The Apollo Hospitals Group has announced its very own venture into the health insurance business, by a partnership with DKV- Europe's largest private health insurer.
India's second standalone health insurance will have the Apollo Hospitals Group holding 74 per cent while Germany-based DKV AG Deutsche Krankenversicherung, holds the remaining 26 per cent stakes.
Christened Apollo DKV Insurance Company, the venture is expected to roll out products by middle of September this year. The two companies have together invested a total of Rs 108 crore in proportion to their shareholding, and they expect to offer cashless products and services in over 4,000 hospitals across the country and on a reimbursement basis in all hospitals.
Says Shobana Kamineni, director, Apollo Hospitals Group: "Our entry into the health insurance sector is a logical extension of our continued contribution to healthcare delivery in India. Apollo DKV is uniquely placed to be the only health insurance company in India backed by an integrated healthcare group and a strong partnership with one of the leading international health insurance players."
"Pricing will be risk-adequate and at par with other players. But our products will have much more value-added services in-built and will give true value for money", she added.
The health insurance company will be offering traditional products such as in-patient hospitalization cover, critical illness cover, overseas travel & health cover and personal accident cover. Later, the company expects to launch user-friendly products for both individuals and groups.
"Apollo perfectly fits into our strategy, to establish private health insurance in growth markets, bridging insurance, medical services and the delivery of healthcare.
"We are convinced that private health insurance with full-coverage and long-term products will enable significant increase in market penetration and enhance access to quality healthcare. We expect to cover one million lives in the next two-three years," says Jochen Messemer, Director, Apollo DKV.
Apollo DKV would start with six regional offices in major cities in the second year of its operation and would expand to 25 cities.By 2010 it plans to cover over 100 cities across the country.
Apollo DKV is the second health insurance company after Star Health and Allied Insurance, which was launched in 2006. Incidentally, though health insurance industry is growing at 30 per cent, the health insurance penetration in the country is only 2 per cent. "Against the potential of Rs 15,000 crore business, the 13 health insurers operating in the country managed to collect only Rs 3,300 crore in 2006-07," Kamineni was quoted.