Monday, March 15, 2010

Product Innovation is coming in Health Insurance Industry in India

Max Bupa is expected to start their operations in near future and it is good to know that product to be introduced will come out with innovative features, which we have covered in our blogs from time to time. The company is starting with 6 metropolitan cities. Instead of focusing on too many hospitals, focus will be on treatment of policy holders in the best hospitals. We understand that 20 best hospitals have been empanelled in Delhi area.

Salient points of comparison between products available presently with that of Max Bupa are:

• Focus on metro cities
• Focus on upper segment or upper middle segment of society
• Use of smart cards
• Will not use TPAs
• For those opting for sum assured of Rs.15 lakhs – use of helicopter permitted for evacuation in case of emergency
• Max sum assured of Rs. 50 lakhs
• Reimbursement of medical tests cost incurred at the time of making proposal
• OPD coverage - yes
• Annual medical checkup
• A qualified doctor will be acting as your Relationship Manager – who will guide you on phone from time to time. He will even visit you when you are in hospital for serious ailment.

Why health insurance portfolio of Indian Insurance Companies is loss making

During 2008-09 the figures of some of the insurance companies are:

The reason why Insurance Companies lost money and that too heavily is that while issuing group/ corporate policies they give coverage for:
• Pre-existing diseases
• Maternity

The question arises – If pre-existing and maternity coverage is not given to individuals/ families then why it is being giving to corporate? Is this not a restrictive practice? Should we try to stop it?

Is it the desire of the insurance companies to show high top line figure that business is accepted by insurance companies from corporates at low premium rate?

Is it that large corporates are having bargaining power because of large number of personnel to be covered and big ticket cheque being issued by them?

Some of these questions need to be answered. Comments are invited.