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Introduction to Health Insurance in India
Health insurance offers you a reliable coverage against almost all the unforeseen health expenditures that may result into financial hardships in the future. The health insurance sector is currently booming and is expected to become a Rs. 30,000 crore industry in the next 5 years from its current level of Rs 8000+ crores.

1. Introduction of Health Insurance Policies
If we go back to the 70's and mid 80's, most of the hospitals were government owned and the treatment available was almost free of cost. However, as private hospitals started developing, Insurance companies (New India Assurance, National Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance & United Insurance Company)started offering the health insurance product.

The reports which came out lately unveiled that the insurance industry is growing amazingly with an annual growth rate of 25%. In 2009- 2010, the health premiums has gone up to Rs. 8,100 crores. Apart from this, all the authentic reports and sources believe that this industry will touch Rs. 35,000 crores in the coming next 5 years. The estimates of the leading Chambers of Commerce also affirm this expectation.

On the independence day in 2007, the government announced health insurance worth Rs. 2000 crore for the poor citizens and that is why we have RSBY (Rashtriya Swasth Bima Yojna) existing today

Initially, there were very few insurance companies ( mostly the four PSUs) but now the customers have round 22 private alternatives on hand to choose from.

Companies offering Health Insurance and Mediclaim are:-

  • Apollo DKV Insurance Company Limited.
  • Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited
  • Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Limited
  • Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited
  • Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited
  • HDFC General Insurance Company Ltd.
  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance Limited.
  • IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company Limited
  • Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Limited
  • National Insurance Company Limited
  • New India Assurance Company Limited
  • Oriental Insurance Company Limited
  • Raheja QBE General Insurance Company Limited
  • Reliance General Insurance Company Limited
  • Royal Sundram Alliance Insurance Company Limited
  • SBI General Insurance Company Limited (Introducing Shortly)
  • Shriram General Insurance Company Limited
  • Star health and Allied Insurance Company Limited
  • TATA AIG General Insurance Company Limited.
  • United India Insurance Company Limited
  • Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Limited

In India, the hospitalization/heath insurance policy is being offered as a Mediclaim insurance. The name actually suggests that the claim has to be lodged by the insured person. Some customers jokingly claim that that when the motor insurance policy is not named as motor insurance claim policy, then why is a medical insurance policy termed as "Mediclaim?"However lately, the insurance companies have started highlighting their product as health insurance.

Simplistically speaking, Health insurance and Mediclaim are two names of the same product.

In recent years, people's mindset have started changing. People belonging to the middle class category are now very keen to take up a dependable health insurance policy and certainly want to get good quality healthcare from renowned hospitals like Fortis, Max, Apollo or Escorts. Genuine sources also revealed that the health insurance is more successful with this class of the society compared to any other.

2. Health Insurance Policy Need
At the time of medical emergency, a health insurance offers you a dependable financial shelter. The last thing you need to worry about during a medical emergency is about the financial condition.

Following are the points taken from the World Bank Report:-

  • 85% people in India don't retain Rs. 5, 00,000 as instant cash.
  • 14% population still have this amount but will face a financial crunch after spending it.
  • However, only 1% population can spend this amount easily.
  • 99% Indian will face a liquidity problem if their medical bill exceeds Rs 5 lakhs

Let us know, how much you have to pay for a medical treatment in a reputed hospital:-

Angioplasty = Rs. 2,00,000 to Rs. 3,00,000
Open heart = Rs. 2,50,000 to Rs. 4,50,000
Liver Transplant = Rs. 30,00,000
Kidney Transplant = Rs. 18,00,000 to Rs. 30,00,000
Hernia surgery = Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 60,000

There are other treatments as well that costs you in lakhs, however, only mediclaim can cover these expenses of yours effortlessly.

Now let us look at who doesn't need a mediclaim policy:-

  • Person covered by his employer or government never opts for a private mediclaim or health insurance policy.
  • Person with no financial issues and who can pay the hospital bills easily certainly don't need the health insurance policies at all.
  • The aforementioned points surely say that the other people must go for the health insurance as it will cover their hospitalization expenses easily.
  • An insurance policy for those who can't take out instant cash is a peace of mind.

3. Companies offering Mediclaim and Health Insurance Policies are listed below:-

  • Apollo DKV Insurance
  • Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited
  • Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Limited
  • Cholamandalam MS General Insurance
  • Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited
  • HDFC General Insurance
  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance Limited
  • IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company
  • Max Bupa
  • National Insurance
  • New India Assurance
  • Oriental Insurance
  • Reliance General Insurance Company Limited
  • Royal Sundram
  • Shriram General Insurance Company Limited
  • Star health
  • TATA AIG General Insurance
  • United India Insurance Company Limited
  • Universal Sompo General Insurance
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