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National Insurance reinstates services of intermediaries

National Insurance reinstates services of intermediaries
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First Published: Tue, Jul 31 2007. 12 20 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Jul 31 2007. 12 20 AM IST
New Delhi: National Insurance Co., the Kolkata-based non-life insurance company, has reinstated the services of two Bangalore-based third-party administrators (TPAs)—Medi Assist India and TTK Healthcare Services.
TPAs maintain databases of policyholders and handle all post-policy issues, including claim settlements. They were introduced by the Indian insurance regulator to speed up what was typically a very long-drawn-out settlement procedure for claims filed by individuals. With the TPAs, policyholders can use their insurance ID card at authorized hospitals to get cashless treatment, with the administrators taking over claims settlement.
A senior official of National Insurance confirmed that the two administrators have given a written undertaking to the company stating they don’t have any business interests in health insurance.
Said B. Madhavan, chief operations officer of Medi Assist: “Considering that 70% of our business comes from PSU (public sector) companies, we were constantly negotiating with them. We have, now, given a written undertaking to abide by the data security agreement and not to set up our own health insurance company.”
This reinstatement comes after all public sector health insurance companies decided to phase out their business from some of the TPAs that either have business plans to set up their own health insurance company or have equity participation from competing health care services companies. Public sector insurance firms view these TPAs as competitors since their parent firms are also in the business of health insurance. As a result, the insurance giants don’t want to share their client database with the administrators.
A few months back, with large corporate players taking financial stakes in the TPAs, at least four public sector insurance companies removed the administrators from their panel of service providers. These four insurance providers are National Insurance Company Ltd, The New India Assurance Co. Ltd, United India Insurance Co. Ltd and Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.
Last year, the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group bought a major stake in Medi Assist India. The Apollo Group owns a stake in Family Health Plan, and Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance company, has acquired a stake in Paramount.
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First Published: Tue, Jul 31 2007. 12 20 AM IST