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June 20, 2014
Health insurers in India are seeking to popularise recharge health option plans in a bid to increase sales.
Under a recharge health plan, if the person insured exhausts his or her total sum insured during a particular year, the plan allows reinstatement of the sum insured. The reinstated plan can be utilised in for a small charge. However, insurers add exceptions to recharge plans like prohibiting policyholders from carrying forward the reinstated sum insured or claiming benefits on account of a previous illness for which the sum insured had been exhausted, reported the Times of India.
“We have introduced the recharge benefit in our newly launched Healthcare Supreme Plan. The advantage for the insured is that he or she has some cover even if the sum insured gets exhausted during a particular year. Otherwise, he or she would have to wait till the next year,” Renuka Kanvinde, associate VP, health insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said.
Other insurers are making their recharge plans more attractive. Apollo Munich’s Optima Restore benefit launched last year has a multiplier benefit under which the company increases the coverage by 50% the following year and doubles it the year after if customers do not draw on their plans. “Optima Restore has evolved as the fastest growing product in our portfolio, and last year it accounted for about 30% of our total retail book,” Mr Antony Jacob, CEO of Apollo Munich Health Insurance, said.
Insurers state that such plans can turn out to be economical in the face of rising medical inflation which currently stands at 15%.
Cigna TTK Health Insurance has a restoration benefit under all its plans. “Customers looking for sufficient cover at reasonable pricing will go for policies with a recharge option.
“A restore/recharge option makes the health cover more comprehensive especially when you do not have any back up health cover. Persons who can bear some amount of their healthcare costs but are looking to fund the additional risks through an insurance plan will opt for top-up/deductible plans,” Mr Sandeep Patel, Managing Director & CEO of Cigna TTK Health Insurance, said.