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Health Insurance Industry Trends in India

The Indian health insurance business is rapidly expanding. People have begun to view health insurance as a necessary purchase as a result of technology improvement and increased knowledge. The sector has witnessed significant changes in terms of offers throughout the years, and it continues to develop with each passing day.

New IRDA Regulations for Health Insurance

IRDA continues to issue new rules in order to keep the insurance business focused on public interest rather than profit. The primary rules released by IRDA for the year 2019 was critical, leading to the redesign of products, not only those planned for the future but also those already on the market. IRDAI recently released new rule that allows insurance companies to offer products without prior approval.

The insurer will have to cover at least half of the cost of the pre-insurance medical check-up. All health insurance policies require to include lifetime renewability. Customer information must be consolidated on a single page so that he can quickly understand the primary advantages and restrictions of a plan.

The insured will no longer be required to pay the loading charge when renewing his or her policy (even if a claim is made during the policy term).

Big Data

The implementation of Big Data in the insurance business has the potential to significantly boost competitive development, hence making insurance companies more successful. According to a 2013 poll, greater digital contacts with consumers assisted in the collection and management of a vast amount of data about them. Big Data helps insurers with underwriting, marketing, rating, and claim settlement. However, the regulator may confront difficulties in determining whether it is advantageous or harmful to insurance consumers.

Cloud Technology

Cloud technology has altered numerous businesses, including the insurance industry. The insurance business recognizes its importance since it is the most cost-effective method for an insurance company, its consumers, and brokers. While money is a primary motivator, the sector may save a significant amount of money through cloud computing by investing it in a better training programme or better insurance coverage. It also enables the sector to incorporate risk management and risk assessment while safeguarding against data breaches or theft.

Online Sales Channel

With the introduction of online platforms, there has been a significant decline in the sale of insurance products through agents, followed by the debunking of that impression. In 2013, brokers will lose a little more ground to online comparison portals, which not only save customers time, money, and effort, but also make the insurance purchase process more transparent than ever.

Blockchain

Blockchain technology has grown in popularity over the last several years. The technique is well-known for resolving security-related data sharing issues. In industries like as insurance, where consumer protection is paramount, Blockchain allows for speedier access to large amounts of data from customers. It contributes to lower administrative costs by automating the verification of claims/payments from third parties. Insurers may now readily view previous claim transactions on Blockchain. In this approach, Blockchain is enhancing the insurance industry by delivering total transparency, accountability, and improved security, while saving insurers money and time and boosting client happiness.

Adoption of Global Strategies

With all of these foreign joint ventures and collaborations, the Indian insurance business is expected to continue instilling global skills and international tactics, resulting in an overall growth in the insurance sector’s efficiency and effectiveness. The claim procedure is intended to become faster and more simplified, with document submission moving online.

Increased Penetrability

India’s healthcare business is rapidly changing. The healthcare industry employs the third-largest share of India’s workforce. The number of participating medical and paramedical providers in the healthcare network has steadily increased, making health insurance more accessible on the ground. Government-driven rural awareness campaigns, growing healthcare expenses, more public understanding of health insurance, and improved healthcare infrastructure strengthen this further. It’s a two-way street: general progress in the health insurance industry increases insurance penetrability, and enhanced penetrability inspires even more improvement.

Aside from the aforementioned health insurance market trends, there are a few others to highlight. They are addressed more below:

Integrated Approach:

Various forces, competitors, workforce, regulatory authority, customers, and healthcare network and professionals drive the insurance business. At the moment, the total health insurance area is undergoing a fast shift. To enhance client acquisition, the top players are using a 360-degree strategy. They not only consistently extend their network of network hospitals, clinics, and specialty care centres, but they also include value-added features on their plans such as maternity coverage, childcare charges, lifelong renewability, a 24×7 physicians’ helpline, and frequent health examinations. Other insurers have gone a step further and attempted to create packages that include the benefits of both a preventative health care plan and health insurance.

Specialized Insurance:

Health insurance has so far served the general public admirably. However, no insurer in India (except Star Health) has stepped forward to fill the niche of covering those with pre-existing conditions. This is evident from the fact that health insurance coverage for HIV patients, cancer patients, and diabetes patients is limited. Even the elderly are either denied coverage outright or forced to pay exorbitant charges in order to obtain adequate care. Hopefully, with IRDA’s assistance, things will change in the near future.

Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs:

As health-care expenses continue to grow dramatically, companies are reconsidering ways to save money. Most of them have proposed penalizing unhealthy persons such as smokers and drinkers while rewarding those who engage in good behaviors such as joining a fitness club and engaging in regular exercise. Companies are increasingly becoming engaged in arranging wellness programmes and motivating employees to live healthier lifestyles.

In terms of revenue and penetration, health insurance in India is on track to set a new high in 2022. The aforementioned variables will be essential in bringing about the anticipated increase.

Recent Developments

In addition to the patterns mentioned above, the following recent developments have an impact on the industry’s growth:

  • In October 2018, the largest e-commerce business Flipkart partnered with Bajaj Allianz to provide clients mobile insurance.
  • In August 2018, Mr Rakesh Jhunjunwala, a Westridge Capital investor, announced the acquisition of India’s largest health insurer, Star Health and Allied Insurance, for around USD 1 billion.
  • In September 2018, HDFC Ergo introduced the ‘Secure’ cyber insurance coverage for individuals.

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