Health Insurance Regulations: What You Need To Know
Gaurang Damani explained the key features of health insurance regulations 
 
On  10 January, Moneylife Foundation held two back-to-back events titled, “Back to Basics: Investing and Insurance”. Gaurang Damani a well known activist who has filed a pathbreaking public interest litigation (PIL) that has led to significant, pro-consumer changes in health insurance regulations, explained the new rules to the audience that comprised insurance consumers as well as many agents.
 
He started by discussing how the process of getting a health insurance policy itself causes considerable stress, thanks to the various tests, clauses and compliances after the long and hard search for the right product. 
 
Mr Damani said, the new Health Insurance Regulations (Regulations of 2013) contain some salient features related to premiums, senior citizens, policy issuance guidelines, claims and TPAs.
 
Here are some important features:
 
Premium cannot be increased arbitrarily after a claim is made, especially in multi-year policies. Loading of premium on renewal will have to apply across the policy portfolio and cannot depend on an individual’s policy experience. 
 
For multi-year policies, on the other hand, the premium would be fixed for at least a block of three years.
 
For senior citizens, who have often been soft targets for the sales force of insurers, the new regulations specify an entry date of 65 and clarify that there cannot be any exit date. 
 
The Regulations also say that insurers and TPAs will have to set up separate grievance cells for senior citizens.
 
Policies are portable up to 45 days before the maturity of the policy and even the cumulative bonus would be portable. 
 
The free-look period has been set at 15 days from the policy date and the free-look period only applies to policies with a term longer than a year.
 
The TPA will have no power in rejecting claims and TPAs function in forwarding claim papers has also been made stricter..
 
On the issue of dispute resolution, Mr Damani said, “Grievances must be acknowledged by the insurer in three working days and resolved in 15 working days. For claims-related complaints, consumers can write to the Grievance cell of the insurer and if there is no response, write to [email protected] or call toll-free at 155255.” Mr Damani addressed many questions in his interactive session, which can be accessed at the Moneylife Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/MoneylifeTV

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Nifty, Sensex strong upmove to continue - Tuesday Closing Report

Nifty will continue to rise subject to dips

 

Indian benchmarks gained nearly 2% to hit a new all-time high on Tuesday on across-the-board buying. The S&P BSE Sensex hit a record high of 28,829 while NSE's CNX Nifty recorded a new high of 8,707 at about 3pm.
 
The 50-share Nifty index extended gains in the fourth straight session to surge past its crucial psychological resistance level of 8,700 for the first time ever in trade, on intense buying in metals, banks and FMCG sectors on the hopes of a pick-up in growth and earnings in the coming quarters. Firm buying was witnessed in metal, realty, banking, power, oil & gas and IT sector stocks apart from midcap and small cap shares. 
 
The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 28,250 while NSE's CNX Nifty opened at 8,575. Sensex moved in the range of 28,324 and 28,787 while Nifty moved between 8,574 and 8,707. Sensex closed at 28,784 (up 522 points or 1.9%) while Nifty closed at 8,695 (up 145 points or 1.7%). NSE recorded a volume of 91.41 crore shares. 
 
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), like its twin the World Bank, has also lowered the global growth targets for 2015 and 2016 by 0.3% in both years. IMF said, India will be the fastest growing major economy in 2016, with projected GDP growth of 6.5% compared with China’s growth of 6.3%.
 
Brent crude oil prices fell towards $48 a barrel Tuesday after the IMF cut its forecast for global economic growth implying lower demand for fuel.
 
Ratings agency Fitch, on Tuesday said the recent interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will have minimal impact. Citing that falling commodity, food prices and gradual decline in long-term inflation expectations had created a more benign inflationary environment, Fitch said, "The extent to which the rate cut would have a long-term positive effect on bank asset quality remains uncertain."
 
Minister of Steel and Mines Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday said that simplification and transferability brought in the MMDR Act, 1957 through the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 will attract private investment in the mining sector.
 
Coming back to stock markets, Sesa Sterlite Ltd (5.88%) and HDFC (5.78%) were the two top gainers among the 50-share Nifty. Tata Steel (4.74%), Axis Bank (4.39%), Tata Motors (3.98%), ITC (3.48%), Hindalco (3.21%), Reliance Industries (2.60%), NMDC (2.52%) and Jindal Steel (2.41%) were the other gainers.
 
State-run GAIL was the top loser with a fall of 2.62% to Rs429 on the Nifty. Tata Power (down 1.15%), Dr Reddy's Lab (down 0.72%), Powergrid Corp (down 0.64%) and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (down 0.57%), were among the other losers today.
 
On the 50-share Nifty, 37 scrips recorded advances while 13 shares declined.
 
In global markets, European shares rose in early trade on Tuesday, tracking a rally in Asian shares after data showed China’s economic growth slowed less than feared.
 
At 0805 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.5% at 1,417.33 points, just shy of a seven-year high hit in the previous session. 
 
Asian markets rallied in relief on Tuesday after China reported its economy had not slowed as far as many had feared, a rare glint of brightness amid gloom over the global outlook.  The Shanghai Composite Index bounced 1.8%, while the CSI300 index added 1.1%.
 
Markets were higher across most of the region led by a 1.5% gain in the Nikkei as the yen slipped and the Bank of Japan began a two-day policy meeting that should see it reaffirm its massive bond-buying campaign.
 
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.3%, while South Korea’s main index rose 0.8%. 
 
Hong Kong shares rose today after mainland indexes rebounded on comments by China’s securities regulator that it was not trying to suppress the market rally.
 
The Hang Seng index rose 0.9% to 23,951.16 points, while the China Enterprises Index gained 2.3% to 11,741.78 points. US index futures were strongly up. The US stock market was closed on Monday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.
 

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