Money & Banking

Covid-19 claims register marginal decline: Insurers

Mumbai | Updated on February 17, 2021 Published on February 17, 2021

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Medical costs and insurance claims for Covid-19 treatment seem to have declined in recent months, with treatment costs now largely standardised and better management of the infection.

According to insurers, the average claim amount is now at about ₹1 lakh for Covid-19 hospitalisation, compared to the previous ₹1.3 lakh to ₹2 lakh.

“Covid-19 claims have gone down from what it was initially. In the initial days, the average size went up to ₹2 lakh, but it has been consistently coming down... At the industry-level, it is in the range of ₹1 lakh. For us, the average size is ₹1.25 lakh to ₹1.3 lakh as our product has no constraints. We do all our underwriting at the sales time,” said Anurag Rastogi, President, Chief Actuary and Chief Underwriting Officer, HDFC Ergo General Insurance.

Rastogi attributed this to various reasons. “The government has intervened, different State governments have fixed that maximum ceiling and insurance companies have been working with hospitals to rationalise the costs. The hospital industry has been very supportive. The General Insurance Council has been working with hospital associations and IMA so that common customers are not inconvenienced,” he told BusinessLine.

Treatment costs

Sanjay Datta, Chief, Underwriting, Claims and Reinsurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, said overall, the per case treatment costs have remained the same or gone down slightly.

“The treatment has improved and not everyone who is getting Covid is getting hospitalised. More and more people with mild symptoms are isolating at home. Second, those who are going to the hospital are going at a stage when it is managed better. So, there are less cases of people going to ICUs or being put on ventilators. In terms of hospitalisation costs, doctors are now getting specific only tests done now,” he noted.

An industry expert, too, said that average cost now is at ₹1 lakh, or even marginally lower for Covid-19 hospitalisation. “This was at about ₹1.2 lakh to ₹1.3 lakh earlier,” he noted.

A second wave

The lower daily caseload has also brought some respite, but insurers say they are prepared for a possible second wave.

Sky-rocketing Covid-19 treatment costs, with bills for some patients reportedly touching ₹10 lakh, had proved to be a significant concern for patients and families and insurance companies. The General Insurance Council had even brought out an indicative list of treatment costs in an attempt to rationalise hospital charges.

According to industry sources, about ₹12,500 crore of Covid-related medical claims have been filed, of which, nearly ₹7,500 crore have been settled.

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Published on February 17, 2021
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