December 13, 2023

Star Health to launch hospitals specific policies

Times of India
India’s largest retail health insurance company, Star Health, will be launching insurance policies based on the classification of hospitals soon. Categorised as platinum, gold and silver, customers choosing these products can get treated in selective category of network
hospitals. The aim is to offer affordable insurance for people not opting the top hospitals and enhance health insurance coverage across sections.
The move comes in the light of health insurance companies increasing their premiums post-Covid even as the number of people taking health insurance policy is also on the rise after the pandemic. Star Health and Allied Insurance MD and CEO Anand Roy said, the platinum product will have all category hospitals, while gold with tertiary and silver comprising other hospitals. “Our claims payment analysis has revealed that there is a wide difference between category A hospitals and other hospitals. If a Category A hospital charges Rs 3 lakh for cardiac surgery, the same is performed by other quality hospitals for Rs 1 lakh. There are many customers who are willing to buy an insurance product to get treated in category A hospital over category A+ hospitals. But still they are paying the same premium. So, such customers can choose a product with a reduced premium,” he told TOI.
The standalone health insurer has about 14,000 hospitals under its network. While the platinum product would cover all the healthcare facilities, gold and silver may have approximately 13,000 and 10,000 hospitals, respectively. The pricing of the unique health insurance policies will be different based on the classification of hospitals. "We are the first company evaluating this kind of insurance product. We are negotiating with hospitals on the value added services such as free room upgrade or free pick up and drop facility that they could provide if they are included in a category. We are working on this and hope to launch in the next few months," he added.
Star Health is also looking at reducing the premium for customers, who have not made any claims for a certain period. According to Roy, it would be in the range of 5-15% in form of discounts, but subject to conditions such as policy holders undergoing health check-ups to avail it. “We have sought the opinion of the regulator in this regard,” he said.