Insurers like Royal Sundaram and Bajaj Allianz are working on products that reimburse expenses made for OPD, pharmacy and consultation. These expenses will be covered on a cashless basis.
Cashless cover for OPD has also been introduced by ICICI Lombard in 2014 for its corporate customers. "We are planning to come out with a standalone OPD product in the next financial year as customers genuinely feel the need for such a product. The cashless facility will be offered in the hospitals that are part of our network," — Suresh Sugathan, head, health insurance, Bajaj Allianz General.
"Hence, it is very natural that they will extend cashless OPD covers for retail policyholders too. This trend should catch on this year," — Mahavir Chopra, head, health, accident and life insurance at leading web insurance aggregator.
He also stated that Insurers will have to rely on a number of OPD clinics, doctors, and pharmacies to get preferred bulk rates. These upcoming products are expected to function like a prepaid card and will be able to swipe their card to pay the bills up to a set limit.
"We are contemplating bringing out an OPD product, but are in the process of navigating our way through the challenges on administering it," — Nikhil Apte, head, product factory (health), Royal Sundaram.
"OPD product has a challenge of overconsumption by customers as they can just walk into a chemist shop or a dentist and avail medicines, tests, consultation and we don't have", he added.