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Optima is a thought leader in the Indian insurance industry. Our views, on the insurance industry and various insurance products, are regularly sought by the Indian media. Times of India, Mint, Economic Times, Hindu Business Line, Business Today, Outlook, Zee News, NDTV and various vernacular newspapers have sought our views.

Indian healthcare charts a global path

August 29, 2014

Medical tourism from India to the West, a preserve of the affluent for years, is now accessible to the affluent middle-class, thanks to new high value covers designed by health insurers. For a premium ranging from Rs five lakh to Rs 13 lakh, an individual can get health insurance cover for as high as Rs 25 crore which covers treatment overseas. What’s more, companies are willing to tailor this according to the paying capacity, while buyers can get a cover of Rs 25 crore. While recent trend has seen an increase in the number of foreign nationals coming to India for lower cost treatment, there are some procedures in which healthcare in the West still have an edge due to technolgical advancements.

“Such policies are extremely useful for mass affluent and high networth Indians who have to be frequently out of the country on work or business related matters. They have access to global health care in Indian currency,” Rahul Aggarwal, chief executive officer of insurance advisory, Optima Insurance Brokers said. Max Bupa’s new heartbeat health insurance plan, offers Rs 1 crore cover for cashless treatment abroad of nine critical illnesses including cancer, heart attack, organ transplant, stroke, brain surgery . Claimants can access Bupa International’s network of hospitals across 190 countries. “In case of a medical emergency abroad, Bupa International will provide medical evacuation assistance ,” Manasije Mishra, chief executive officer, Max Bupa said.

“People who can afford are willing to travel to a global centre of excellence to access the latest medical technology,” said Sandeep Patel, md & CEO, Cigna TTK Health Insurance . Cigna TTK covers 30 critical illnesses under its global cover with the sum insured ranging from one lakh to Rs 25 crore. The in-build overseas cover has some advantages over an overseas travel policy.”An overseas travel health care plan entails filling up proposal forms again and elements like pre existing illness and the associated waiting period come into play when such policies are issued.,” said Dr Renuka Kanvinde, associate vice president, health insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.

She added that many senior level executives and HNIs who travel frequently now opt for a seamless health cover. The company is currently working on an offering for the uber rich. Public sector New India Assurance too is mulling a global health cover targeting the HNI segment. “We will be launching a global health cover for the HNI segment within the next four to six months. The product will be designed as a stand alone offering as well as an add on to existing health plans,” G Srinivasan, CMD New India Assurance said.

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