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Health Insurance becomes customer friendly

I had, earlier mentioned about the Standardization in Health Insurance Policies. IRDA had stipulated that Oct 1, 2013 onward all insurers shall use standard definition of commonly used terms in health insurance policies; standard nomenclature and procedures for critical illnesses; standard pre-authorization and claim form; and standard list of excluded expenses in hospitalization indemnity policies.

In addition to this standardization, some other key developments with regards to our health insurance policies include:

* The entry age has been stipulated as at least up to 65 years. Good for those who missed the bus earlier.

* All standard health insurance policies would henceforth be renewable for lifetime. So no more worries of being denied renewal in case you made claims in the past. (This condition, however, does not apply to critical illness plans which terminate on payment of claim.)

* Loading on renewals shall not be based on any individual policy claim experience. 

* Claims must be settled with 30 days of receipt of the last 'necessary' document.

* A 15-day free-look period has been introduced. So policy buyers get time to ascertain whether they have been sold the right policy.

* Grace period of 30 days is allowed from the due date to pay the premium. This delay will not be considered as a break in the policy. However, cover may not be available for such a period.

* No more hassles of making your claim on pro-rata basis if you hold policies from different insurers. You can make an entire claim with even one of them.

* Instead of totally denying no-claim bonus when a claim was made, the cumulative no-claim bonus would be reduced at the same rate at which it was accrued. 

* Third Party Administrators (TPAs) will now be involved for claim processing only and the claim settlement (or rejection) will be done by insurers directly.

These changes are expected to bring about huge benefits to the common policyholders who were earlier at the mercy of the insurance companies.

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