General cost inflation contributed to the premium rise. In the last two years, the average claim amount increased from Rs 45,000 to Rs 65,000, forcing insurers to revise premiums, said Mayank Bathwal, CEO of Aditya Birla Health Insurance
Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co Limited (ABHICL), the health insurance arm of Aditya Birla Capital, aims to continue outperforming industry growth with the support of innovative products and increased market penetration, a senior official said on Thursday.
While acknowledging the consistent rise in premiums in recent years, the official expects the pace of mediclaim premium increases to slow down.
”Our gross written premium grew by 23.5 per cent in the first half of the fiscal year. In FY’23, our expansion was 56 per cent. We have outpaced the sector’s growth and we will continue to achieve that in the future,” said Mayank Bathwal, CEO of Aditya Birla Health Insurance.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of ”Activ One,” a simplified and comprehensive health insurance plan that empowers policyholders with tailor-made solutions.
For the first time, Aditya Birla Health Insurance will extend coverage to live-in partners (same or opposite sex) under this policy.
”This is our most comprehensive product yet, with some industry-first features that offer customers a one-stop solution for their health assurance and insurance needs,” said Bathwal.
The policy also encompasses chronic care cover, ensuring immediate coverage (with zero waiting period) for seven chronic conditions, including Asthma, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Obesity, and Coronary Artery Disease (PTCA performed prior to 1 year).
With no age cap on entry, Activ One offers optional coverage for durable equipment, second medical opinions, personal accidents, critical illnesses, and a cancer booster.
He acknowledged that despite the rise in health policy premiums, the industry continues to grow strongly due to the increased awareness among consumers about the need for health insurance after the COVID-19 pandemic.
ABHICL raised its premiums twice in the last two years, by 8-10 per cent each time.
The company plans to continue expanding its reach across all distribution channels and has been narrowing its losses.
The loss for H1FY’24 was down to Rs 140 crore, compared to Rs 149 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Explaining the reasons for the increase in mediclaim policy premiums, Bathwal said the rise was not solely due to COVID-19.
The sector observed a rise in the incidence of infectious diseases, heart problems, and cancer post-COVID.
”It is still unclear whether these increases were directly related to COVID-19 or not,” he said.
Additionally, general cost inflation contributed to the premium rise. In the last two years, the average claim amount increased from Rs 45,000 to Rs 65,000, forcing insurers to revise premiums.
”However, it appears that the rate of increase in health insurance premiums will slow down next year,” he said.
Meanwhile, regulations are expected to push for greater insurance penetration through combined products like Bima Vistar, which is expected to be implemented within the next 6-9 months.
Bima Vistar is a unique all-in-one, affordable insurance product offering life, health, and property coverage at a competitive price.
”This will address an uncovered population of 30-40 crore, and discussions are ongoing. We expect it to be in place within the next 6-9 months,” said Bathwal.