As IRDAI clearance is not required for a lot of plans, health insurance providers are preparing to launch a flood of products. According to experts, the need for customized wider insurance coverage products and a continuum of care has recently surged.
Soon, India will witness a plethora of creative and tailor-made health insurance coverage. They might include anything from home care to elder care to personalized plans and insurance for a variety of chronic noncommunicable illnesses (NCDs) such as diabetes and hypertension.
According to industry experts, people with chronic ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and renal disease, which are often not covered under standard policies, may suddenly have a choice.
If someone has had hypertension for the last ten years, for example, a policy may be tailored to the individual’s needs and the premium amount can be set appropriately.
“There may also be a policy shortly for individuals with heart problems that covers operations like angioplasty,” said a senior executive of an internet insurance aggregator.
The decision by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to enable businesses to offer most general insurance products, including health insurance, without its permission has opened the doors.
This is especially essential in a nation where fewer than 20% of the population has voluntary private health insurance coverage.
Despite the fact that the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana, the Centre’s main health insurance plan, covers 50 percent of the country’s population, or roughly 70 crore people, around 30 percent of the population has no coverage at all.
The IRDAI recently stated that it will expand its ‘Use and File’ method to include all health insurance products and almost all general insurance products.
This, according to the regulator, is in accordance with the reform agenda being pursued in order to achieve a completely insured India.
‘Will enable innovation’
According to Mayank Bathwal, CEO of Aditya Birla Health Insurance and insurance forum leader at NATHEALTH, an Indian network of private healthcare providers, the IRDAI action would empower the private sector to innovate.
“Insurers may now develop several solutions that will aid in the expansion of universal health coverage and significantly enhance insurance penetration throughout the nation,” he continued.
While the regulator had previously permitted the ‘Use and File’ procedure for group products, the current circular allowing the same feature for retail products would have a significantly greater impact, according to Bhabatosh Mishra, director, underwriting, products, and claims, Niva Bupa Health Insurance.
New topics to be wider insurance coverage
Bathwal argued that the relaxation of regulations provides an opportunity for insurers to serve people suffering from NCDs.
Because these NCDs impact a huge portion of the population, India is sometimes referred to be the world’s diabetes and hypertension capital. However, most health insurance companies do not readily cover persons with NCDs.
Things may be different today.
“The regulation change has also created avenues for insurance firms to respond to the increased need for home care, elder care, and other new care continuum models in the industry,” Bathwal said.
According to Mishra, insurers may now develop extremely creative products very fast after the legislation.
“This also allows insurers to respond quickly to changing trends and client expectations.”
However, the cost of these plans may be greater than for conventional insurance because to the increased risk of hospitalization in individuals with chronic conditions.
“However, we are hopeful that these policies will continue to be profitable for consumers and that there will be increased demand and consumption of health insurance plans,” said the executive, who is linked with the aforementioned online insurance aggregator.
‘Make it easier for customized items to enter the market.’
According to Indraneel Chatterjee, co-founder of the insurtech startup RenewBuy, the adjustment to the standards would give the foundation for insurers’ go-to-market strategy, where they can easily design customized solutions and cater to clients.
Customized goods will aid in meeting the changing demands of marketplaces across cities, particularly in smaller towns and cities.
According to Chatterjee, there are around 700 million individuals in the nation who need insurance but are unable to get it owing to a lack of accessibility or a lack of the appropriate kind of insurance product.