Health insurance has acquired immense importance over the last two years, as COVID-19 put tremendous pressure on not only the healthcare personnel and facilities in the country, but also household budgets of patients and their families.
Not surprisingly, many Indians realised how critical an adequate health insurance cover can be in times of crises, which is evident from the 25 percent jump in health insurance premiums in 2021-22.
On the flipside, the extraordinary claim burden in the last two years, coupled with rising healthcare inflation, has pushed insurance companies to hike their premium rates. Premiums of group health insurance policies, the ones that employers offer to their employees and families, have already risen in April. According to a Marsh-Mercer benefits survey, employer-sponsored medical benefit costs in India are expected to increase by 15 percent in 2022.
Similar will be the case with individual health policies too, as insurers seek the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s (IRDAI) nod to hike their rates. Industry-watchers say this is primarily due to increased COVID-19-linked claim burden over the last two years and also rising healthcare inflation.
While hikes are expected across all age-groups, the impact is likely to be particularly harsh for senior citizens due to advanced age and pre-existing illnesses. To understand how they and also other policyholders can deal with imminent premium hikes, Moneycontrol’s Preeti Kulkarni spoke to Saurav Basu, Head of Wealth Management at Tata Capital. Basu has over two decades of experience in the financial services space. Prior to joining Tata Capital, he headed retail businesses across product categories at Citibank. Since 2018, he has been spearheading Tata Capital’s wealth management business that also includes life and health insurance advisory.Some key takeaways from the discussion: