Category — Insurance

India To Extend Healthcare to 100 Million Families

In the annual budget for 2019, India’s minister for finance, Arun Jaitley, announced a National Health Protection Scheme that will provides health insurance coverage for 100 million of India’s most vulnerable families up to 500,000 rupees, or about $7,825 each year, an amount in India that would cover the equivalent of five heart surgeries. With approximately 500 million beneficiaries, “this will be the world’s largest government-funded healthcare program,” Jaitley told parliament in his speech. “The government is progressing towards a goal of universal health coverage,” he added.

Jaitley also announced the creation of Health and Wellness Centers, which will “bring healthcare closer to home.” 150,000 such centers will provide comprehensive health care for non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health services, essential drugs, and diagnostic services. $314 million has been allocated for this in the current budget.

Additional funding may be channeled via Corporate Social Responsibility programs, and philanthropic institutions will be encouraged to “adopt” some of these Health & Wellness Centers.

Picture of India's finance minister Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley, minister for finance, India

“This is huge. It’s the biggest step the government has taken in 20 years in health care,” said Dr. Ajay Bakshi, the former chief executive of Manipal Hospitals, a chain of 16 private hospitals based in Bangalore.

India spends a little over one percent of its GDP on public healthcare — one of the lowest proportions in the world — a sum the government is aiming to increase to 2.5 percent by 2025. Currently the government provides $470 toward healthcare for poor families, but that sum is insufficient to cover most medical procedures. Jaitley stated that the government was “seriously concerned” that millions of Indians had to borrow or sell assets to receive adequate treatment in hospital.

The government will levy a surtax that will raise about $1.7 billion a year specifically for health care programs, as well as introduce a new tax on capital gains. Jaitley added that 24 new state-run medical colleges will be set up, and rural hospitals will be upgraded.

February 1, 2018   No Comments

Ebix to Invest $200 Million on Acquisitions in India

Atlanta, GA-based Ebix Inc., that provides solutions on infrastructure exchanges, enterprise systems and risk compliance in insurance, healthcare and financial services, among others, plans to spend an additional $200 million for acquisitions in India.

Ebix first purchase in India was an 80% stake in ItzCash for $124 million  from the Essel Group and other shareholders in May this year. This investment launched Ebix in the prepaid cards, bill payments and remittances platforms. The company will now look for acquisitions in newer segments such as travel and lending, reports Mint.

ebix logo

Robin Raina, chief executive of Ebix Inc. said, “In India, you have one company doing wallets, one on insurance, some other focusing on remittance, and others focused on travel. However, the consumer remains the same; the same consumer is saying he wants to travel, or buy insurance, or send/receive money. By consolidating all these needs on one platform and using the same last-mile connectivity, you bring ease for the consumer, efficiency of doing the business as back-end costs reduce, and merchants or distributors on your network can also now offer multiple services to their customers.”



November 1, 2017   No Comments

Reinsurance Group of America Opens India Branch

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India granted the Certificate of Registration to Missouri headquartered Reinsurance Group of America to set up a branch in India. RGA’s Canadian entity – RGA Life Reinsurance Company of Canada will be based in Mumbai.

RGA has been operating in India since 2001 through its Irish entity and has 23 life insurance companies including state-owned Life Insurance Corporation as its clients in India and 5 in Sri Lanka, reports Money Control.

Thomas Mathew, managing director and CEO said the company has a long-term commitment to the Indian insurance market and is keen to provide continued service to its clients.

December 28, 2016   No Comments

Aetna to Invest $16 Million in India

Hartford, CT-based diversified healthcare benefits firm Aetna International will invest $16 million in its wholly-owned arm, Indian Health Organization India, to offer new health and wellness solutions.

Aetna Logo

The company offers a ‘Classic Family Consultation’ annual membership for a fee of $87 (Rs. 5880) for a family of four. Benefits of this membership include unlimited tele-consultations with doctors, ten free doctor consultation vouchers which can be utilized at leading hospitals in India, guidance on nutrition and diet, diagnostics, treatment and pharmacy. The wellness card has been launched in metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Going forward, Aetna through its subsidiary, plans to target 25 cities, reports Forbes.

Commenting on the development, Aetna International president Richard di Benedetto said, “India is a key market in our future growth strategy. The country has tremendous scope for growth in the healthcare sector. Affordability and accessibility are key challenges and our products and services are designed to help with this.”

October 16, 2016   No Comments

Lloyd’s Expects its Business to Grow 8-10 Percent in India

With its current annual premium income from India at $200 million, U.K.-based re-insurer Lloyd ‘s of London is looking at 8-10 percent annual growth in its India business.

The company has applied to India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority for license and is likely to start operations in the country by early next year. Currently it underwrites business in the country on an off-shore basis.

“We are looking at a growth in our business from India operations in future at 8-10 per cent which is slightly more than the country’s GDP growth,” Lloyd’s of London chairman John Nelson told reporters at the Times of India.

John Nelson

John Nelson

“We will grow our business in the country gradually by offering solutions for complex and specialist risks like infrastructure, energy, director and officer liability, trade credit, terrorism and disaster management. For us, Indian market from the day one will be high competitive market,” he added.

September 14, 2016   No Comments