Standard protocol needed for affordable insurance products: Irda

Tags: IRDA, Insurance
Absence of a standard protocol for treatment has led to lack of uniformity in cost of treatments and there is a need to make affordable insurance products, a member of the insurance sector regulator Irda said here today.

"We have to have standard protocols in these areas (treatments) to work out appropriate insurance products that are affordable to consumers and at the same time do not adversely affect the bottom lines of service providers," M Ramaprasad, Member (Non-Life), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) said.

There is a need for standard protocol for treatment of various diseases and their costs for spreading Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in India, he said while addressing CII Health Insurance Summit.

Ramaprasad said that the regulator is looking at these issues very seriously and that involvement of all stakeholders is critical to arrive at an optimal matrix.

Health insurance in India has shown an impressive growth in the last 10 years or so, going by the number of products introduced and the coverage. But there are challenges to be addressed in a time bound manner, he added.

Further, he said there is a need for introducing short term products at affordable prices in a continuous manner.

"With the increased coverage of universal health system, the responsibility of Irda has considerably increased. The claims of consumers have to be settled expeditiously since delays in transferring proceeds would affect the faith of the customers in the system."

He also hailed the private sector for taking positive measures to address the delays in claims.

The Irda member also said that private and public funding should go hand in hand in ushering UHC.

"The government's contributions in meeting the health needs have to be clearly spelt out. At the same time attractive insurance products should be rolled out to take care of that segment of people who could afford to spend money on health needs," he said.

He also said that the infrastructural gaps in the health care products needs to be addressed.

Chairman of CII Health Insurance Summit A Vaidheesh said there is a need to focus on designing and implementing the framework for consumer awareness on health insurance and to create awareness about common service standards.

"A multi-prong approach to raising awareness about benefits of health insurance is needed to create demand amongst all consumer categories," he said.

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