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March 26, 2014
Medical insurers in India have increased the number of daycare procedures for which they provide cover – a marked departure from the previous standard practice of requiring at least 24-hour hospitalisation for medical cover to come into force.
Star Health and Allied Insurance now covers over 200 daycare procedures. Similarly, HDFC Ergo provides insurance for over 100 daycare procedures. “Increasingly, health insurance covers are becoming more inclusive as the industry gains more experience from claims data and history,” Mr Mukesh Kumar, head, human resource, marketing and strategy planning, HDFC Ergo, told The Times of India.
Industry observers attribute the change to medical advances. “Over the years, advances in medical technology have ensured that many surgical procedures have become a day affair now and the list is only set to grow,” Mr Rahul Aggarwal, CEO of insurance advisory Optima Insurance Brokers, said. Mr V Jagannathan, Chairman and Managing Director of Star Health, said: “Over time, systems, records and technology have improved, which ensure a person can walk in and out of surgery on the same day itself.”
Also, the insurance regulator, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, has been urging insurers to offer more daycare health insurance covers. Last year, the regulator set out standard definitions for 46 commonly-used health insurance terms such as daycare treatment, co-payment and domiciliary hospitals, which insurers find helpful.
However, some day surgical procedures can be more expensive on account of the use of new technology, medical equipment and procedures. Nevertheless, there are cost savings in that insurers and the insured can avoid room charges and nursing fees.