Hospitals raising tariffs on regular basis, nobody to check; insurance regulator worried

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Published: February 15, 2020 12:48:55 PM

Tariffs are being changed by hospitals across the country on a regular basis and there is no one to check the hike, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) said.

Tax Saving: Tax exemption on money and property received as ancestral property and inheritanceThe collection of health insurance premium has increased to Rs 44,873 crore in FY19 from Rs 3,342 crore in FY07.

Tariffs are being changed by hospitals across the country on a regular basis and there is no one to check the hike, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) said. There is a need to standardise charges for some medical procedures amid rising tariffs, news agency PTI reported citing insurance regulator. Even though there is nearly 10-15 per cent inflation in hospital charges currently, the insurance companies are not allowed by the insurance regulator to hike premium every year, IRDAI member (non-life) T L Alamelu was reported as saying by the news agency at an ASSOCHAM event.

“Hospitals keep on changing tariffs on a regular basis. There is no body to check that. The regulator does not allow insurance companies to raise premium every year though there is around 10-15 per cent inflation of hospital charges at present,” T L Alamelu said. The General Insurance Council and TPAs (third-party administrators) are in talks of the same matter so as to standardise charges for some medical procedures such as cataract surgery and hysterectomy, T L Alamelu also said.

Even as IRDAI is working on the matter, it may take some time for results to appear as it is a ‘tough challenge”, Alamelu added. IRDAI is mulling a plan to introduce a system where people will choose their TPAs directly as against the current scenario where insurance companies select the TPAs, she added. Setting up a health insurance forum for settlement of claims is also being thought of by the insurance regulator, Alamelu said. “All claims will be settled from this forum within a specific period of time,” she said.

Speaking further at the event, Alamelu said that the regulator may soon announce a common health policy named ‘Arogya Sanjeevani’ with standardised terms and conditions. Every insurer would have to offer the scheme, she added. In the last ten years, there has been good growth in the health insurance industry, she said, adding that the collection of health insurance premium has increased to Rs 44,873 crore in FY19 from Rs 3,342 crore in FY07.

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