Insurance News

How Common Diseases Affect on Your Health Policy

Zahid was a healthy 27-year-old. However, with hypertension and diabetes both prevalent in his family, he was at a risk for contracting the illnesses too. As a result, he decided to take a health insurance plan right away while he was still at his fittest. This provided a large cover at a considerably lower cost. Sadly though, in five years’ time, Zahid was diagnosed with diabetes. Thankfully, his existing health plan covered all the expenses he incurred in getting the treatment.

Health insurance is absolutely vital in today’s day and age. Apart from common illnesses like hypertension and diabetes, people are even at risk for deadlier diseases like cancer and brain stroke. So get a good insurance plan and cover your health.

Effect of common diseases on your health policy

Did you know that a pre-existing illness can change the cost and availability of your health plan? You therefore need to be careful when choosing a health plan. Let us take a look at some of the common illnesses and how they can affect your health insurance plan.

  • Hypertension – Hypertension is considered to be a ‘pre-existing’ medical condition by many insurers. So if you have hypertension you will have to pay a higher premium for your plan. If you have a family history of hypertension, you may have to undergo stringent medical tests before you get the plan.
  • Diabetes – Diabetes is also considered to be a ‘pre-existing’ medical condition. So in this case too, your premiums will be higher. There are many health plans that provide special cover for diabetes care. So if you have this illness, you could consider a specific insurance policy to make the most of your coverage.
  • Cancer – Cancer is on the rise. Unfortunately, we hear many people contracting this deadly disease nowadays. Cancer is considered to be a critical illness by most insurers and is covered by the critical illness plans or riders. Regular health plans also cover cancer but since cancer treatment is very expensive, you will most likely have to pay a part of the bill from your pocket.
  • Fevers – In the last few years, fevers like dengue, chikangunya and malaria have claimed a lot of lives. These fevers have become serious health threats. As a result, most health plans have provisions for the treatment of fevers that require hospitalisation of 24 hours or more. Being affected by such a disease may eat away a part of your sum assured.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases – Lifestyle changes like erratic eating habits, unhygienic food preparation centres and pollution all contribute towards the rise in gastrointestinal diseases among Indians. Gastrointestinal diseases have of late become very common and many health plans have specific covers for these ailments. If you are prone to gastroenteritis, choose a health plan wisely to decrease the effect of the illness on the overall benefits of the plan.
  • Heart ailments – Stress and unhealthy lifestyles are making a lot of people these days susceptible to heart ailments. This is another common disease that affects your health insurance policy. Heart ailments are covered under most health plans but here too the expenses are very high and you end up paying a percentage from your pocket. So not only does the illness eat into your health plan, it leaves you poorer as well!

There are many common diseases that impact your health plan. From pushing up the premium amount, to eating out a piece of the sum assured to even, in some cases, making the policy unavailable to you, these illnesses can be very tricky.

Thankfully though, there are many health insurance plans available in India these days. The different plans are customised as per the needs of different people. Additionally, you can also purchase riders to make your plan all the more flexible. So make sure you get a plan keeping your health in mind. Assess your own existing medical conditions and also think about the family medical history. This will help you find a plan with the maximum cover at the minimum cost. Don’t forget how the common illnesses can affect your health insurance! But if you are careful, the effect will not be too severe.

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Here’s What You Need to Know About a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy

So you’ve made the decision to learn more about long-term care insurance. That’s smart, as neither health insurance nor Medicare would pay for extended long-term care services in the event that you needed them in the future. Plus, there’s about a 70% chance you’ll need some type of long-term care after age 65, according to government stats. And given that the cost of long-term care can quickly deplete your life’s savings, it just makes sense to add it your financial plan.

When you prepare for any upcoming investment or purchase, you probably run into some unfamiliar language or terminology in your research, which can be frustrating and downright confusing.

Searching for a long-term care insurance policy is no different. A long-term care insurance policy describes coverage under the policy, exclusions and limitations—and can be laden with industry jargon.

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IRDAI Directs Insurers Not to Delay Claim Payments

Irdai has asked life insurers not to withhold or delay settlement of claims of policyholders if there is any objection from claimants to fill the discharge voucher.

Discharge voucher is required to be furnished by claimants before raising a claim.

It is a standard practice by life insurers to inform about maturity date and amount of a claim to policyholders through a blank discharge voucher about 2-3 months in advance.

Policyholders have to furnish the information in discharge voucher and submit it back to the insurance company to raise a claim.

“Where the policyholder/claimant expresses unwillingness or reluctance or objection for any reason to execute the advance discharge voucher or to accept the amount, the Life Insurer should not insist on the discharge voucher or make it conditional for releasing the policy payment”, Irdai said in a circular issued today.

In such an event the life insurer shall not withhold or delay the payment for this reason but make the policy payment to discharge its contractual obligations, it said further, adding the life insurer may preserve the proof of making the payment.

The discharge voucher sent to policyholder/claimant should necessarily contain policy number and the nature of payment and amount of claim under different heads including deductions, if any, and other relevant details, Irdai said.

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irdai) said the provision was being made to protect the interests of policyholders as well as keeping in view the legal principles.

Contractual obligations are discharged by life insurers when making policy payments in cases of maturity or death claims or surrender of policy.

Source: Economic Times

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Insurers will have to deal with more taxes in GST Regime: Report

Insurance companies will potentially have to deal with more taxes once the GST is implemented with the emergence of the Centre and states as dual stakeholders, a report said.

The number of taxes will increase as calculation of input-output tax credits will be done separately for each individual state in which they are earned, it added.

Insurance, being a service industry, deals with one single tax (service tax) with one administering authority (the Central government), the EY and CII ‘Insurer of the Future’ report said.

“One of the significant impacts on insurance industry under the dual GST structure would be the emergence of dual stakeholders in every taxable supply of service, the state government, where the supply is made and the Centre,” it said.

From dealing with a central service tax for pan-India operations, insurers now will potentially start dealing with 38 taxes, including 35 state GSTs (SGSTs), including Union Territories, one Central GST (CGST) and IGST on inter-state supplies, it pointed out.

The report added that the reinsurance industry is undergoing a major change, with foreign insurers being permitted to set up branch offices in India.

The new rules are expected to create an even greater focus on services by foreign insurers as they compete for a share of the market, it added.

The market for emerging risks such as cyber insurance, customised liability insurance and specific disease insurance is expected to grow, driven by the willingness of customers to pay a premium for specialised and innovative solutions.

Reinsurers have a key role to play in helping the insurance industry innovate and cover new frontiers, as the industry looks to them when it comes to exploring the unknown.

The report also stated that technology will form the backbone for this transformation, acting as both an enabler and disruptor.

Its role is expected to rapidly change from its current ancillary function to becoming a core competency for insurance businesses.
Solutions such as data analytics, robotics process automation, block chain and cloud, which is already being implemented, however, is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of their potential applications and overall ability to transform businesses.

The digital bar for insurers is rising continuously and the companies that can meet this challenge will build greater customer loyalty, improve cost efficiency and increase profitability, it added.

Source: Economic Times

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