pays for your hospital bills for diagnostics, surgery etc.
Health care is a very dynamic concept and health Policy providers make use of innovation to come up with better policies that offer more value for money. Entry of insurers like Star Health, Apollo Munich, Max Bupa, and others has forced general insurance companies to innovate and offer newer solutions.
As on date, there are 300 versions of Health Insurance plans in the Indian market. Some are plain vanilla policies while other polices offer new features and facilities to those who opt for health insurance in India.
IRDA introduced Mediclaim portability in October 2011. This enabled unsatisfied customers to switch their health care policy without losing the benefits accumulated under the old policy. Before portability was introduced, individuals switching health insurers had to undergo the Waiting Period for Pre-existing diseases all over again. With portability, this can be avoided. This is not an innovation in health plans per se but it helps enjoy access to a wide range of health insurance options that were absent earlier.
These plans are designed for individuals who want to insure the health of all family members under a single policy. Family floater plans provide a specific amount of health insurance cover for all the members of the family. All members can be treated under the same health care policy as long as the total cover is not exceeded. This innovation has reduced the cost of insuring multiple individuals at once.
The top up is a very useful innovation that helps individuals enhances the health care policy cover without spending a lot of money. A top up policy for Rs. 7 lac combined with a standard health policy for Rs. 2 – 3 lacs will boost total available cover to Rs. 9 – 10 lacs. This combination will work out a lot cheaper than a Rs. 9 – 10 lacs standard policy.
Riders and special plans can be used to customize the health insurance policy to suit one's special requirements. Riders can be used to obtain compensation for death or disability caused by an accident. Riders can be used to boost health care policy Coverage by paying extra premium. One can go in for riders to cover cost of surgery or treatment of critical illnesses. Riders come with their own set of Exclusions and insurers may or may not offer riders to customers.
IRDA is rejecting products that have a cap on the exit age. This means that customers buying health insurance in India will not find their health insurance Proposal being rejected simply because they have grown old.
Standard health insurance plans have sub limits on specific components like room rent, doctor fees and so on. A Rs. 10 lac policy may offer only Rs. 50,000 cover towards hospital room rent. These sub limits are on the way out and Apollo Munich and Tata-AIG are two mediclaim providers who are offering policies with no sub limits.
New India Assurance, Bharti-Axa and L&T General have started offering policies where the Premium is determined on the basis of the zone of residence of the customer. Health care in Ranchi or Bilaspur will not be as expensive as Mumbai. A policy holder living in the former cities will pay less premium as compared to residents of Metro cities.
Star Health, L&T General and Apollo Munich are offering conditional cover replenishment policies. The coverage amount will be replenished even if the Insured has utilized it fully provided certain conditions are met. If no claims are filed, then the health policy coverage available will be doubled for the next year at no extra cost.
These mediclaim policies combine health insurance with investment. The premium will be invested and the health policy holder will receive an enhanced value at the end of the year. The return on the policy will come down if claims are filed. This ensures the premium paid does not go waste if no claims are filed. These mediclaim policies are offered by Birla Sunlife, LIC and ICICI Prudential.