Hyderabad: With health insurance portability set to kick in from 1 July 2011, leading private insurer ICICI Lombard on Monday said it will come out with attractive offers to woo customers from its competitors.
However, the company is waiting for certain operational clarities it had sought regarding different aspects of the portability scheme from the insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), ICICI Lombard vice-president (Health Management) Anand Singhi said.
“We have a few queries which are with the regulator (Irda). We first want all our queries to be clarified, and then have the right set of offering made to our customers,” he said.
The Irda has issued guidelines for health insurance portability, whereby customers will have the option to switch insurers. They are also likely to get well-priced policies and better quality services.
Singhi further said if the government does not roll back the proposed 5% service tax on certain health services, cost of insurance is likely to go up.
“If the amendment which has been proposed goes through, it will have an impact on the premiums...Because eventually, if your cost of servicing goes up, it results into the product-cost ratio going up,” he said.
The government has proposed to impose service tax on treatment in centrally air-conditioned private hospitals with 25 or more beds and diagnostic tests of all kinds.
On the role of TPAs (Third Party Administrators) in health insurance processing, Singhi said companies should directly deal with customers, as “hospitals generally do not have dedicated TPA managers”.
The role of a TPA is to coordinate with hospitals with respect to treatment and also pass the bills on behalf of the insurance companies.
Singhi further said the company plans to substantially increase its workstations from around 400 at present to 700 by 2012, to manage health insurance processing operations in a more efficient and timely manner.
The health insurance claims processing facility of ICICI Lomabard is located in Hyderabad.