Health insurance can be defined as a type of insurance which covers your medical expenses. Health of human beings can be unpredictable, and one never knows when sickness knocks on the door. Therefore, it is very important to obtain the right coverage and protection for medical expenses. When we buy health insurance from the health insurance companies, it gives us the coverage from the sudden, unexpected costs of hospitalization (or other covered health events, like critical illnesses) which would otherwise involve a significant amount of expenditure from our savings.
Health Insurance Companies in India
The expansion of the healthcare sector in India has been very rapid. It is estimated that the market value of the Indian healthcare sector will be close to $280 billion by 2020. As a result of this, there are enough opportunities for health insurance companies to flourish in India. Health insurance companies are one of the top insurance firms in the market. Every year, a list of the health insurance companies in India is announced by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA). IRDA prepares the list based on a few factors such as their performances, Incurred Claim Ratio, and the coverage and benefits offered to its customers.
List of Health Insurance Companies in India
In this section, we will take a look at the top health insurance companies which are currently offering health insurance plans in India.
Max Bupa Health Insurance
Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Ltd. (Max Bupa) is a joint venture between Max India Limited and the UK based healthcare services expert, Bupa.
The objective of this company is to become India’s most admired health insurance company. The joint venture brings in the strategic expertise of both the parties. Bupa has six decades of experience in the healthcare industry and 29 million customer-base in over 190 countries. The Max India Group brings expertise in both health and insurance-related services including hospitals, clinical research and life insurance. For this company, health insurance is just not a transaction. It is a long term relationship.
The health insurance company offers a host of health insurance policies to the customers. These are:
-Health Companion (for individuals)
-Heart Beat (for individuals)
-Health Companion (for families)
-Heartbeat Family First (for families)
As per the data available on the website of the health insurance company, the claims settlement ratio of Max Bupa has been 89 per cent.
Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited
This health insurance company is a joint venture between Future Group and Generali, which is a global insurance group featuring among the world’s 60 largest companies. Future Generali India has been serving the customers by leveraging upon its global insurance expertise in diverse classes of products of Generali Group. Future Generali is a total insurance solutions group, and health insurance is one of the most popular products offered by them.
This health insurance company offers several health insurance products:
-Future Vector Care
-Future Varishta Bima
-Future Aarogya Bima
-Critical Illness insurance policy
-Future Health Suraksha policy
Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company
Apollo is synonymous with quality healthcare in the Indian subcontinent. To bring world-class health care to every individual, Apollo synergised with Munich Health, which is a world leader in the field of health insurance. The joint venture promises to strengthen the Indian health insurance market like never before.
The health insurance company offers several insurance plans for individuals, senior citizens and families:
As per the data available on the website of the health insurance company, over 95 per cent of the claims are settled within 30 days with an average claim settlement duration of 15 days for clear cases.
Religare Health Insurance Company
Religare Health Insurance is the health insurance arm of Religare Enterprises Limited. The Health Insurance Company provides specific health insurances to individuals as well as corporate employees.
Religare Health Insurance currently offers various products in the retail segment for health insurance and critical illness. The health insurance company offers a variety of health insurance products:
-Individual health insurance plans
-Health insurance for senior citizens
-Comprehensive Health insurance plan
-Maternity Health Insurance
-Group Health Insurance
All the health insurance plans offered by Religare come with no upper age limit of enrollment, i.e. even if a person is 100 years old, they can apply.
As per the data available on the website, the claim settlement ratio is 93 per cent.
HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company
HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Ltd. is a joint venture between HDFC Ltd., India’s premier Housing Finance Institution and ERGO International AG, the primary insurance entity of Munich Re Group. The company offers a comprehensive range of insurance products in a variety of sectors, including health and personal accident.
The health insurance company provides plans for both individuals as well as families. Some of the key products offered by them are:
-my: health Medisure Classic Insurance
-Health Suraksha Insurance
-my: health Medisure Super Top-up
-Critical Illness Insurance
As per the data available on the website, the claim settlement ratio of this health insurance company is 86 percent.
Manipal Cigna Health Insurance Company
ManipalCigna Health insurance Company Limited which was previously known as CignaTTK Health Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture between the Manipal Group and Cigna Corporation. Manipal Group isa well-recognized leader in India in the field of medicine and education. Cigna Corporation is a global health services company with presence in 30+ countries.
ManipalCigna Health Insurance offers a host of health insurance solutions ranging from health to individuals as well as corporate customers. In addition to the policies, the health insurance company also provides a variety of wellness programs to guide them along the road to physical, emotional and financial well-being. Some of the offerings of this company are:
-ManipalCigna Pro Health Insurance
-Lifestyle Protection – Critical Care
-ManipalCigna Pro-Health Cash
-ManipalCigna Pro-Health Select
As per the data available on the website, the claim settlement ratio is 90 per cent.
Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Limited
This health insurance company is India’s first standalone health insurance provider. The company provides a host of insurance products, including health and personal accident. The health insurance products are available for both individuals as well as corporate customers.
Some of the offerings of the health insurance company are:
-Star Health Gain Insurance Policy
-Medi-classic Insurance Policy
-Family Health Optima Insurance Policy
-Star Family Delite Insurance Policy
-Senior citizens red carpet health insurance plan
As per the data available on the website, the claim settlement ratio is 82 per cent.
What is a Family Floater Policy?
Family Floater is one single policy that takes care of the hospitalization expenses of your entire family. The policy has one single sum insured, which can be utilised by any/all insured persons in any proportion or amount subject to maximum of overall limit of the policy sum insured. Family floater policies can turn out to be more economical than buying individual policies.
What is the maximum number of claims allowed over a year?
Unless the policy specifies a cap, any number of claims is allowed during the policy period. But remember that the sum insured is the maximum limit under the policy.
Is it possible to transfer the policy from one insurance company to another without losing the renewal benefits?
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has issued a circular making it effective from 1st October, 2011, which directs the insurance companies to allow portability from one insurance company to another and from one plan to another, without making the insured to lose the renewal credits for pre-existing conditions, enjoyed in the previous policy. The sum insured under the previous policy will continue.
Is there any waiting period for claims under a policy?
When you buy a new policy, typically there are 30 days waiting period. This period starts from the policy inception date, during which period any hospitalization charges will not be payable by the insurance companies. The waiting period does not apply any emergency hospitalization occurring due to an accident. No waiting period will not be applicable for subsequent policies under renewal.
What is a cashless facility?
Health insurance companies have tie-up arrangements with several hospitals all over the country. Through these tie-ups, the hospitals become part of the network. If a health insurance policy offers the cashless facility, a policyholder can take treatment in any of the network hospitals without having to pay the hospital bills. The payments to the hospital are made by a third part administrator who acts on behalf of the insurance company.
In case of any expenses beyond the limits or sub-limits allowed by the insurance policy or costs not covered under the policy, the cashless facility will not apply. The policyholder will have to pay for those separately. Cashless facility is also not available in the event the policyholder does not avail the treatment at a network hospital.
What happens to the policy coverage after a claim is filed?
After a claim is filed and settled, the policy coverage is reduced by the amount that has been paid out on settlement.