Monday, September 24, 2007

Is Ayurvedic /Homeopathic treatment covered under health insurance?

In a country where home remedies are very common and a large number of people have faith in Ayurvedic treatment and Homeopathic treatment-Is it not surprising that Insurance companies do not cover these systems of treatment?

Now the change is coming.Iffco Tokio now covers Ayurvedic treatment while for post hospitlization treatment Star Health will cover the Homeopathic treatment.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Now HIV patients will be able to buy Health Insurance

Star Health and Allied Insurance Company, is all set to offer India’s first-ever insurance policy for HIV patients, based on the stage of the disease. This is a news,which brings comfort to those wo have been suffering from this disease ,which needs expensive medicines for treatment.

Patients with HIV, who were so far denied medical insurance, will now have the comfort of applying for health cover. The insurance policy for HIV patients, will be issued on the stage of the disease. The company will tie up with 1,800 hospitals and labs to conduct the CD4 test for patients seeking insurance. Dr Mohammed Arif, the officer in charge of the policy, said, “Our officers would approach government agencies, NGOs, societies and other registered bodies for creating awareness about the policy.” There is no age limit for the policy. A pre-insurance medical test would be conducted on people wishing to apply for it, which would include a CD4 test. Only those with a CD4 count of more than 350 would be covered. The cost of the tests would be borne by Star Health, added Dr Arif. happened thereafter.”

Premium rates are awaited .

Health Insurance Summit in Mumbai on Oct 5

CII is organizing Health Insurance Summit 2007 in Mumbai on Oct 5.This is a good sign ,which shows the importance which Health Inusrance is getting in the country.

You may visit CII site for details

Now OPD cost can be covered under Health Insurance

We are feeling the impact of market economy in a big way as ICICI Lombard has introduced a new health insurance product called Health Advantage. This is the first product to cover OPD bills paid for consulting doctors/dental treatment expenses/ over the counter purchase of medicines and orthopaedic treatment. It also covers surgeries, accidents and sudden illnesses that usual health insurance products do not cover.

Naturally nothing comes free in this world and you have to pay a cost for the everything which is worthwhile.But all this is at a cost. The premiums for the policy are three times the premiums you might be paying for ordinary health policies.

The Tax advantage is significant as the policy is specially designed to give the customer tax benefit of Rs 15,000 (Rs 20,000 for senior citizens) under Section 80D. Says ICICI Lombard’s marketing head Karthik Jain, “This policy would be most suitable for people who fall under the higher tax slab of 30 percent.”

Cover. Health Advantage covers all preexisting diseases if the policy is renewed for the third consecutive year. In contrast, most healthcare policies cover pre-existing diseases only after the fourth or fifth continuous renewal.

Premium advantage. The premium has been fixed at Rs 15,000 for ages 5 to 60, and Rs 20,000 for ages 61 to 70. The same premiums are charged for a sum assured of Rs 2 lakh or Rs 3 lakh with different sets of benefits. There are two types of benefits that the policy extends: hospitalization expenses and outpatient treatment expenses. In a Rs 3 lakh cover, the hospitalization expenses get increased by another Rs 1 lakh, but the outpatient expenses are reduced by Rs 500.

We are getting more details of this policy and will cover in another blog in a day or so.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New India introduces different rates for 3 zones in India

For motor insurance India used to be divided into 2 zones.
But for health insurance New India has divided India into 3 zones;
Zone 1 Mumbai
Zone 2 Delhi/Bangalore
Zone 3 Rest of India
The question arises ;
As the difference between rates for 3 zones is very small,is it worthwhile to have 3 rates?
A person from zone 3 wishes to go to Delhi or Mumbai for treatment because facilities are not available in his home town in zone 3.Will he be permitted to undergo treatment or not?
A person from zone 3 goes to Mumbai and claims I am visiting Mumbai-will he be permitted treatment for the disease which he could have got treated in his home town in zone 3?

Will 3 rates result in customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction?
Let us wait and watch.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

only 2 health insurance co's start working in India in 2 and a half year

India is a large country .IRDA has special rules for setting up of health insurance co's by putting in equity of Rs. 25 crores vs Rs. 100 crores required for setting up of a normal non life insurance co.

In 2 and a half years time only 2 health insurance co's started working in India.

What can be the reasons?

1 Shortage of funds -No.I do not believe .In our country even movies are being produced with investment of more than Rs. 25 crores
2 Unattractive as a business-With population of 110 crores,every business is boomimg,GDP growth @ 9.3% (I do not believe this)
3.Rs.25 crores is too small asum for setting up an all India co and high real estate cost is affecting .Yes this is the possible reason.

Let us think on the following lines;
Instead of India as the territory why not consider state as the territory and IRDA considers issuing of licence to a co ,which will operate only in 1 state.
Lower equity of Rs. 10 crores will do.
easy to start the co as it has to open offices only in 1 state
better control on costs and lower cost of selling
Many of our banks in private sector stated at district level and then grew at the state level and are operating not only in India but even in foreign.level

Comments are invited

Friday, September 14, 2007

Do you know instance where renewal of health insurance for a senior citizen is refused

Do you know instance where renewal of health insurance for a senior citizen is refused? If yes let us know .Whenever this point comes up the insurance co says all renewals are being done and in no case it is being refused.

Your views will help us in taking up this issue.

Co pay concept comes to India (health insurance)

For a long time we have been habitual of near to 100% cost of hospitalization being paid by the insurance co.

National Varishta Bima( senior citizens)has introduced 10% as co pay ,which means 10% will be paid by the insured and rest by Insurance co.Star Health has this fugure at 30 %(with medical examination ) and 50% (without medical examination ).

This is a big change for all of us.

Insurance co's feel this will result in control on the costs as insured will be conscious of the costs.

Let us see how other co's adopt this concept.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Is helicopter medical evacuation covered under Health Insurance Policy ?

Business Standard (Sep 13, 2007) has carried the following photo;

None of the health insurance policy issued to us covers the cost of helicopter medical evacuation.
It is surprising that overseas travel policy issued by various co’s carries sum assured of USD 5,00,000 ( Rs 2 crores+) and in emergency helicopter medical evacuation is also covered/ paid for.
Within India Rs 10 lakhs is the max sum assured possible with Cholamandalam.New India is also increasing the sum assured to Rs 10 lakh and in near future plans to raise it to Rs 25 lakhs.
We do hope Cholamandam & New India will consider including helicopter medical evacuation as part of the policy (Sum assured Rs 10 lakhs).
Your comments are invited so that we can convey our thoughts to the Insurance Co’s.

Diseases knock billions off India Income

TOI (Sep. 13, 2007) has carried an interesting news item according to which
“In 2005 alone, the estimated loss to our national income from diseases like heart
ailments, strokes and diabetes, was a staggering $ 9 billions (Rs. 37000 crores)

Over next 10 yrs, India may lose more than $ 200 billions (Rs. 8, 00,000 crores)
due to employee’s sickness. Some firms are already losing about 14% of
their annual working days -51 days /year.

Very interesting to note that in India health insurance premium collected
during 2006-07 was Rs 3300 crores,which means per capita health insurance
premium spend is Rs. 30 for a year.

PM has announced on August 15, 2007 that Rs 2000 crores will be spent by
the Government of India for health insurance of poor people.
How it will be spent? Will it be subsidy to be given to 4 PSU’s or to all
the insurance co’s offering health insurance?
Till this time no indications are available.

It is in the interest of co’s to go in for Group Health Insurance so that health
of the employees is taken care off.

Your comments are invited.