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IRDAI Removes Age Limit and Enhances Coverage in Health Insurance Policies

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has made a significant move by eliminating the age limit of 65 years for purchasing health insurance policies. This change, effective from April 1, aims to provide comprehensive healthcare coverage to senior citizens and broaden the insurance market.

Previously, individuals were restricted to buying new insurance policies only until the age of 65, as per the regulatory guidelines. However, with this latest decision, IRDAI hopes to ensure that individuals can secure adequate protection against healthcare expenses, regardless of their age.

In a recent gazette notification, IRDAI stated, "insurers shall ensure that they offer health insurance products to cater to all age groups." Insurers are now encouraged to design products specifically tailored for senior citizens, students, children, maternity, and any other group specified by the Competent Authority.

Moreover, insurers are now required to offer health policies to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions of any kind. They are also prohibited from denying policies to individuals with severe medical conditions such as cancer, heart or renal failure, and AIDS.

In addition to these changes, IRDAI has directed companies to allow policyholders to pay premiums in instalments for their convenience. This move is aimed at making health insurance more accessible and manageable for policyholders.

Furthermore, the notification states that there is no limit on coverage for AYUSH treatments. Treatments under systems like Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy will receive coverage up to the sum insured without any cap.

Policyholders with benefit-based policies are now able to file multiple claims with various insurers, providing them with greater flexibility and options.

Lastly, IRDAI has announced the establishment of a dedicated platform to handle complaints and claims of senior citizens. This initiative is expected to streamline the process and ensure that senior citizens receive prompt and efficient service from insurance companies.

Overall, these changes are expected to significantly improve the accessibility and affordability of health insurance for senior citizens and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, while also enhancing the overall efficiency and customer experience in the insurance sector.

Source - The times of India and The Hindu.



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