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IRDAI sets up consultative committee to increase health insurance

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India’s regulator has set up a 15-member committee for two years, asking it to give suggestions for increasing coverage in the country.

The 15-member committee is headed by Rakesh Joshi, member at Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai), and it will have representatives from the healthcare and insurance industries.

From the healthcare industry, Devi Prasad Shetty, chairman of Narayana Health; Naresh Trehan, chairman and managing director (MD) of Medanta Heart Institute; Alexander Thomas, national president of Association of Healthcare Providers India; Arati Verma, senior vice president of Max Healthcare, and Ajay Nair will be part of this consultative committee.

Neerja Kapur, chairman and MD of New India Assurance; Bhargav Dasgupta, MD and CEO of ICICI Lombard General Insurance, Mayank Bathwal, CEO of Aditya Birla Health Insurance, and Vibha Padalkar, MD and CEO of HDFC Life, will be part of the committee from the insurance industry.

The committee will also have representation from the third party administrators (TPA) with Nayan Shah, CEO, Paramount Health Services & Insurance TPA and Vikram Chhatwal, CEO, Medi-Assist Insurance as members.

The committee has been asked by the regulator to identify challenges in carrying out business and make recommendations to facilitate ease.

Among the terms of references, the committee has been asked to make recommendations regarding appropriate product designs, including a universal standard product that is basic and simple, keeping in mind the changing dynamics of healthcare.

Further they have to make recommendations regarding standardisation of procedures amongst providers including for capture, collation, and analysis of data. The regulator has also asked for recommendations on putting in place systems for servicing that can plug into the e-platform envisaged by .

The committee has been asked to meet physically or virtually at least once or quarter by the regulator.

As per the latest data put out by the regulator, health insurance premiums posted 18.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in H1FY23, compared to 28.8 per cent growth in the same period last year.

During the pandemic years, health insurance premiums drove growth in the general insurance industry. However, as the pandemic has eased, growth in the health segment has normalized, which is largely on expected lines.


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