You can now buy comprehensive health cover with just a click, and that too at a price reflective of the healthcare costs of your city.

Max Bupa Health Insurance had on Tuesday launched a ‘unique’ online product — Health@companion —which offers a tiered price structure, under which customers pay premium as per their city of residence.

Unique proposition

Customers living in non-metro cities will pay a lower premium, reflective of the healthcare costs in that area. These customers need not pay for higher healthcare costs in metros that they may rarely use, said Manasije Mishra, Chief Executive Officer of Max Bupa.

“This is a significant step in the Indian health insurance market and creates unique proposition. It brings fantastic value to customers by leveraging technology and insights around healthcare costs in different parts of the country”, he said.

Zone-wise pricing

For Health@Companion, the company has introduced zone-wise pricing — an industry first.

The country has been divided into three zones — the first comprising eight metros, the second comprising State Capitals and the third, all other cities.

“We have priced the product based on where the customer stays. This is an industry first. We don’t restrict customer choice, as he still has a choice in getting treatment from wherever he wants in India,” Mishra said.

A customer can buy Health@Companion at three different price points, but only from www.maxbupa.com and not from other offline distribution channels like branches or agents.

Mishra said the company is unlocking value for customers through Health@companion in three ways — passing on the savings achieved through use of technology (online sales), allowing zone-wise pricing and providing added discount for a two-year policy term.

Premium amount

Giving an example of a 25-year-old customer buying this product with a sum insured of Rs 2 lakh, Mishra said the premium would work out to Rs 2,263 if the customer is living in a metro, Rs 2,037 in a State Capital and about Rs 1,800 for other cities.

In India, 90 per cent of spending on healthcare is self-funded. This is true for poor people as it is for the rich. In this backdrop, there is good demand for health insurance products.

Mishra said Max Bupa, which was about three years old, would focus on growth and quality of service for now.

Srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on January 23, 2013)
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