16 February 2011

Health insurance premium doubles to Rs 7,800 cr in FY10

Health insurance premium doubles to Rs 7,800 cr in FY10 : Boosted by rising number of customers, premium collection by health insurance firms almost doubled to Rs 7,803 crore in the last fiscal year-on-year, even as claim payments shot up.

Premium collection in 2008-09 was Rs 3,976 crore. Meanwhile, payment towards claim settlements by insurance firms rose by about 82.5 per cent to Rs 7,456 crore last year over 2008-09, as per the data released by Insurance Information Bureau (IIB).

Similarly, the number of policy holders too increased to 68,84,687 in the last fiscal from 45,75,725 in 2008-09.

With health insurance portability set to be launched from July 1, the sector is set to witness increased competition.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority has issued guidelines for health insurance portability, whereby one can switch service providers without compromising on policy terms. The customers are also expected to get well-priced policies and better quality services.

As many as 8,16,793 policy holders in the age group of 41-60 years claimed insurance, followed by 7,87,621 persons in in the age bracket of 26-40 years in 2009-10. The data revealed that parents of children below the age of one year made 4,87,288 claims and the firms paid Rs 1,713 crore towards the same.

Further, people suffering from circulatory, digestive, urology, eye and infection problems topped the list of health insurance claimants. A total of 32,63,597 insurance claims were made in the last fiscal.

The IIB said the data is based on information received from third party administrators (TPAs) and insurers.

Besides, three standalone health insurers -- Star Health & Allied Insurance, Apollo MUNICH and Max BUPA -- number of other players including National Insurance Company, United India and Oriental Insurance and ICICI Lombard are active in this field.

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