IRDA, the insurance regulator, will be coming soon with the idea of bringing switch over facility for policy holders of health insurance companies. In this, any one who is having health insurance cover with one company can switch over to another without any change in premium outgo. This is just like insurance for two and four wheelers.
This facility may be given to those policy holders who are insured for a sum of Rs.1 lakh and above only. The policy holders can switch companies if they feel service deficiency from companies. At present, if a policy holder continues in one company, he will get some bonus in the form of increased coverage if there is no claim on the policy. But this benefit will not be there for switch over candidates.
Minimum guaranteed cover among all insurance companies are being worked out by IRDA. If it comes, the insured can avail this cover from any companies of insurance on switch over. But IRDA should think over the following points while drawing rules:
- Many companies are switching over companies for taking medical insurance for their employees based on quotation and lowest rate. If uniform rate is fixed for specified benefits, it will be good for insurance companies.
- Pre-existing diseases should be covered for switch over candidates (individuals) once they have the proof of their continued premium payment with previous insurers. This facility can be offered after taking certificate from previous insurer.
- For those working in companies may shift their job from one company to another. In that case, the insurance companies also may differ or there will not be any insurance at all. Thus employees will be losing the status of eligible candidate for coverage under pre-existing disease. So insurance companies may be asked to take some premium amount from the employees covered under insurance scheme (monthly list will be available with insurers) , say Rs. 100 per year, which will assure them to cover pre-existing diseases and premium amount based on original entry to them. This will augument the treasury of insurance company and will benefit the employee group also.
The changes will be announced soon by IRDA. Let our reforms are dynamic and not static ones. Good work undertaken by IRDA.
C.R. Venkata Ramani