During the COVID-19 epidemic, health insurance companies took several unique initiatives.
Health Insurance Industry growth during covid-19 Pandemic: The Corona epidemic has made one of the biggest changes in the perspective of the common man, especially the middle class, on health priorities and health security. Now everywhere, whether it is a metropolis or a small town, people are serious about health insurance. Industry figures show that the growth of the health retail segment has increased three times compared to last year during the epidemic. Meanwhile, corrective steps were taken not only by insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to bring more and more people under the coverage of health cover, but also the insurance companies also simplified health cover regulations. For example, insurance companies took unique initiatives such as telemedicine consultations.
Anand Roy, the industry expert and MD of Star Health and Allied Insurance, says that the demand for health insurance has increased in the epidemic. Awareness has increased among people about its need. Common people understood that along with quality health care, it is necessary to make arrangements to meet the challenges of increasing hospitalization costs. In the era of the Corona epidemic, there was a massive change in the health insurance industry, that earlier insurance company used to sell the most products through their agents or other channels. But now there is an initiative to buy insurance on behalf of the customers themselves.
According to Roy, during the epidemic, health insurance companies took several unique initiatives. Facilities such as telemedicine consultations were given to consumers. If we look at the service from the point of view of customers, there were many improvements. In these, the cover item in the health insurance policy was made by the insurance regulator IRDA and the number of non-covered items decreased from 199 to 68. In addition, the regulator also made a provision for coverage for 68 non-covered items.
Health insurance reaches rural areas
In the pandemic, it became clear that ordinary people, especially the youth, came forward to take health insurance. Roy says, now people are realizing the seriousness that it is necessary to save their hard-earned income and savings from rising hospitalization expenses. One aspect of health insurance is also encouraging that its demand is increasing from tier-2, tier-3 cities as well as rural areas. Not only this, most of the customers are also increasing the sum insured in view of the increase in hospitalization expenses.
Health segment increased nearly three times?
The retail market of health insurance has also grown rapidly during this disaster. In the financial year 2019-20 till October, the growth rate of health retail segment was 10.95 percent and the market share of retail segment was 36.26 percent. Whereas, in the current financial year till October 2020, the growth rate of health segment was 33.64 percent and market share was 42.30 percent.
2021: Health insurance will be the fastest growth
Roy says that in the coming year, the insurance industry may have the highest growth in the health insurance segment. In order to increase the demand for health coverage for family and parents, the market share of retail health insurance segment will increase rapidly. Insurance companies will bring many innovative products to connect more and more customers to their products. Such as disease-specific plans, OPD products and wellness-based health insurance products, their demand will increase rapidly. Insurance companies are investing heavily on technology to suit the changing needs and expectations of customers. In this, companies are using technology more and more both in terms of product design or services to settle claims effectively.
2021: Demand will increase in the middle class
Roy says, in 2021, the penetration of health insurance will increase especially in the middle-income segment population. Because this population still does not have enough support for health expenses and this population is not covered under any government insurance program. In such a situation, the demand for health insurance will come from all segments of the country. This includes Tier-2, Tier-3 cities as well as rural markets.