Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked health insurers to decide or clear requests for cashless treatment and the final discharge from the hospital within two hours amid coronavirus pandemic. "In light of prevailing conditions owing to COVID 19 as also taking into consideration the need for alleviating the pressure on the healthcare infrastructure all the insurers shall decide health insurance claims expeditiously," a circular issued by IRDAI said.
"Decision on authorisation for cashless treatment shall be communicated to the network provider (hospital) within two hours from the time of receipt of authorisation request and last necessary requirement from the hospital either to the insurer or to the TPA whichever is earlier," IRDAI said.
Similarly, health insurers will also get 2 hours to decide on final discharge after payment of the bill to the hospital. "Decision on final discharge shall be communicated to the network provider within two hours from the time of receipt of the final bill and last necessary requirement from the hospital either to the insurer or to the TPA whichever is earlier," IRDAI added.
In a circular issued in March, the insurance regulator had asked all health insurance companies to expeditiously handle health insurance claims pertaining to coronavirus. Meanwhile, the demand for life and health insurance policies has seen a huge spurt recently as the number of coronavirus positive cases started growing. Online distribution portal Policybazaar said that in March health insurance has seen a jump of 35-40 per cent on its platform. Life insurance registered a 20 per cent growth during this period. Although the industry always records strong growth in March as people rush to buy policies before the end of the financial year, this year the growth is stronger compared to an average 10 per cent growth logged in previous years in both the categories, Policybazaar said.