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India: Regulator drawing up health insurance framework.

April 10, 2015

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is reviewing health insurance guidelines, following the amendment last month of the insurance law that recognises health insurance as distinct from life and general insurance, reported The Economic Times. The modified regulations are expected to be released by the end of this month.

Single-premium and long-term health plans will allow policyholders to lock into the premiums for a longer tenure at a time when medical inflation is rising every year. It is proposed that long-term health policies could carry a tenure of 3-5 years. At the same time, for insurers, this would ensure loyalty of customers over a long period of time. The proposal for health savings accounts will create a fund over 5-15 years to finance the healthcare expenses of the insured during their post-retirement years. .

The IRDAI feels the need to revisit various areas of the health insurance framework such as products, distribution, actuarial related matters like pricing, claims experience, solvency, M&A, rural and social obligations, and others, so that processes are streamlined to cater to the growing demands of the market for health insurance and also to enable companies to gear up to meet such demand in terms of innovation and servicing capabilities, said Mr Ajay Bimbhet, Managing Director of Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance.

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