Government To Launch A New Health Insurance Scheme For All

The government is considering the launch of a new health insurance scheme for masses, as mentioned by a government official spokesperson, also adding that the Department of Financial Services has already held discussions with insurance companies for the launch of such a product.

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      The health insurance scheme will be available to all families not exceeding five members, including families headed by senior citizens in the country wherein the entire family will be covered under a single sum insured.

      While the name of the scheme is not decided yet, it is proposed to be a cashless scheme with premiums as low as Rs. 1000 for a family of five (without a senior citizen) for a cover of Rs 50,000. For Rs. 1 lakh cover, a family with one or more senior citizens would have to pay Rs 2,400 as premium, while for a family without senior citizens it would be available for Rs 1,600.

      This proposal that has been sent to insurance companies and it will not offer any subsidy to the policyholders. Furthermore, this scheme would have a waiting period of two years for pre-existing conditions.

      Four state-owned insurers like New India Assurance, National Insurance Company, United India Insurance, and Oriental Insurance and private players like Bajaj Allianz, ICICI Lombard, HDFC Ergo, and Iffco-Tokio Marine are in talks with the government to finalize the fine print of the scheme, the draft paper says.

      “Health insurance coverage in India is expected to cross 630 million people or 50 percent of the population by 2015,” as stated in the recent World Bank report. According to the data from the General Insurance Council, from April to July this year, health insurers noticed the highest growth of 42.1 percent with premiums of Rs. 1066.69 as compared to last year.

      Insurance company executives said that this new insurance plan will be much cheaper for policyholders, and will serve those who do not have any form of health insurance or have a small cover from their company. “Since the cover protects the entire family, there is no need to buy any separate policy,” the chief executive officer of general insurance company added.

      However, there are a few concerns that have been raised about the distribution of the product. How a scheme with such low premiums can process policy sales and claim payments. Moreover, even banks have not been made a part of the process unlike the other government schemes under Pradhan Mantri Jan Suraksha scheme where insurers follow the mandate to tie-up with banks.

      Source: This news was published on August 22, 2015 in business-standard.com under the title: “Coming soon, health insurance scheme for all”

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