At a time when the ULIP market is in turmoil, IndiaFirst has launched its health ULIP. Mediclaim cashless approval is normally a huge problem, especially with government insurers. Will IndiaFirst’s tech-savvy approach for cashless approval work without the policyholder having to make a call or send a fax or email to the TPA?
IndiaFirst Health ULIP-Money Back health insurance plan is a long term savings-cum-indemnity health insurance plan for 5 or 10 years. There will be a 4-year waiting period for pre-existing diseases (PED) just like a mediclaim policy. The unique feature is its tech-savvy approach to the major pain point in the mediclaim- cashless approval process. Policyholders have found difficulty in communication with government insurers' Third Party Administrators (TPAs) via phone, fax or email to get cashless approval.
The Money Back health insurance plan will offer cashless facilities at 4,956 network hospitals. According to Dr Nandagopal, chief executive officer and managing director of IndiaFirst, "The customer need not go to the TPA or send a fax. Once he swipes the card, the authorisation immediately happens. Again when he gets discharged from the hospital, he would need to swipe it and the hospital gets the money through the MasterCard service network, bypassing the entire documentation that is otherwise required and makes the whole process hassle-free."
According to a company official, "The TPA will get informed about the policyholder's arrival in the hospital after the card is swiped through the same machine which is used for credit/debit cards. The TPA will then get in touch with the hospital to find out details of the medical treatment and then approve the cashless claim in case the policyholder is eligible for it."
The minimum premium payout of the customer would be Rs10,000 for a regular premium or Rs30,000 for single premium. The health insurance cover would be a minimum of Rs1.50 lakh and a maximum of Rs10 lakh. The regular premium option has a policy term of 10 years, while the single premium option has a policy term of 5 years.
It offers a family floater option to include spouse, maximum of two children and maximum two parents of primary life assured. The maximum age at end of policy term is 70 years for primary life assured, 75 years for spouse & parents and 25 years for children.
Part of the premium goes towards morbidity charges to provide health benefit. The yearly morbidity charge for persons between 26 to 30 years for Rs5 lakh sum assured will be Rs5,941. There are no mortality charges as there is no life cover. The remaining part of the premium is invested in one or more of five fund options with varying percent of equity, debt and money market exposure. The performance of the fund option will be reflected in the fund value of the policy.
Health ULIPs are a relatively new concept. When Moneylife asked the company official about the reason for not launching standalone health insurance product, he replied, "Our expertise is in wealth management and at this time we want to have a product with combination of health insurance and savings. We have worked for over a year on this product as it needed ties with hospitals, TPAs and so on."
This health ULIP concept has its supporters. Ashvin Parekh, partner and national leader-Global Financial Services at Ernst & Young Pvt Ltd told Moneylife in an interview earlier this year, "Health indemnity too will gain importance, especially if it evolves into a managed care. Health ULIP will be a longer-term product than the annual renewal for mediclaim."
IndiaFirst recently launched 'LifeStore' which offers differentiation with a technology thrust to help aspects like increasing financial literacy, simplicity of product details, transparency of detailed investment performance and an online customer service experience similar to online banking. This 'Do-It-Yourself' website for understanding and buying insurance is certainly a step towards empowering customers and taking insurance benefits literally to their homes.
Experian’s Account Review allows banks and NBFCs to segment their customer portfolios in multiple ways and conduct reviews to devise customer level credit strategies
Experian Credit Information Company of India Pvt Ltd, the first CICRA licensed credit bureau in India, announced the launch of Experian Account Review and Experian Premier Attributes, the latest offerings from Experian's Customer Management Services Suite.
Experian's Account Review allows banks and NBFCs to segment their customer portfolios in multiple ways and conduct periodic reviews to devise customer level credit strategies. Banks and NBFCs will for the first time experience the flexibility of being able to define attributes in alignment to their internal credit policies to review customer portfolios.
In addition to the customised attributes, banks and NBFCs will also have access to a list of Experian Premier Attributes for conducting their Account Reviews. Experian Premier Attributes are a collection of parameters which have been developed by a global team of leading analytics experts.
Phil Nolan, Managing Director, Experian Credit Information, said, "Experian Account Review and Experian Premier Attributes have enabled hundreds of financial institutions to better manage credit limits; undertake credit risk screening for cross-selling new products and services; manage collections & recoveries and predict the propensity for additional borrowing."
"Cross selling and up-selling to the right set of existing customers can help Indian banks and NBFCs achieve their growth targets while better managing the risks associated with them."
The MLM company’s owners have a reputation in Pune for doing good social work and yet, the company is registered and operating from Coimbatore—and offers 30% monthly returns!
Add2Earn Advertisers India Pvt Ltd is the newest entrant in the multi-level marketing (MLM) game. These schemes have been on a rampage over the past few months. This scheme promises a whopping return of 30% per month. The irony is that the promoter of this MLM scheme has been providing emergency medical services in and around Pune since last year. Chaitanya Kumar Singh is the managing director of both Add2Earn and Everywhere Medical Services Pvt Ltd (EMS). Mr Singh and EMS have been offering emergency medical services under the banner of 'iCareLife' in Pune since August 2010. More about EMS and iCareLife later.
Coming back to the MLM scheme launched by Add2Earn, besides offering holiday packages under the pretext of buying reward points (RPs), the company is offering protein power food supplements and discounts on healthcare at Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital in Pune. What the company does not reveal is that the discounts being offered are part of the corporate discount structure of the hospital and available only on cash payments. In addition, it fails to clearly mention that in order to avail the holiday package, you have to make additional payment to the service provider, TravelPort Holidays India Pvt Ltd, a company based in Mumbai.
According to Whois database, information about the owners of both Add2Earn and EMS websites is hidden under the garb of 'privacy protection' for the sites to remain free from spam and phishing attacks. Since Add2Earn is an MLM company, one can understand its motive to hide behind such a garb, but why is EMS looking to keep the identity of its website owner under wraps?
Add2Earn offers a business plan from Rs7,000 to Rs1 lakh and gives rewards points (1RP=Rs50). A new entrant who pays Rs7,000 gets 140 RPs and two nights and three days hotel stay in India for one person. This can be utilised in one year. The new recruit is also provided a 'personality-development oriented' silver training program. Similarly, a person investing Rs1 lakh in the scheme would get 2,000 RPs, 2 nights and three days hotel stay at any international hotel for two persons and a 'diamond' personality-training program.
Add2Earn offers simple interest from 10% to 30%, depending on your investment, per month, for 20 months. This means a person who invests Rs7,000 would get Rs700 per month and a person who invests Rs1 lakh would receive Rs30,000 per month as monthly incentive. In addition, the company offers 20 to 100 ads every week and pays 0.3 RP (Rs15) for watching or viewing each of the ads. So the person who invested Rs7,000 would get Rs1,200 and the other who invested Rs1 lakh would receive Rs6,000 per month as RPs. In short, if you invested Rs7,000, then you would get Rs1,900 (Rs700+Rs1,200) every month. The company promises to pay Rs36,000 every month for the 'investor' who had invested Rs1 lakh, a whopping 36% return per month! It's a different matter that every other financial institution including all leading banks, are still struggling to pay 11% interest per year to depositors.
If you feel that an income of 36% is still not enough, Add2Earn provides you with a direct referral (binary) income of 10% of your investment, a common feature used by all MLM fraudsters. You will get all this income, provided that you watch all the ads. And in case you cannot watch them, then there is no problem-you will receive 5% incentive per month!
What is wrong with the plan?
This kind of earning and returns are not feasible or practical. Otherwise, you would have had people making a beeline to join this MLM scheme, instead of taking huge risks to increase wealth. In addition, there are several hidden terms and conditions in the holiday package. Some are so extreme that not even 1% of the investors would be able to meet these conditions. First thing, even after getting the holiday package as a reward for your investment in the scheme, you need to pay separate utility charges. This is mandatory and you will not get confirmation of your booking unless you pay the charges of Rs799 or Rs2,999 for domestic and international hotels, respectively. In case you are travelling abroad and want to use the offered package, the again it is mandatory to buy your visa, air tickets and forex from TravelPort Holidays, which is a partner of Add2Earn. You also need to inform TravelPort about your booking plans and give it a choice of three hotels and date. In case there is a mismatch, you would end up paying for everything.
Apart from the holiday package, details of other products are not available on Add2Earn's site.
EMS in Pune
In August 2010, EMS launched its iCareLife service in Pune to help people in need of urgent medical care. EMS charges Rs25 per month for this service and provides ambulance service, a credit of Rs50,000 on admission into a hospital, medical assistance of a doctor and nurse along with psychometric test, in case of any emergency.
Speaking with a local newspaper in October 2010, Mr Singh had said, "On an average, we receive 10-12 EMS calls per day. The maximum calls are from Nashik Phata and during the nighttime. We even attended calls from police, when their vehicles on duty were involved in accidents. Within two months of our launch, from August till date, we attended as many as 32,000 calls involving minor and major road accidents. The scenario of road accidents is really very serious."
Add2Earn and EMS are sister concerns and are owned or founded by Mr Singh. Although there is no mention of any owner on the Add2Earn site, according to its franchisee agreement (a copy of which is with Moneylife), Mr Singh is managing director and authorised signatory of the MLM company. One does wonder-why should a person providing a benevolent service get involved in an MLM fraud?