Insurance
Chola Critical Healthline: Crowded market gets yet another critical-illness plan

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance’s product covers 10-12 critical illnesses, with no medical check-up until 55 years and lifetime renewal. But the premium is on the higher side

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company has launched its ‘Critical Healthline’ policy, which provides for a lump-sum amount if an insured is diagnosed with any of the specified critical illnesses. The claim will be settled on the basis of critical-illness diagnosis proof and the necessary survival period. It does not require any proof of hospitalisation or treatment. The policy terminates with payment of critical illness benefit. It excludes critical illnesses arising due to pre-existing diseases (PED).

There are a number of such products available from various insurers currently in the market. The main advantage of this product is that no medical check-up is required up to 55 years, and it also comes bundled with lifetime renewal.
But there are a couple of major drawbacks in Cholamandalam’s product.

First, the premium is on the higher side compared to other critical illness products. Second, different survival periods have been specified for policy-benefit eligibility. For cancer of specified severity; a first heart attack; open-chest CABG (coronary artery bypass graft); kidney failure requiring regular dialysis; major organ or bone marrow transplant; surgery of the aorta and primary pulmonary arterial hypertension, the insured needs to survive for 30 days. In case of a stroke (resulting in permanent damage) and motor-neuron disease (with persistent symptoms), survival period has to be 90 days. For multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, survival period is stipulated to be180 days.  

The product offers entry up to 65 years (with no medical check-up until 55 yrs) and a lifetime renewal facility. The ‘standard’ plan covers 10 critical illnesses, and the ‘advanced’ plan covers 12 critical illnesses—plus ambulance charges up to Rs1,000. Customers can choose from the two plan options for a sum insured of up to Rs10 lakh.

Here’s the comparison with other (similar) products available in the market:

Critical illness products have gained importance due to these diseases striking a number of people at a lower age than before, thanks to stressful work schedules and sedentary lifestyles. These diseases include cancer and cardiac attacks, among others. Unlike developed countries, India does not offer free medical cover to citizens, and this is a huge problem for the elderly after their retirement. To add to these problems, rising healthcare costs and medical expenses (other than hospitalisation) which are not covered by a mediclaim policy have made these critical illness products important. Like premium paid for a medical policy, critical illness product premium is eligible for tax exemption up to Rs20,000 under Section 80(D) of the Income-Tax Act.

 

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Power ministry asks oil ministry to allocate gas to 10 power projects

However, the oil ministry may not provide gas to merchant power plants as it is of the view that domestic natural gas, which is cheaper than imported gas, should be supplied to companies that sell all power produced from the gas at regulated tariffs

New Delhi: The power ministry has asked the oil ministry to allocate gas to 10 power projects that are running at half of their generation capacity due to non-availability of the fuel, reports PTI.

“We have written to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas to provide 8 mmscmd (million metric standard cubic metres per day) of gas to 10 power projects in the country,” a power ministry official said.

The ten gas-based projects include both state-run and private projects, which are suffering due to a lack of fuel.

“These (10) projects are running at 50% capacity,” he added.

The power ministry has also communicated that around 3,500MW of gas-based capacity that was likely to be added during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) is stranded, as there has been no assurance from the oil ministry on fuel supply.

State-owned NTPC has slashed its gas-based capacity addition target by 5,000MW due to the shortage of gas. NTPC currently has a gas-based capacity of about 4,000MW.

“How can NTPC go-ahead with the capacity addition plan if there is no fuel available?” the official asked.

The oil ministry may not provide gas to merchant power plants as it is of the view that domestic natural gas, which is cheaper than imported gas, should be supplied to companies that sell all power produced from the gas at regulated tariffs.

Around 2 mmscmd of gas is required to fire a 500MW power plant.

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Goa govt told to furnish data on iron ore exported through MPT

The investigations pointed out that the ore was brought from Karnataka in the guise of blending it with local low-grade ore, which is non-consumable by the steel industry, and in fact exported through Mormugao Port even as Karnataka had banned the exports

Panaji: Armed with a report prepared by former Karnataka Lokayukta on illegal mining, Union ministry of mines has asked the Goa government to furnish data on the allegations that the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) used to export the iron ore even as the neighbouring state had banned the activity, reports PTI.

The officials in the state mines and geology department told PTI that the Union ministry in a recent meeting in Delhi asked the Goa government “to furnish details on the Karnataka ore exported through the state during the last five years”.

The Union ministry also asked the state officials to produce data on the quantum of Karnataka ore allegedly used for blending the local low-grade ore during the last five years.

The state mines and geology department will have to submit the data from year 2005, when demand in the Chinese market boosted the iron ore exports, till year 2011 when the mining scam came to the light.

Former Karnataka Lokayukta justice Santosh Hegde, who had blown the lid off the scam, claimed that 45 lakh tonnes of high grade ore was exported through Goa’s Mormugao Port Trust (MPT).

The investigations pointed out that the ore was brought from Karnataka in the guise of blending it with local low-grade ore, which is non-consumable by the steel industry, and in fact exported through the port even as Karnataka had banned the exports.

The Lokayukta report also questioned the export of high grade ore, as higher as 64 degree Fe from Goa port, when the state does not have such a kind of ore. Justice Santosh Hegde had told PTI that the local authorities were involved in the illegalities.

The ministry of mines which had taken up the matter seriously also decided to ask the railways ministry to give details of the ore brought through wagons from Karnataka to Goa.

“Indian Bureau of mines (IBM) would record the data,” the officials added.

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