Insurers go full steam to sell recharge health plans
14 Jun, 2014 01:01 PM
 
After the acceptance of top up plans, health insurers are now looking to popularize recharge health option plans.

Under a recharge health plan, if the person insured exhausts his or her total sum insured, say Rs 3 lakh during a particular year, due to some hospitalization, the plan allows reinstatement of the sum insured. The entire Rs 3 lakh again can be utilized for subsequent hospitalization during the same year for a small charge.

Of course there are exceptions like the reinstated sum insured cannot be carried forward nor can the insured get claim benefits on account of previous illness for which the sum insured got exhausted earlier.

"We have introduced the recharge benefit in our newly launched health care supreme plan. The advantage for the insured is that he or she has some cover even if the sum insured gets exhausted during a particular year. Otherwise, he or she would have to wait till the next year," Renuka Kanvinde, associate VP, health insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said.

Rising health costs and growing demand for a comprehensive health cover is also driving up the demand for such offerings. HDFC Ergo will introduce an addon recharge policy soon. "Medical inflation is hovering around 15%. Hence people would certainly seek double layers of protection to safeguard themselves. As the average Indian life expectancy is steadily rising it is noted that morbidity i.e. disease prevalence is rising too.

Also, with medical care becoming less invasive and more costly due to new technology, we envisage that the demand as well as popularity of such comprehensive health covers," Mukesh Kumar (member of the executive management and head, human resources, strategy planning and marketing), HDFC Ergo said.

Apollo Munich's Optima Restore benefit launched last year has a multiplier benefit under which if customers don't use their plan, the company increases the coverage by 50% the following year and doubles it the year after." Optima Restore has evolved as the fastest growing product in our portfolio and last year it accounted for about 30% of our total retail book," Antony Jacob, CEO of Apollo Munich Health Insurance said.

Insurers also state that such plans can turn out to be economical in the face of rising medical inflation. Cigna TTK Health Insurance has a restoration benefit under all its plans "Customers looking for sufficient cover at reasonable pricing will go for policies with recharge option".
"A restore/recharge option makes the health cover more comprehensive especially when you do not have any back up health cover. Persons who can bear some amount of their healthcare costs but are looking to fund the additional risks through an insurance plan will opt for top-up/deductible plans," Sandeep Patel, MD & CEO, Cigna TTK Health Insurance said.
 
Source : The Times Of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Insurers-go-full-steam-to-sell-recharge-health-plans/articleshow/36521512.cms
 



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