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To your instant health

A new health plan offers a quick and easy cover tailored for you. The policy covers day care expenses for 130 ailments. Besides, the insured have cashless access to 2,500 empanelled hospitals.

Nitya Varadarajan        Print Edition: September 21, 2008

Once you buy Bajaj Allianz’s newest health scheme, Bajaj Allianz InstaInsure, you can be pretty much assured that the policy will get activated within 10 minutes. What’s more, you will be informed of this via SMS. The policy, which you can purchase easily through its partner outlets, provides a floater cover—for the entire family—at competitive rates.

The rates of premium are fixed throughout the tenure of the policy. A booklet that comes with the policy lists the details of the policy—and its fine print. And the proposal form is also simple. However, buyers can enter the scheme only up to the age of 45, though the policy will be renewed till age 70. Says Swaraj Krishnan, CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance: “There is a big gap between the insured and the non-insured. We found a pent-up demand for a simple health product with fixed rates. With this, we have launched the most basic health insurance policy.”

For starters, the sum assured is only Rs 1 lakh, and the premium is Rs 2,050 for a husband and wife duo. If you need to extend the cover for two children, you will have to add another Rs 500 to the premium.

Additionally, you—the proposer— are insured against accidents up to the sum assured. Even single people can opt for the policy, unlike a traditional mediclaim where single people find it difficult to get health insurance as the insurer finds such policies unviable.

The policy covers day care expenses for 130 ailments. Besides, the insured have cashless access to 2,500 empanelled hospitals. If you opt for hospitals other than the ones empanelled, you are promised a quick claim settlement— within 14 days of submitting all documents.

Like many other policies, this one, too, has its limitations. For one, the pre- and post-hospitalisation expense is limited to a paltry Rs 600. This is a small cushion compared to the cost of arriving at a diagnosis or post-discharge treatment. Hospital room charges and nursing expenses are capped at 1 per cent of the sum assured, but this is doubled for ICU treatment.

Apart from that, surgeon’s fees and all related doctor fees has been capped at Rs 30,000 and medicines/surgical appliances, lab charges during hospitalisation, artificial limbs at Rs 40,000.

A policy that can be compared to Bajaj Allianz’ is the Cholamandalam MS’s Family Floater Health Plan. However, this policy does not get activated instantly, though it offers more benefits for the insured. The policy allows for 60 days of pre-hospitalisation expenses and 90 days of posthospitalisation expenses. It also covers other incidental expenses and external aids and appliances up to a specified limit and allows for co-payment (the insured pays a part of the bill) if treated in a nonnetwork hospital.

Many advisers reckon that it’s important to have a medical insurance cover of at least Rs 4 lakh, if not more, so that the basic emergency medical expenses, at least, are covered. For those who don’t have medical insurance, InstaInsure could be the answer.

Healthcare costs are on the rise, and so are the costs of basic checkups. Uninsured medical care can be financially taxing. But health insurance is an excellent solution for individuals. And its benefits far outweigh the costs over the long run.

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