Health premium sees up to 200% jump


  • If, after the lockdown, the insurance policy is up for renewal, you may be in for an unexpected surprise. Policyholders are seeing their premiums for renewal rise by 5-200%.

  • After the insurance regulator directed them to broaden the spectrum of cover and standardise requirements for exclusions, most insurance firms increased the premium on health plans.

  • While the plans provide greater coverage, the flip side is that they are becoming unaffordable for others. Senior citizen Jamshed Sukhadwalla, when he went for renewal in October, saw his premium raise 221 percent to Rs 50,076 from Rs 15,600.

  • A sorrowful state of affairs. For a lifetime, policyholders incur premiums. And when they need coverage the most during their sunset years, especially in the Covid pandemic, where the elderly are the most vulnerable, insurers hike prices.

  • In addition, most senior citizens depend on their bank deposits, FDs, for interest. Where will they find fresh income to pay such steep premiums, with banks reducing interest rates,’ asks lawyer Ganesh Prasad. For his family of four, he had to pay a Rs 47,800 premium for health care and take a separate policy for his elderly mother.

  • The discontinuation of a product line is an additional cause for price rises. This forces buyers to turn to other policies, which are often more costly.

  • For six years, ICICI Lombard General Insurance has kept on to rates. "Raising rates is not the rule. And it may be a reflection of business reality when it happens,’ says Sanjay Datta, ICICI Lombard chief (underwriting).

  • ‘I would say it’s a matter of competent underwriting and prudent settlement of claims’ says S Prakash, Star Health Insurance CEO.

  • ‘Insurers typically have an age bracket of 5-10 years. The addition of a family member to the policy, including a newborn child, may be another factor.
    Then there might be a price check once in a couple of years,’ says Amit Chhabra, Head of Business (health) at Policybazaar

1 Like