The insurance regulator IRDAI has released a circular that proposes minor changes in policies of standalone health and general insurance companies. As per the norms laid down, you will soon have the option to pay your health insurance premium not just in annual mode but can also service the same in monthly, quarterly or half-yearly installments. But the condition for such payment remains that there should be no change in charge or the premium structure.
Also, the norms provide for increasing the maximum age limit from 65 years and inclusion of more critical illnesses to the health cover, with approval from the authority.
"The recent guidelines shared by IRDAI on minor modifications in approved Individual Insurance Products offered by general and standalone health insurers on certification basis, will definitely help in increasing the penetration and distribution of insurance products", said Rashmi Nandargi, Head - Retail Health, Travel and PA Underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
"The regulator has allowed insurers with previous experience to make changes in the product, to help benefit the consumers. These guidelines have also made the implementing process faster for the insurer compared to the earlier longer filing process", she added.
"The proposed modifications should not impact the benefit structure of the product, including the manner of settlement of the underlying benefits,'' the authority said in a circular. The new relaxed rules will come into force on an immediate basis.
All in all, the IRDAI has provided greater flexibility to health insurers in respect of product offerings and filing norms. Health insurance companies can now make adjustments in base premium rates not in excess of plus or minus 15% from the prices allowed originally in case of individual product.