The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has proposed standardization of health insurance plans for better penetration in India.
On the sidelines of a health insurance summit held by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), IRDA chairman, J Hari Narayan stressed upon the fact that streamlining health insurance procedures across companies will help policyholders understand the products better.
He further said that health is the key issue in the country and the health insurance sector has to become a key player if India must ensure good healthcare for its citizens.
After standardization of healthcare insurance procedures, the Authority's next big step would be standardization of products, he added.
Some salient points of standardization of health insurance can mean:
1. No-frills, straight-forward health insurance policies being developed for customers.
2. Basic product features, such as 24-hour hospitalization coverage, a pre-existing disease cover after a certain number of years with the insurer, and continuous renewal.
The health insurance industry was opened up in India 10 years ago. Companies have been trying, since then, to bring in innovative insurance products. However, it was felt over the time it that product standardization will help in distribution by encouraging competition among insurers for better pricing and service.
However, in experts' opinion, innovation cannot be done away with under the garb of standardization of procedures and products as it is important for the overall growth of the health insurance industry.