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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

How to ensure health insurance plans for extended family

Many individuals are preparing for a life without a comprehensive health insurance cover for their family as insurance companies are busy imposing caps, sub-limits, co-payment clause, among other things, on corporate group health insurance schemes to cut the mounting losses on these plans. 
Needless to say, it puts some members of the family, especially elderly parents, at grave risk. They can salvage the situation in two ways.

First, by going for an individual health insurance cover for every member of the family. If money is an issue, they have another option of getting a family floater plan that will cover the entire family.

However, most family floaters restrict the coverage to two adults and two children, which means the elderly parents are likely to be left out again.

Grim scenario, right? Not necessarily. You now have a third option of buying a health insurance plan that will cover not only your parents, but also in-laws, siblings and even cousins.

"During customer research, we found out that customers are more concerned about the health of their family members than their own. Also, the joint family system is still quite prevalent in India," says Neeraj Basur, CFO of Max Bupa.

"Our research showed that there was a significant lack of coverage for dependant parents and in-laws, given that group covers rarely insure dependants. We saw this as an opportunity to provide individual covers that could be gifted to an extended family," adds Harshal Shah, director, marketing, Aegon Religare Life.

No wonder, the recently-launched online defined benefit health plan from Aegon Religare Life has brought parents, in-laws and siblings under the coverage ambit.

Similarly, Oriental General Insurance's family floater allows the holder to include either parents or parents-in-law in the plan. Max Bupa has been promoting its product with cover for multiple relations as its USP. Oriental General Insurance's family floater allows the holder to include either parents or parents-in-law in the plan.

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