committee to look into health insurance for senior citizens
28 May 2007
With insurers having turned positively unfriendly
towards senior citizens by drastically hiking the premium
rates, refusing insurance cover, inordinate delay in
claims settlement, among others, the Insurance Regulatory
and Development Authority (IRDA) has formed a committee
under the chairmanship of K S Sastry, former chairman,
National Housing Bank, to study how insurance companies
could meet the need of senior citizens. (See: A
bitter pill for senior citizens from National Insurance)
to IRDA, health insurance for senior citizens requires
a careful study by all stakeholders involved, the regulator,
the government, the insurance industry, the medical
service provider, the third party administrators and
other members of the committee are:
Hariharan, former president, Sundaram Fasteners Limited
N Sood, president, Delhi Federation of Association
of Senior Citizens,
K.N.Bandari, secretary general, General Insurance
Council of India and
former CMD of The New India Assurance Co Ltd
D Banerjee, former CMD of The Oriental Insurance Co
Ltd and former
Insurance Ombudsman, Mumbai
Chandrasekhar, chief marketing officer, Apollo DKV
Insurance Co Ltd and
R.Parekh, CEO, Parekh Health Management (Pvt.) Ltd
committee''s terms of reference are:
commercially viable health insurance schemes for the
senior citizens, while ensuring that these do not
spiral into a high-cost healthcare system.
the problems in extending health insurance to senior
citizens without age limit and at affordable cost
and suggest possible solutions.
the pros and cons of separate health insurance schemes
for the senior citizens considering the profitability
and claim ratios of different segments of health insurance.
the issues connected with "portability"
of health insurance by the senior citizens from one
scheme to another and from one insurer to another
and suggest the manner and conditions in which such
portability is achieved.
the feasibility of offering a menu of options to the
senior citizens in terms of the type of diseases (including
"pre-existing diseases") to be covered,
the proportion of expenses to be paid, and the quantum
streamlining of procedures such that medical treatment
is on "cashless" basis and is rendered promptly.
ways to incorporating alternative systems of medicine
into the health insurance system.
possible incentives to the senior citizens for adopting
healthier life styles.
the feasibility of incorporating the concept of "family
into the health insurance schemes for the senior citizens.
the feasibility of integrating travel insurance such
as "Overseas Mediclaim" policy into the
health insurance schemes of senior citizens.