Amendments in regulations is necessary for the growth of each and every industry. Specially, when it comes to health insurance industry, it is very important to make necessary changes that encourage more number of people to buy health insurance and secure their quality of life. The recent event of COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a lot about the uncertainties of medical emergencies and need of investing in a good health insurance policy. Government of India and Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has taken many steps regarding the improvement of regulations and factors related to health insurance industry. The main aim behind this is to make the health insurance policies more customer-friendly and standardised.
Let’s see the changes that are made in the Health Insurance Policy Regulations in the year 2021.
- For the first time in the history, IRDAI has allowed the health insurance policy holders to pay the premiums towards the health insurance policies in instalments. Yes, you can now pay premiums on monthly, quarterly and even half-yearly basis. Although, the free-look period for monthly or quarterly premiums will be lesser compared to the one you get on paying annual premiums.
- The IRDAI has made alterations to cover the existing health conditions in favour of the policyholders. The regulators have asked insurance companies issuing health insurance policies to mention the pre-existing diseases that would not be covered up to a specific period or not more than 4 years from the start of the coverage. This means that the policyholder has option to declare any disease contracted up to three months after buying the health insurance policy.
- IRDAI has asked the insurers to increase the maximum age limit field for the insurance policies. The usual maximum age limit of the health insurance policies filed is up to 65 years. Also, the insurer must inform about this change to the regulator on a certification basis as per IRDAI.
- Also, IRDAI mulls barring insurers from excluding various critical illnesses like mental issues, genetic diseases, neuro development disorders and psychological issues from the health insurance policies. As per IRDAI, mental illness, psychological disorders, stress and neurodegenerative disorders are as severe as any other health issues and thus must not be included in the exclusions from the list of covered diseases under health insurance policies.
- Insurance regulator IRDAI has also asked health insurance companies to increase the age limit criteria. Earlier the usual age limit for health insurance policies was up to 65 years of age.
- IRDAI has allowed insurance companies to increase or decrease the premiums by 15% pertaining to the modifications based on loss-ratio of the past three financial years.
- This change in cost of premiums is allowed only after completing three years from the launch date of the product.