India’s largest health insurer signs up 99 hospitals worldwide

 

New India Assurance, the largest health insurer in India, has launched a lifetime global health insurance policy to cover treatment in hospitals overseas for problems including cancer, neurosurgery, heart surgery, organ transplant and bone marrow transplant.

The insurer had tied up with 99 hospitals worldwide including the Cedar-Sinai Medical Centre and the John Hopkins Medical Centre in the USA and King’s College Hospital, UK.

The policy pays for transport, expenses and accommodation. The policy covers travel costs up to $3,000 per person, as well as repatriation of mortal remains of up to U$15,000 per insured. This is a fully cashless policy and a second medical opinion has to be obtained from an overseas network hospital before an insured is allowed to seek treatment abroad.

Premiums depend on the age of the insured and their medical history. For a 30 year old individual, the premium without loading is Rs9,003 per annum for Asian countries and Rs11,453 per annum for other countries outside Asia.

While pre-existing conditions are not covered, there is a 90 day waiting period only after which will a claim be paid. Any medical expenses such as chemotherapy incurred in India will not be payable under this policy.

New India Global Mediclaim Policy is available to any Indian citizen between 18 and 65 living in India. The policy is available for any person who has an existing health insurance policy in India, with any insurer, with a sum assured of Rs8 lakh or above. There is a 5% discount for anyone with a New India health insurance policy.

The policy has two plans; one covering hospitalisation in medical centres in Asian countries while the second offers covers worldwide. The Asian countries plan offers cover of $500,000 a year with a lifetime limit of $1 million and the worldwide cover of $1 million a year with a lifetime limit of $2 million. There is a waiting period of 90 days for all the treatments.

New India Managing Director G Srinivasan says "The global policy will ensure that Indians get a choice to pursue the best medical treatment available anywhere in the world with comprehensive insurance cover from an Indian insurer. Although India is fairly advanced when it comes to medical treatment, there are people who are keen on obtaining specialised treatment abroad and we decided to launch a plan for this segment."

This is a blow to India's medical tourism ambitions as it suggests that such advanced treatment is not available in India.

View the IMTJ’s assessment of outbound and inbound medical tourism to India.

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