Health insurance is no longer a luxury for us, Indians, it has become a need. Even with the increasing disposable incomes, we can no longer afford the hospital expenses for ourselves and our loved ones due to the increasing rate of medical inflation. So we can no longer depend on our savings or generosity of our friends and families or even relax with our company’s health insurance, we need an independant health insurance cover for ourselves and for our family.
But even with the need for health insurance realized, we find it confusing to find the right health policy for ourselves with so many health insurance companies in the market. We give you the ‘Ten top health insurance companies in India’ and their popular products.
This information is just to give you an introduction of the health insurance companies and name some of their products. To buy a health insurance policy, read about the basics of health insurance like pre-existing illnesses, waiting period, loading, exclusions, how to renew, whom to buy a policy from and how to compare health insurance policies. Only after understanding it, should you go ahead and buy it.
First let us look at some of the dedicated health insurance companies. The order in which the companies are listed is not an indication of their relative strengths.
- Star Health & Allied Insurance Company Limited
Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Limited (Star Health) is a joint venture between Oman Insurance Company, ETA Ascon Group and a number of insurance veterans in the country. It is also the first dedicated health insurance company in India. Known for its innovation, Star has some very unique products like Diabetes Safe which is for diabetic patients and Star Netplus which is designed for HIV+ patients. Star Health insurance has an in-house TPA which increases its efficiency in dealing with cashless cases. They also have a unique feature where in customers calling a toll free number can get free consultations with a general physician.
Popular Products: Star Family Health Optima, Senior Citizen Red Carpet
- Max Bupa Health insurance
Max Bupa Health Insurance is a joint venture between Max India Limited and Bupa Group, one of the international healthcare providers. Formed in 2010, Max Bupa has brought changes in the health insurance market in India with innovative and customer friendly products. They have a policy of not loading the customer or handling out ‘no claim bonuses’ and have a region wise premium. They have no fixed enrollment age which means people of any age group can buy their policies. These policies also have guaranteed renewal which means you won’t be denied renewal in your 70s and 80s when you need it most. Their ‘Heartbeat’ product covers maternity also, albeit after a waiting period.
Popular products: Heart Beat Gold, Silver and Platinum
- Apollo Munich
Apollo Munich Health Insurance Co. Ltd. is the new name for Apollo DKV Insurance Co. Ltd. which is a partnership between The Apollo Hospitals Group, and Germany based Munich Re’s newest business segment, Munich Health. They also bring a change in terms of customer friendly features like lifetime renewal and portability benefits for existing policies which means you can buy Apollo’s policy and get the continuation benefits of your existing policy. Apollo Munich also covers maternity after a waiting period.
Popular Products: Easy Health Gold, Standard, Exclusive and Premium
- Reliance Health insurance
Reliance health insurance is one of the private general insurance companies in India. They also have a few good health insurance products, in their ‘Health wise’ policy range; critical illnesses are covered as a part of the policy. There is also a choice of reducing waiting period for pre-existing illnesses to 2 years from the industry standard of 4 years. It covers those between the ages of 5-75.
Popular Policy: Health wise Family Floater
- ICICI Lombard
ICICI Lombard GIC Ltd. is the largest private sector general insurance company in India. It has some good health insurance plans – like Health Advantage which covers not only hospitalization expenses but also outpatient expenses like dental, upto a limit. Maternity cover is also available under this product. The company has also added Health insurance Guide, an interactive tool to help the customer select a plan to suit his requirements.
Popular Product: Health Advantage
- Bajaj Allianz General Insurance
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture between Bajaj Finserv Limited and Allianz SE. Health insurance policies offered by them include Health Guard (Mediclaim), Silver health (Senior Citizen) and Star package (Family Floater), there are also other plans like Hospital Cash which gives an amount on every day of hospitalization and Critical Illness which gives a lump sum in the event that the insured contracts one of the critical illnesses listed like cancer during the policy period. Bajaj was the first company to come up with a captive TPA with ensuing efficiencies.
Popular Product: Health Guard
Now for the Public Sector General Insurance Companies,
- Oriental insurance
One of the four public sector units, Oriental insurance offers a number of health insurance products including Individual mediclaim, Universal health insurance scheme and family floaters to the customers. Optional benefits like Personal Accident and Life Hardship Survival can be added with the basic health cover to avail extra benefit. Their Happy Family floater is a popular product because it doesn’t require medical check-up till the age of 60 (it is mandatory for everyone over the age of 45 to take a health check-up in other policies).
Popular policy: Happy Family Floater
- United India Insurance
Another of the public sector units,United India Insurance Company Limited also offers a wide range of health insurance products like Family Medicare- Gold, Platinum, Senior Citizen, Top-up and Super Top-up. Top-up and Super Top-up products are products which provide additional cover amount if you find your basic cover insufficient.
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