Private sector Reliance General Insurance today said it plans to roll out a health insurance next month for independent woman and girl child at a discount, as part of its effort to empower women.
"Reliance Healthgain would offer pricing benefits of up to 5 per cent on the total family premium in case of the addition of a girl child. We will also extend pricing benefits to single women and widows," Rakesh Jain, CEO, Reliance General Insurance said here. "The objective of this initiative is to support healthcare needs of women and empower them," he added.
The beauty of the scheme is that a special discount of 5 per cent can be availed by a female proposer on the entire policy premium which would cover the family of the policy holder, he said, adding, this discount could be availed in case a girl child is included in the floater plan.
Citing the other benefits of the product, he said, under the new health insurance offering, delay in policy issuance as per defined turnaround will guarantee additional sum insured to customers. Similarly, any delay in claim settlement will attract additional financial compensation to customers.
Reliance General Insurance, a part of Reliance Capital, targets to cover four lakh lives in the first year of the product launch.
"About 20 per cent of workforce in India is woman and out of which only 2 per cent end up having healthcare protection on their own. In order to increase the penetration of health insurance in the segment, we have taken this strategic step," he said.
Health insurance accounts for only 10 per cent of overall USD 30 billion (about Rs 1,80,000 crore) healthcare spends in India.
Increasing its focus on the health insurance, Reliance General Insurance recorded 110 per cent growth in health insurance premium at Rs 169 crore in the first quarter ended June 30.
As part of change in its business strategy, the company intends to reduce the dependence on motor insurance and raise health insurance segment going forward.
"Our strategy to change business and product mix, optimise use of technology, manage costs and expand our retail agent base has helped us achieve a significant turnaround in performance," he said.
During the first quarter, Jain said the company has registered 25 per cent increase in its gross written premium at Rs 706 crore as against Rs 564 crore in the same period a year ago. The other features of the "HealthGain" plans include:
- Family discount of 5 percent for 2-3 members and 10 percent for 4-6 members
- Discount of 5 percent for existing car insurance customers
- Sum insured of Rs.300,000, Rs.600,000 and Rs.900,000 under Plan A
- Sum insured of Rs.1.2 million, Rs.1.5 million and Rs.1.8 million under Plan B
- Age bar of 65 years only for policies with sum insured of more than Rs.300,000
- Pre-policy medical examination required only for those above 46 years under Plan A and 18 years under Plan B
- Auto doubling of sum insured within the policy period
- One-time renewal premium waiver if policy-holder suffers from any of the named critical illnesses
- Initial wait period of just 30 days for general ailments, 24 months for named ailments and 36 months for pre-existing diseases
Explaining the reason for this "first-of-its-kind" product, Jain said there was a general bias against women and the girl child in India when it comes to healthcare, which is evident from the sex ratio, especially in the 0-6 age-group.
Women, he said, primarily tend to rely on their husbands for economic resources and social status. So a large percentage of them are at risk of isolation when it comes to healthcare.
"Women account for 20 percent of the workforce in our country. But just 10 percent of them end up having healthcare cover. So the penetration of health insurance is just 2 percent of working women," he said.
Giving some more statistics on health insurance, Jain said less than 5 percent of people are covered by one or the other form of non-government-supported scheme.
"In terms of overall healthcare spend, which is worth some $30 billion in our country annually, health insurance accounts for just 10 percent of that. This shows the potential this segment of healthcare holds.
"We are targeting 400,000 lives in the first year of coverage."
Business Standard, Sunday, July 14, 2013