When it comes to business, no doubt changes are introduced for refinement though they carry some conditions. Insurance companies are also moving on the same track. They now are not limited to in-patient hospitalisation benefits. They will also support you even if you are just an out-patient. So, you may not have to give the consultation fees now when you go to see a doctor. You don’t have to be hospitalized for 24 hours to get the benefits. But the hospital you are visiting must be in network with your health insurer. Being a business, it will obviously be having many conditions but cashless OPD is a big thing which can lead to a very beneficial output.
Some insurance companies have introduced this concept few years back but strictly on the basis of reimbursements according to which the insured will get the money later on when he puts in a claim. Before this concept, the insured used to get the benefits only in case of 24 hours hospitalization. Now this change is further modified for more flexibility and comfort of people. Cashless OPD is a welcome as well as lucrative move insurance companies have taken.
Offering vouchers for various services like consultation and pharmacy is a good idea and is implemented by Apollo Munich’s Maxima. Antony Jacob, the MD and CEO of Apollo Munich Health Insurance has informed that their vouchers for OPD treatment with sub-limits are available on designated outlets with the option of reimbursement in case the hospital is not in the network list. Obviously these vouchers can’t be used n number of times and for unlimited benefits as per the rules of business to avoid any misuse. So, these vouchers are of Rs. 600 along with caps on the number of times the insured can consult the doctor.
ICICI Lombard is also planning to introduce a plan on the concept of cashless OPD. The head of health at ICICI Lombard, Sanjay Datta has informed about the same saying that they will soon start a pilot. Having the average premium of Rs 13000 to 15000, such plans give coverage of Rs 3 to 5 lacs. This concept will surely make the life of average insurance customer easier and smooth by supporting him even for minor expenses. The insured now doesn’t need to worry about the follow ups of insurance companies for reimbursement. So, it’s more about convenience according to the Managing Director of Optima Insurance Broker, Rahul Agarwal.
Growing medical inflation is becoming a major concern for people which can unexpectedly shatter their budget. People are becoming more aware about the ways through which they can minimize the medical costs. This concept could attract more people to go for health insurance. Health is the fastest-growing segment when it comes to nonlife insurance business. Even an incurred claim ratio (claims paid to premium earned) of 96.43% in health has given profit to the insurers. Policyholder may get a tax break as the government is seeking for the promotion of health insurance.
From Rs 11,777 crore in 2011 to Rs 13,975 crore in 2012-13, health insurance premiums have grown 18.66%. Where non-life insurance has grown 17.5%, health segment has shoot up its growth with 30%.
IRDA has brought uniformity in health insurance policies by issuing certain guidelines which have standardize commonly used medical terms, procedures, exclusions and claim forms.
So, along with doing business, insurance companies are also making the life of people comfortable and more secure.a