December 01, 2007

New IRDA norms soon for health insurers

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) plans to soon come out with separate guidelines for health insurance players, aimed at comprehensive medical insurance coverage and redressal of consumer grievances.

“To handle a plethora of issues relating to health insurance with focussed attention, a separate health unit has been set up in the Authority; specialised resources have been inducted to strengthen the role of IRDA in the development and better conduct of health insurance business,” C.S. Rao, Chairman of IRDA, said at a conference organised by FICCI here on Thursday.

He also said that to increase the penetration of health insurance in the country, the Authority has recommended to the Government to bring down the capital requirement for stand-alone health insurance companies from the present Rs 100 crore to Rs 50 crore.

Rao also said that the committee constituted to look into the problems faced by senior citizens had submitted its report. “We are in the process of examining the report and taking further action on the recommendations that have been proposed,” he added.

The Authority, he said, had already taken steps towards standardising the definition of pre-existing diseases, which are now reflected in the health insurance products.

“The General Insurance Council, consisting of all-non life insurers, is also working to build a consensus on the issue,” the IRDA Chairman said.

The premium from health insurance products in non-life companies has grown from Rs 675 crore in 2001-02 to Rs 3,200 crore in 2006-07, while it has the potential to grow up to Rs 30,000 crore by 2015, Rao added.

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