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'We Offer A Wide Spectrum Of Health Insurance Services That Covers All Aspects Of Healthcare'

Anuj Gulati, CEO, Religare Health Insurance speaks with BW Businessworld on the key future Health Insurance trends that he foresees, his strategic priorities for FY18, the burgeoning role of digital, and Religare's recent decision to exit its stake in the company

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Anuj Gulati, CEO, Religare Health Insurance speaks with BW Businessworld on the key future Health Insurance trends that he foresees, his strategic priorities for FY18, the burgeoning role of digital, and Religare's recent decision to exit its stake in the company.

What are the key opportunities in the health insurance business in India today?
Out-of-pocket healthcare spend in India is approx.60 per cent and this offers significant opportunity to the health insurance industry.

Over time, insurers have come to offer increasingly refined and customized product & service solutions that will most certainly help in bridging the healthcare funding gap.

Moreover, progressive regulation has been the bedrock in building consumer trust & confidence. From standardization of insurance terms to building a robust consumer grievance redressal mechanism, each initiative has gone a long way in creating greater acceptance and adoption of health insurance services. Recognition of new distribution channels such as insurance marketing firms and web aggregators have also rendered necessary impetus to increasing penetration.

What are some of the key future trends you can foresee in the next half-decade or so?
We expect to see significant development in the following segments:

- Products that endeavour to cover persons who are typically considered uninsurable. That is, they may be of progressed age and/or are already ailing and therefore find it challenging to get health coverages.
- OPD coverages under a technology-led cashless ecosystem to manage expenses like doctor visits, diagnostics & pharmacy purchases that are typically not covered under conventional insurance products
- Wellness-based coverages that encourage & reward health-positive behaviour as a daily lifestyle monitoring program and build-in customer loyalty initiatives
- Condition management programs which offer solutions that enable a defined consumer segment to better manage their existing health conditions by adhering to requisite monitoring/assessment parameters.

As CEO, what are your key strategic priorities for FY18? What will your focal areas be?
We believe that the moment-of-truth for us is the customer's experience when they claim on their insurance. With this as our guiding ethos we have and will continue to deliver service excellence through the via media of value-for-money, best-in-class products.

Our product development interface, 24-hour customer care centre and technology-integrated systems ensure that we offer the best suited product to our customers even as we continue to record an average 2-hr TAT on cashless claim approvals.

Going forward, we will only further strengthen our focus on creating an unparalleled experience for our customers.

What role do you see digital playing in the evolution of the health insurance business in India? Are unassisted purchases the future of health insurance in our country?
We went live with our customer portal on the very day we launched our operations since are cognizant of the power that digitization renders to our customers.

Today, a customer can conveniently buy their policy within a few mins. on our portal and instantly receive the complete policy documents in soft copy on their registered mail ID. Additionally, they can even check their nearest network hospital, branch location and claims status.

Since, the principal element is customer convenience, the goalpost is to ensure customers are able to manage every aspect of their policy online, independently.

How does Religare's recent decision to exit the business affect the future of the company? Will this development influence your strategic direction in any way?
For our customers, distributors & employees nothing changes. We will continue to offer the same set of products backed by quality servicing.

We have always centered our objectives around delivering superlative value for the consumer. Be it product comprehensiveness through our range of value-for-money health insurance solutions or seamless claims & policy servicing through our round-the-clock customer care centre and claims management desk, the overarching principle remains the same - build customer delight in every possible way.

We continue our resolve towards building India's most admired health insurance company that continues to be relevant even beyond a hundred years.

Is product innovation a challenge in the Health Insurance space? Has your company launched any innovative products in the past year?
We offer a wide spectrum of health insurance services that covers almost all aspects of healthcare, lifestage and customer segment requirements.

From Comprehensive Health Insurance coverage with no upper age limit for enrolment to health insurance plans that cover overseas treatment upto $1m, and from Maternity-based insurance with New Born Coverages to Cashless OPD Programs, our products are designed to service specific need-based healthcare requirements. Similarly, 'Care Freedom' brings the option of health coverage to a customer segment that is usually considered uninsurable.

Our Critical Illness and Personal Accident Insurance products offer benefit-based coverages in case of diagnosis of a critical ailment or occurrence of an injury, respectively; and Explore, our international travel insurance product, provides cost effective, comprehensive coverages that are priced as per the geography & duration of travel.

Innovation is a journey that we shall continue to travel to ensure that we best service evolving consumer requirements.

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