October 09, 2007

Star Health Insurance goes direct

Star Health & Allied Insurance, one of the two standalone health insurance companies in the country, has adopted a new model of managed healthcare that does not need the intervention of third party administrators (TPAs), which otherwise is an integral system of mediclaim services.

“Star Health has a direct tie-up with over 3000 hospitals across the country and the list is growing everyday. The customer gets an end-to-end service from Star Health without having to depend on a third party and the hospitals are also happy to deal directly with an insurance company. This has been a major boon for us”, Anand Roy, assistant vice-president, marketing, Star Health, said.

Chennai-based Star Health, the first operative health insurance company in the country — Apollo, DKV Insurance is the other player in the space — is aiming at Rs 200 crore premium income this fiscal and is lining up a long-term, high-end health policy.

“Being the first off the block has given us a headstart. We plan to increase out network to 125 branches by this year-end. Having acquired approximately Rs 100 crore of premium income in the first five months, we are now looking at Rs 200 crore in 2007-08”, Roy said.

Although health insurance, at Rs 3,500 crore premium, is set to emerge as the second biggest portfolio in general insurance (after motor insurance), it has been a relatively small business segment characterised by low profit margins and high volume losses.

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Anonymous said...

Review on Star Health Insurance


Our Product and Service Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Insurance I Opener - Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. is a joint venture between Oman Insurance Company, ETA Ascon Group and a host of Insurance veterans from India.

Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Limited (Star Health) is formed with a capital base of Rs.105 crores, more than what is adequate to form a General Insurance Company. However, Star Health has chosen to be in the field of Health and is the only stand-alone Health Insurance Company as on date in India and deals in Personal Accident, Mediclaim and Overseas Travel Insurance.

Exclusive Features:
• Cashless service without TPA intervention the USP of the Company
• Direct tie-up with hospitals on all India basis
• 24 hours General Practitioner’s advice and medical counseling



PROMOTERS

International
Oman Insurance Company is one of the leading Insurance Companies in the Middle East.

Mr. Syed Mohamed Salahuddin is Managing Director of ETA Ascon and ETA STAR group of Companies in Dubai, U.A.E

Mr. Essa Abdullah Al Ghurair hails from the prominent Al Ghurair family in the U.A.E. With a net worth of USD 3.7 billion, the family has been ranked as one of the world’s richest by Forbes magazine…

India
The Company is led by a group of leading industrialists and business houses in the subcontinent.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Mr. V. Jagannathan, Chairman cum Managing Director He is a doyen of the Insurance industry; with over thirty five years’ experience in Insurance. He has held various positions of authority, including that of CMD of one of India’s largest Public Sector insurance companies.

Mr. Essa Abdullah Al Ghurair was educated in San Diego, USA. The Al Ghurair family has business interests in Banking, Food & Beverages and Real estates.

Dr. M. Y. Khan is a Science graduate from the University of Kashmir and a Doctorate in Business Management (PhD) from Burkes University in UK. Dr. Khan is currently the Chairman of the Banking and Advisory council of YES Bank Ltd., after a stint as the Chairman of J&K Bank. He is also a Director on the Board of Bharat Hotels and an Advisor for Berenson & Company, New York. Prior to J&K Bank, Dr. Khan was the Managing Director of J&K Agro Industries Development Corporation and Managing Director of J&K Tourism Development Corporation for five years.

Dr. Khan was nominated as member of the Chattisgarh Economic Advisory Council - Government of India, He is also a Member of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee of FICCI and Member of the Managing Committee of Indian Banking Association - Mumbai.

Dr. Khan has recieved several prestigious awards notably “Udyog Rattan", “Pride of India & IMM” for excellence as top professional manager, “Excellence Award” by Institute of Economic Studies and “Star Achievers Award” among several others.

Our Review on the experience on Customer Service:

We share a mixed experience of services from Star Health. The company though is flexible due to its small size of retail operations, has all the issues that a normal small enterprise would have. Standard quality of staff, Reliance on one or two critical staff, absence of whom can hamper service big time etc.

Sample Claims Call:

We made a Sample Claims call. Their Toll Free no. works only on MTNL and BSNL and therefore would not be accessible from Mobiles and other providers. We made a sample call for claims to Star Health.
Our observations:

Response was immediate from a representative of Star Health. I mentioned that I had bought the policy in Delhi and I am currently in Mumbai. I don’t have the Cards and the policy no. with me. The Representative said he cannot help me as he would not be able to search the database according to my name.

Finally I asked for the list of hospitals of Mumbai, which I requested to be emailed.I did get the email immediately [from a Gmail id of the representative] but the list did not have any mainstream hospitals, all the hospitals mentioned were from outskirts of Mumbai like Bhayender, Bhiwandi and Thane.

So a normal customer could be stranded badly, if he does not have the details in place. The normal claims procedure is to flash your Card/Policy at the admission desk of the hospital and the hospital manages the claims authorization and verification.

The Claims process at Star is also not user friendly. Any person who wants to make a claim would have to call on an STD no. in Chennai from his mobile and answer questions asked by the claims officer. Once that is done the customer would be provided an authorization code.

Conclusion:

We would recommend Star Health to people who would not have a choice to buy products from main-stream companies like a Tata AIG, Bajaj Allianz, ICICI Lombard or Reliance Insurance.

Some of the niche products which are good in niche areas are
• No Medical Test Health Insurance for Senior Citizens for Age 60 - 69 years.
•Diabetes Health Insurance - which covers expenses on various Diabetes related surgery

How to buy any product:
You can buy any Star product from www.InsuranceMall.in . Click on Health Icon on the Home Page.

If you want to buy the Diabetes Safe product - email your age and current health details to customercare@insurancemall.in

Tags: bonsai insurance broking, health insurance india, insurance agent, insurance i opener, insurane feedback, mediclaim india, mr. essa abdullah al ghurair, mr. syed mohamed salahuddin, news and reviews, star health, v jaganathan

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