be that obese people can be having respiratory diseases.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Health Insurance premium is going to be increased (may be 25%) in near future

Health Insurance premium is going to be increased (may be 25%) in near future

Due to various measures taken by IRDAI with respect to certain diseases, like mental disease being covered under Health Insurance policies there is need to increase the premium. We understand various insurance companies are submitting their updated products with higher premium rates. Indications are that increase may be as high as 25% Covid 19 has also added another dimension to this.

It is suggested to those who have to renew the policy - do it as soon as possible. Those who wish to buy health Insurance -buy it at the earliest. It will be a good idea to buy a policy for 2 years or may be 3 years so that you can have effective saving.