Health insurance premiums to get costlier

Health insurance policies with deductibles and multi-year premium discounts can cushion the premium hike impact, but coverage will not be comprehensive.​

Your health insurance premiums could start going up in the days to come. Group health insurance policies – offered by employers to their employees and families – have already risen in April, when many such contracts come up for renewal, say experts. According to a Marsh-Mercer benefits survey, employer-sponsored medical benefit costs in India are expected to increase by 15 percent in 2022.

Soon, it could be the turn of your individual policy premiums, as insurers reeling under the CO-19-linked claim burden and rising healthcare inflation seek the insurance regulator’s nod to hike rates. Industry watchers feel retail health premiums could see an 8-15 percent rise.

Here’s your guide to the causes for these premium hikes and how you can keep a tight lid on them at your end.

Why are health insurance premiums expected to go up in the coming days?

The primary reason is the pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on health and healthcare systems across the world, pushing up health insurance companies’ claims. “Utilisation of health insurance coverage has gone up substantially due to CO-19-linked hospitalisation. In addition, there is a lot of pent-up demand too, as those who had postponed their surgeries and procedures are now filing claims. So, insurance companies are bearing the brunt of higher claims,” says Abhishek Bondia, Co-founder and Principal Officer, SecureNow Insurance Brokers.

He, however, believes that rates will stabilise in year or two. This apart, health insurance companies can increase their rates every three years based on their claim experience. For policyholders, premiums can also see a sharp spike when they move from one age bracket to another – for instance, depending on the insurer, your premiums could stabilise between 35-39 years, but see a significant jump when you cross 40.

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