Keep senior citizen's mediclaim alive
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New India Assurance has revised the premium for medical insurance. The link to the same is attached below.
The increase in premium is especially steep in the category of senior citizens with low sum insured. I write this in general public interest and not for my own sake.
The new table effectively does 2 things
1. Disincentivizes senior citizens from taking medical insurance. This is logical for any for-profit organisation as they would like the least claims.
2. Incentivizes higher sum insured. The higher the sum insured the more the discount on the premium.
What is wrong with the new premium table
1. It disregards completely the duration for which an individual has been paying premium / taking policy cover.
2. It subsidizes the rich at the cost of the poor.
If this be the case, all young and healthy people will choose not to get insured as there is no backup of insurance when one grows old. That is clearly the messaging here. For instance, if I am 25 years old and unlikely to require insurance currently. Why should I get insured? If young and healthy people exit the insurance net, the burden will be even steeper on those in need - the old and the ill.
What is even more surprising is the reduction in premium (%) when the sum insured increases. I can see no logic for this. As the sum insured increases, so does the eligibility of the insured to incur expenses e.g. single occupancy room and all hospitalization costs are indexed to the room cost. Effectively, New India is pushing out the low Sum Insured customers when indeed those might be the most in need. Take an example of a retired couple who had a cover of just Rs1lac. They would be rendered without cover for sure. If they were to take the exorbitant policy and have a claim, 50% would be disallowed based on room charges. Why pay such a high premium and still have to bear 50% of the hospitalisation costs.
No private general insurer will be interested in selling mediclaim to the seniors given the claim probability. The national general insurance companies might have had losses in the past due to their own inefficiency and not due to the old premium table being incorrect.
I am not necessarily suggesting that the healthy and young subsidise the old and ill. However, those who are old now have paid premium all their life which has probably gone in servicing the claims of the older/past generation. Leaving them today with no cover is not fair and against the principles which any democratic government would follow.
I urge the finance ministry and the PMO to intervene and set this right.
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