Keep it simple, compete on settling claims: IRDAI to insurers

Chennai: Citing the 4.5 lakh lives covered under the standardized insurance policy like Corona Kavach within 20 days of its launch, simple and standardized health insurance products will grow the health insurance segment, said Subhash Chandra Khuntia, Chairman, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

Khuntia also urged insurers to come out with disease-specific insurance products that will enable the creation of an eco-system for improving the health of policyholders.

He was speaking at the virtual seminar ‘India Health Insurance – Fast Forward’ organized by Confederation Indian Industry-Southern Region.

Khuntia said the Corona Kavach policy will create awareness amongst the people about health insurance and insurers will be able to market the products easily.

He urged the insurers to sell standardized health insurance covers as it will increase insurance spread and penetration while competition will be in the effective settlement of claims.

There will be fewer disputes in the settlement of claims owing to standardized policy conditions. A high percentage of disputes between insurers and policyholders relate to claims settlement.

According to him, the Covid-19 pandemic will make health insurance a pull product (bought by people) than a push product (sold by insurers).

He said more than 70,000 Covid-19 claims have been settled with a payout of about Rs 700 crore by the insurers ever since the pandemic broke out.

Pointing out four percent of the Indian households spend over 25 percent of their income on healthcare, Khuntia said the monthly healthcare expenses of a household can be brought down with proper insurance coverage.

The out-patient expenses should also come under the insurance policy ambit.

He said last fiscal the health insurance premium was Rs 57,680 crore logging a growth of 11.3 percent and now this is expected to grow further.

During the first quarter of the current fiscal, the health insurance sector grew by 6.6 percent.

A total of 47 crore lives have been covered under some insurance scheme in the country and every year about 1.6 crore health insurance claims have been settled last fiscal, he said.

Expressing concern at the medical inflation which is higher than the general inflation Khuntia said the entire healthcare eco-system should focus on bringing efficiency in the treatment protocol.

Khuntia also urged hospitals to get themselves registered in the specialized portal as it is important that they disclose the details of facilities they have and offer so that a cashless treatment facility is provided to the policyholders.

(IANS)

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