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July 30, 2014
General insurance companies in India are giving a makeover to their health insurance plans by covering more than just hospitalisation expenses. They have designed comprehensive policies that will cover, besides hospitalisation reimbursement, pre-hospitalisation expenses such as out-patient department and wellness services.
The insurers are also providing additional features in health insurance policies such as worldwide emergency cover, disease-specific covers, value-added services in the form of discounts, health maintenance benefits and charges incurred in second-opinion consultations, reported the Hindu Business Line.
Mr Tapan Singhel, Managing Director and CEO of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said that conventional health insurance policies, especially the hospitalisation reimbursement category that exists in the market today, have been restrictive in terms of coverage.
After assessing the latent demand for all-inclusive health insurance covers, Bajaj Allianz recently launched a comprehensive health insurance plan providing coverage for hospitalisation treatment and also maternity, OPD and dental treatment.
CIGNA TTK, the newest standalone health insurer in India, plans to leverage the global health service expertise of US-based Cigna to focus on wellness-oriented health insurance products to differentiate its services, said Mr Sandeep Patel, the company’s Managing Director and CEO.
Other insurers have launched specialised disease-centric policies which will cover pre-existing diseases without any waiting period. For instance, Star Health Insurance’s Diabetes Safe Plan, covers complications from diabetes from Day One. Other health insurance policies in the market today generally have a waiting period of four years for covering pre-existing illnesses.
The health insurance sector in India is intensely competitive with 23 general insurance companies and five standalone health insurance companies.