Star Health focuses on specialty cover

Launches product for heart-related ailments

The enormous rise in the incidence of non-communicable diseases has made standalone health insurance company Star Health to focus on ‘specialty cover’. The company has launched a specific product for heart patients and is looking at cancer care.

Star Health Cardiac Care is a product specifically meant for individuals who have undergone angioplasty and bypass surgery. The first of its kind product will cover all the ailments of the patients, including heart-related ones.

According to V Jagannathan, CMD of Star Health and Allied Insurance, around five lakh procedures of angioplasty, stenting and bypass surgeries are performed in the country every year. “The procedures leave a heavy financial burden on the patients and none of the existing health policies cover them for future ailments. The new product will cover over all heart-related an unrelated ailments of these patients,” he said.

For Rs 3 lakh and Rs 4 lakh sum insured, the premium starts from Rs 18,000 per annum. The premium is around 20 per cent higher than that of the usual health products of the company. The company targets Rs 50 crore premium income from the product in the first financial year and expects the claim ratio of be around 70 per cent.

Star Health is also planning to introduce a similar product for cancer patients. It already has products for diabetic patients and AIDS patients.

Another focus area for the company is the retail segment. Of the premium income of Rs 900 crore in the previous financial year, Rs 770 crore came from the retail segment. From Rs 502 crore in 2011-12, the retail segment has made a 53 per cent growth. The company with a capital base of Rs 549 crore also had recently received Rs 110 crore investment from Tata Capital Growth Fund. With an additional Rs 10 crore, the VC fund will pick up 14 per cent stake in the company and the promoters’ holding will come down from around 56 per cent to 48 per cent.