The health insurance industry in India has faced serious repercussions during the entire year of 2020, especially due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. The entire health insurance industry has undergone a multitude of changes so that health cover can be provided to as many people as possible in India.
The insurance industry in the country is regulated by the IRDAI – the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India that ensures that the insurance products being sold are customer-centric. This allows consumers to make maximum use of the insurance products and have more faith in the health insurance industry in India.
Changes That Took Place in The Health Insurance Industry in India
Introduction of Standard Health Product – Arogya Sanjeevani
IRDAI issued a new set of guidelines on 2nd January 2020 directing all the companies in the health insurance industry in India to begin selling “Arogya Sanjeevani Policy”, their standard health insurance product, from 1st of April 2020. One of the main reasons for the introduction of a standard health insurance plan was the fact that most of the products in the health industry in India were far too complex for the common man to understand. This standardized health cover makes the process of purchasing a lot simpler. It has also played an integral part in building the faith and trust of customers.
Developments in The Health Insurance Industry Due to The COVID-19 Pandemic
Arguably the biggest development that took place in the health insurance industry in India during the Coronavirus pandemic was the treatment for COVID-19 being included under all the best health insurance plans.
- Under usual circumstances, pandemics are not covered by any insurance policy(health and/or life) by the health insurance industry in India. But with this new inclusion, you can enjoy the facility of high-quality treatment without having to worry about financial expenses.
- All insurers have been directed to issue policies to customers via telemedical, in whichever case possible, especially if a physical medical examination is not possible to be conducted.
- According to another set of guidelines, buyers have been given the liberty to provide approval for the issuance of a health policy, via video KYC, or even OTP, rather than using physical signatures. It allows people to remain within the protection of their own homes, following social distancing rules, but still get a policy issued in their name.
- In the month of July, the IRDAI advised the health insurance industry in India to come out with two plans of insurance with COVID-19 cover, specifically called “Corona Kavach” and “Corona Rakshak”. In order to provide financial support to individuals who fall in the lower-income strata, so that they can get the best available Coronavirus treatment, these policies of insurance with COVID-19 cover. After a few months of these policies being introduced, more than 3 million plans were taken up by buyers to remain financially secure. These products added to the trust and faith among the buyers in insurance products to a great extent, mostly due to the great prices of the aforementioned products.
- Since September 2020, regulations have allowed the treatments through telemedicine to be covered, under a health plan. Telemedicine is a godsend if you are a resident of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities because you need not travel to Tier 1 cities anymore for a medical consultation. They can get the doctor’s opinion while sitting at their home and the charges are covered under OPD costs in the health policy.
Standardization of Health Insurance Policies
As of the 1st of October 2020, the new comprehensive care health insurance plans(with alterations), which offered a much broader range of coverage to the buyers, got introduced by the health insurance industry in India. For the buyers, these revised policies mean better coverage for illnesses and/or diseases and procedures at very reasonable prices. The list of ailments that these policies provide cover for has had several new additions done to it with age-related degeneration, inter congenital diseases, and artificial life maintenance as joining the pre-existing ones. Even behavior and neurodevelopmental disorders, genetic diseases, puberty, and menopause-related illnesses are covered under these new and altered comprehensive care health insurance plans.
The Pre-Existing Diseases (PED) definition has also undergone modifications to meet the needs of the buyers. As per these new guidelines, if you are diagnosed by a physician, as the bearer of a disease/illness, 48 months prior to the issuance of the policy, it will be classified under PED. Insurers can include permanent exclusions only after you give your consent. The top medical insurance companies now cannot falter on the claim requested by policyholders, once the buyer has paid premiums for 8 consecutive years unless you have committed any frauds or you’re claiming for a permanent exclusion.
Introduction of EMI Option for Premium Payment
In the middle of the global pandemic, the IRDAI brought forth a development that lets the buyers pay their premiums on their policies in the form of installments. The premium frequency or mode can be monthly or quarterly or even half-yearly, as per the rules of the insurer. This plays a huge role in increasing the affordability of the best health insurance policies.
These developments are actually leading the entire health insurance industry in India towards a promising and bright future. The modifications in the framework of regulations have already led to a wave of change in the way customers interact with the health insurance policies available in the market.
If you are searching for one of the most affordable health covers to be offered by the health insurance industry in India, then you must check out Vital. It offers monthly subscription plans, coverage from the very first day, and a number of other benefits. For more details log on to Vital today.