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Health Insurance Premium May Soon Be Pushed Upwards by 10-15% More

As per the recent directions given by the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India), health insurance companies have been barred from denying health insurance cover for listed ailments from 1st October onwards, which might thereby lead to the premium hike by 10-15%. This means that every health insurance filed and sold after this date will cover additional ailments. 

As per the regulatory authority, the insurers can not deny the customer's health insurance plans for mental health procedures, illnesses related to puberty and menopause, genetic disorders and some others too. 

As per an official, "Since there is a rise in the number of ailments, the cost will go up for the additional diseases to be covered. New policies that will be filed will see an immediate premium increase of at least 10-15 percent," said the head of underwriting at a health insurer.

In the process of regularising the standard exclusions for health insurance, the insurance regulator has listed some specific ailments for which health coverage cannot be refused.   

For instance, it has become mandatory for all the insurers after the Mental Healthcare Act 2017, to provide health insurance for mental health ailments. This will be the same as regular insurance plans offered for physical illnesses. 

IRDAI has even stated that in case the use of a drug, anti-depressant or stimulants affects the intellectual facilities of a person, then he/she will get covered. 

Because of insufficient data, it is expected that these covers for mental health will cost a minimum of 25% more than the usual health insurance products. 

All the products filed or sold from 1st October will not contain prohibited items as a part of exclusions. However, all of them will be subject to an additional premium. 

Health insurance premiums are decided on the basis of coverage as well as the list of ailments covered. 

Mental health and genetic disorders don’t have sufficient historical data for insurance providers to be able to decide the price of products that include such ailments. So, the insurers settle accounts by charging more money from the policyholders. 

However, there is also a possibility that the premiums are revised downwards in the coming 3-5 years on the basis of claim incidents and payouts.  

Customers of health insurance, which is generally considered as pushed products, are voluntarily showing interest in purchasing the products. They are becoming more inclined towards buying health insurance products due to an 18-19% increase in medical inflation. Some of the best health insurance companies in the market that offer useful health insurance products to the customers include Star Health, Universal Sompo, Royal Sundaram, Tata AIG and Reliance Health.  

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