Nearly 70,000 coronavirus-related claims worth Rs 700 crore were settled by insurance companies since the pandemic hit India in March, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) said. The regulator also asked companies to look at more standard products to increase the coverage and allowed customers to pay premium in installments to reduce the burden during the pandemic. During his inaugural address at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII’s) Southern Region Health Insurance Conclave, Subhash C Khuntia, chairman, IRDAI, said the pandemic will lead to a change in health insurance. In 20 days, 450,000 individuals were covered under the Corona Kavach policy, which was launched on July 10, noted Khuntia, stating that there are tremendous opportunities for the industry. “Standardisation of products is key and India has taken a huge leap by bringing standard products,” Khuntia said. Out-of-pocket expense for health in India is around 60 per cent, which is much less in developing countries. Nearly four per cent of the households spend 25 per cent of their annual income on health care, while 17 per cent spend about 10 per cent of their annual income on health care. “We really need to address this to make medical insurance more affordable and accessible,” said Khuntia.
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