Star Health says it is in good health despite business loss

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 05, 2012 13:30 hrs

Chennai, Jan 5 (IANS) City-based standalone health insurer Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Thursday said it is sure of closing this fiscal with a gross premium of Rs.1,200 crore despite loss of business from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh governments.

'Despite the loss of group business from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh governments we are confident of maintaining last year's premium figure of around Rs.1,200 crore. Till December 2011 we had booked a premium of Rs.840 crore,' V. Jagannathan, chairman and managing director, told reporters here Thursday while relaunching a health insurance policy.

Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh were the two major bulk business providers for Star Health with their group insurance policies for the poor. The company had got around Rs.600 crore premium from Tamil Nadu and around Rs.200 crore from Andhra Pradesh.

According to him, the Rs.438 crore, equity-based company's retail business is logging good growth and the loss of group business would be offset by the growth in market business.

Asked about the trend in state government group insurance business, Jagannathan said they were now looking to operate the scheme by themselves.

'By not placing the business with an insurer the state government would save a sizeable sum by not paying the 15 percent service tax on the insurance premium paid on the group policy. That will provide the cushion for the state government,' he said.

About the relaunched Family Health Optima policy, he said several new innovative features have been incorporated taking into account the consumer needs.

For instance, the sum insured in the policy will be reinstated by 50-100 percent freely if a policyholder makes a claim. And the number of day care procedures eligible for claim has been increased to 101.

Another innovative feature is the differential pricing policy adopted by the company for this policy.

'The claims payout in Mumbai, Gujarat and Delhi are high and hence the premium is slightly higher than other places. We have divided the country into two zones - Zone 1 and rest of India.'

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