Most health plans offer special sops, but do some research first!
Specialist research and consulting firm Fintelekt, in a report shared exclusively with Moneycontrol, says India’s standalone health insurance market is likely to grow at 30% to Rs 21,904 crore by 2021-22. However, it says, standalone health insurance companies will have to leverage the demand.
India has over 50 insurance companies. This includes 29 non-life insurers, four of which are in the public sector and registered to underwrite policies exclusively in the health, personal, accident, and travel insurance segments.
So what are these specialised insurers –Star Health and Allied, Apollo Munich, Max Bupa, Religare, and Cigna TTK – doing by way of leveraging demand and trying to stay a step ahead of the competition? Well, each offers some unique features in their policies. Let us examine them more closely:
1. Apollo Munich
Apollo offers a ‘Health and Wellness Portal’ through which the insured can monitor their physical conditions such as BMS; chat with health counsellors and alter their lifestyle habits, and access reports anytime from anywhere.
Also, 1% of the sum insured is reimbursed for free health checkups after every two, three, or four claim-free years. If the policyholder or a family member contracts a new disease/ailment or exhausts the entire sum insured during the policy term, Apollo will also restore the full sum insured.
Of course, the various features on offer may be for different plans and not across policies, and are subject to terms and conditions.
2. Star Health
This insurer offers a unique cover against both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, available as both an individual and a floater policy. Called the Diabetes Safe Insurance Policy, it also covers donor expenses for kidney transplants, as well as dialysis expenses of Rs 1000 per sitting for up to two years, apart from compensation for accidental death.
The policy also covers over 400 day-care procedures as well as outpatient expenses such as medical consultation, medicines, and diagnostic tests. It has two plans A and B; while medical screening is not mandatory for the first, it is so for the second.
Star Health also has a policy for college- and school-goers called Student Care Plan, which offers cover against accidental death or permanent disability due to accident, and medical expenses if any. The sum insured is Rs 50,000 for school students (minimum premium Rs 70) and Rs 1 lakh for college students (minimum premium Rs 120).
3. Max Bupa
The Heartbeat Health Insurance Plan from Max Bupa – one of its three health plans – is a policy that can also be extended to the traditional Indian joint family with coverage for up to 14 relatives of the policyholder. The sum assured is Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2 crore.
An individual sum insured is provided to each member under coverage, while a floater sum insured is available for any family member in that group.
4. Cigna TTK
A collaboration between Cigna Corp of the US (a Fortune 500 company) and India’s TTK group, this insurer’s health insurance portfolio offers seven plans. Three of them – ProHealth Protect, ProHealth Plus, and ProHealth Preferred – offer coverage worldwide, with emergency cover for medical expenses incurred abroad. The coverage amount ranges from the sum insured to Rs 10 lakh, depending on the plan.
The worldwide emergency cover comes into play if the treatment is deemed an emergency, requiring immediate treatment and inpatient hospitalisation. Reimbursements are paid out in Indian rupees, and claims are based on the currency rate of exchange applicable on the day of payment of hospital bills, as published by the Reserve Bank of India.
Promoted by leading wellness and pharmacy retailers SRL Diagnostics, Religare Wellness, and Fortis Hospitals, this insurer offers cover for preventive healthcare treatments such as annual health checkup and diagnostic tests, regardless of the policyholder’s claim history. Moreover, no pre-policy medical test is required when the sum insured is less than Rs 25 lakh and the person is not over 50 years of age.
The company also offers global healthcare, with the policyholder entitled to treatment from any of the network hospitals across the world.
Some 25 insurance companies in India offer health plans, and it is difficult to say offhand which is best for a particular individual. The best option is to choose a plan that suits one’s lifestyle and environment. For this, some amount of research is advised.
Each health insurer is required to have a hospital network that includes public and private hospitals spread across the country. All other things being equal, go for one that’s near you.