Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let Us Welcome Cigna ttk Health Insurance in India

It is always good to have entry of new Insurance Company, especially Health Insurance Company. The fifth standalone health Insurance company of the country “Cigna ttk Health Insurance Company Ltd" will soon be entering the Indian market.

Cigna ttk health Insurance Co. Ltd has received the regulatory licence from the Insurance regulator IRDA on Nov.13, 2013 and soon it will start operations in the Indian market. Its head quarter will be in Mumbai.

Its a joint venture between U.S health service giant Cigna Corporation & an Indian conglomerate- ttk group.

We in Insurance Industry have been familiar with ttk as a TPA under the name of ttk Health Care Services Pvt. Ltd.

We are pleased that at least 1 US Health Insurer has entered the Indian Market. As we know that out of 4 -3 Insurance Companies have foreign affiliation with non US companies :
Star                                            Oman
Max Bupa                                    UK
Apollo Munich                              Germany
Religare Health                              ---

According to Mr. William L. Atwell, President of Cigna International “Entering in to India is an exciting new chapter for Cigna International, as we have the Innovative solutions to help the Indian Consumer meet the important health challenges. We are committed to improving access & quality of care while reducing costs.”

As per the plans of Cigna ttk - it will set up an innovative distribution network. It plans to leverage its network of pharmacies & physicians to sell its health insurance plans. The simple health Insurance products would be sold over the counter. We as www.healthinsuranceindia.org feel that they (Cigna ttk) should not violate IRDA regulations on Corporate Agency/ Agency i.e product should be sold by trained professionals or organizations say Insurance Brokerage Firms. Recent penalties on Insurance Companies/ TPA’s/ Insurance brokerage Firms are an eye opener. We are sure Cigna, a great brand in US will not like to take any wrong step.

We understand that Cigna ttk product will be a box product & the buyer would be able to get a policy kit across a counter. This is similar to what Reliance General introduced in 2005. There may be a simple product for which medical tests are not compulsory criteria and the documents can be submitted online once the customer reaches home.

According to  Mr. Sandeep Patel, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the company–“We will strongly leverage Cigna’s Global Health Insurance services, experience & expertise as well as the trust of the TTK group to offer an innovative suits of products.”

Let us hope that we as consumers will get special treatment from this company. Indian market has been waiting for introduction of following:
OPD Treatment
Dental Care

Cigna has been doing this in US for a long time. If they introduce these products/features  it will be a good achievement & initiative.

If it is going to be a normal product then customers are at present & having a wide choice available.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Changes in Oriental Happy Family Floater policy’s guidelines result in increase in premium for many families as high as 86%

Till Nov. 03, 2013 the Oriental Happy Family Floater policy‘spremium calculation was unique & was very popular as in this the premium was calculated based on the age of the proposer. As a result the product was popular among large families comprising of self/spouse/parents/parents in law and even children below 21 years.

The revised calculation method announced by Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. on Nov. 4, 2013 is:

·        If one generation is covered the primary member would be the person of higher age
·        If two generations are covered i.e. husband, wife & children, primary member would be the person of highest age.

·        If three generations are covered by excluding the senior most generations, the highest age member will be the primary insured.
This has affected the premium amount a lot.
Let us see this with example

Let us take an example- Suppose a family of 4 members, husband (35yrs), wife (33 yrs), mother (60yrs), father (62 yrs) was insured for Rs. 6 Lakhs of sum insured. According to the old rate their premium would be 20490 Rs. But, according to the revised rate its premium will be 38200.

Oriental Happy Family Floater Comparison Rates

Old Rate for Rs. 6 Lakhs
New Rate for Rs. 6 Lakhs

Rs. 7,140
Rs. 1,430
Rs. 1,430
Rs. 1,430
Rs. 7,800
Rs. 31,220
Rs. 4,120

Total Premium

Rs. 20,490
Rs. 38,200
Total Premium after S.tax (12.36%)

Rs. 23,023
Rs. 42,922

Due to this high increase in premium rate this product has lost its attraction. Is it good or is it bad for the company – only time will tell. We foresee many families will use the portability clause to switch over to other companies.

Surprising, No Health Insurance Policy is available for Cancer Patients

India is having 30 Lakhs Cancer Patients and every year 8 Lakhs new patients get added to this number.

The number of cancer patients in India is rising alarmingly and from year 2020 onwards, the nation will add more than 20 Lakhs new cancer patients every year,”

It is surprising to know that not even a single Insurance Company is ready to provide Health Insurance for patients who are having pre- existing cancerous condition.

The Raheja QBE, who offers a product separately with the name “Cancer Insurance”, does not cover a pre- existing cancerous condition. They provide cover to the persons who have not been diagnosed cancer symptoms.

Some Life Insurance Companies as well General Insurance Companies offer Critical Illness Cover under which Cancer is one of the diseases. It means Raheja QBE has introduced a disfeatured Critical Illness product under the fancy name of “Cancer Insurance”. This product does not cover a pre- existing cancerous condition or patient. They provide cover to the health persons who have not been diagnosed with Cancer symptoms.

Now, here is a question that which is a better option for proposer or client.
-        To purchase a standalone Cancer insurance of Raheja QBE
-        or
-        To purchase a life insurance policy providing a critical illness cover. Here is a comparative analysis of the premium rate of two companies who gives cover against cancer.

TATA AIA: - CriticalIllness cover for the Sum Insured of Rs. 10 Lakhs for a person of age 35 will cost Rs. 8892.
Raheja QBE: - A person of age 35 to get cover against cancer for the sum insured of 10 Lakhs will cost Rs. 3060.

Therefore we can interpret that the Life Insurance plan for Critical Illness Cover may be much better & cheaper than standalone Cancer Insurance Policy.

Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute located in Rohini, Delhi has a scheme that those who are having no pre existing cancerous condition can make one time donation of Rs. 5000. They can have checkup and when required will be given free of cost treatment by this hospital in the event of person getting Cancer. 

Although, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute is not Insurance Company but the initiative taken by this hospital needs appreciation.