vary in terms of the benefits offered, exclusions, waiting periods and inclusions.
In order to bring in better clarity among customers and create a level-playing field, Irda has created ‘Health Insurance Standardisation Guidelines’, which all health insurance providers must follow.
The guidelines have standardised the 46 most commonly used definitions/terms/conditions in health insurance policies. They also include definitions of 11 common critical illnesses covered under various health insurance policies in India. All this is done to ensure there is no ambiguity among products and so that customers can make informed decisions while choosing a policy. The creation of the standardised guidelines is a step in the right direction and it will bring in a number of spinoff benefits.
One size no more fits all, and to keep pace with changing consumer behavior and demographics, the industry has started moving from the basic indemnity format to coverage of specific ailments, laden with benefits and features. This year, disease-management products have made an appearance in the market, and these policies are aimed at specific diseases. With preventive care being used worldwide as a means to reduce the effect of lifestyle-related ailments, it’s time India moved towards disease-specific health insurance programmes.
A lot of effort has been made this year and the stakeholders in the segment — insurance companies, healthcare providers, TPAs and the regulatory body — must work as a cohesive unit to ensure long-term growth. Insurance companies must be able to bring all these parties together to ensure that the customer benefits the most and is able to handle medical emergencies without any hassle.
The writer is chief executive officer, Apollo Munich Health Insurance