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Straight from the Specialists

Health insurance sector poised for more growth

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

With the arrival of Cigna TTK, there are now five standalone health insurers offering products and services in India. Religare Health is also a recent entrant that started operations only last year.

At a time when we are seeing several exits in the life insurance sector, this is an indicator of the growth potential in India’s health insurance sector.

Health insurance as a vertical has seen very good growth rates in recent years compared to others in the insurance space. The table below shows the numbers: Year

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13 Premium Collected (in 100,000 rupees)

8,388

11,480

13,469

15,701 Growth

37%

17%

17%

What’s interesting is that health insurers are spread across the price spectrum and don’t necessarily play the price-sensitive game to win premiums.

Pension plans are making a comeback

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Reuters)

Life insurance companies had all but exited the pension sector after tough regulations were put in place to guarantee returns for the investor. This is a vital sector for insurance companies and hit overall business.

In 2010/11, new business of 122 billion rupees was added in the pension sector. This fell to 111.7 billion rupees in the following fiscal year. Worse, deletions in the business increased from 68.9 billion rupees to 195.2 billion rupees last year — surely that would have hurt.

Parallel between cash transfer schemes and health insurance claims

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Reuters)

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the direct cash transfer scheme is a money saver for the government and the taxpayer. A direct parallel is the way insurance companies handle claims in health insurance plans.

Health insurance in new, improved avatar

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

“Till now our focus was to work as a development authority but now it has been more than a decade and it is time to act as a regulatory authority,” Hari Narayan, the chairman of India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) was quoted as saying in a recent interview.

Taking health insurance for granted

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Chances are you haven’t given this much thought. It would be part of some document which you signed when you joined the company. For a majority of those in the corporate world, health insurance is provided by the employer — to such an extent that you take it for granted.

Health insurance for people with HIV

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The insurance regulator recently floated a proposal which mandates all health insurance providers to put an underwriting policy in place for covering people with HIV or those working closely with HIV+ persons, such as doctors and nurses.

How to age gracefully

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The title of this article may appear an oxymoron to a first-time reader. How can old age be associated with grace? No one likes to grow old and eventually die, despite this being an irreversible universal truth.

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