New Reliance health insurance plan for women, girl child

By Arvind Padmanabhan | Sunday, July 14, 2013 | 3:22:38 PM IST (+05:30 GMT) Comment 0 Comment

Athens, July 14 (IANS) With just 2 percent of working women having health insurance cover in India, Reliance General Sunday announced a new product for their inclusion and empowerment which also covers the girl child.

Athens, July 14 (IANS) With just 2 percent of working women having health insurance cover in India, Reliance General Sunday announced a new product for their inclusion and empowerment which also covers the girl child.

Under the product, to be officially launched Aug 1, a female proposer of health insurance will get a special premium discount of 5 percent, which also applies to widows and children, said Rakesh Jain, chief executive.

"There will also be a special discount of 5 percent on the entire premium where the cover is for the girl child," Jain told IANS in Greek capital where health insurance is said to have originated around 600 BC.

Giving more details of the product that has two plans, he said family's definition stands expanded under the scheme to include grandparents, parents, parents-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling and grand-daughters.

"We have also tied up with as many as 4,200 hospitals across the country for cashless treatment. Also, there is any delay on our part in issuance beyond 10 days, we stand guarantee to additional free-sum insured."

He, however, said the premium for the new product will be disclosed later.

The other features of the "HealthGain" plans include:

- Family discount of 5 percent for 2-3 members and 10 percent for 4-6 members

- Discount of 5 percent for existing car insurance customers

- Sum insured of Rs.300,000, Rs.600,000 and Rs.900,000 under Plan A

- Sum insured of Rs.1.2 million, Rs.1.5 million and Rs.1.8 million under Plan B

- Age bar of 65 years only for policies with sum insured of more than Rs.300,000

- Pre-policy medical examination required only for those above 46 years under Plan A and 18 years under Plan B

- Auto doubling of sum insured within the policy period

- One-time renewal premium waiver if policy-holder suffers from any of the named critical illnesses

- Initial wait period of just 30 days for general ailments, 24 months for named ailments and 36 months for pre-existing diseases

Explaining the reason for this "first-of-its-kind" product, Jain said there was a general bias against women and the girl child in India when it comes to healthcare, which is evident from the sex ratio, especially in the 0-6 age-group.

Women, he said, primarily tend to rely on their husbands for economic resources and social status. So a large percentage of them are at risk of isolation when it comes to healthcare.

"Women account for 20 percent of the workforce in our country. But just 10 percent of them end up having healthcare cover. So the penetration of health insurance is just 2 percent of working women," he said.

Giving some more statistics on health insurance, Jain said less than 5 percent of people are covered by one or the other form of non-government-supported scheme.

"In terms of overall healthcare spend, which is worth some $30 billion in our country annually, health insurance accounts for just 10 percent of that. This shows the potential this segment of healthcare holds.

"We are targeting 400,000 lives in the first year of coverage."

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