Sunday, January 22, 2012

Star Health announces Rs 600 cr loss in premium

Chennai: City-based health insurance provider Star Health and Allied Insurance has reported a Rs 600 crore loss in premium this fiscal as the AIADMK government has scrapped the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme managed by the company, a top official of the firm said today.
Star Health and Allied Insurance had emerged as the successful bidder for the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme, a pet project of then Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi. The scheme was aimed at benefiting below poverty line families.
However, as soon as Chief Minister Jayalalithaa assumed office in May, 2011, the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme was scrapped and an improved insurance cover with additional benfits announced. The new scheme was bagged by another city-based insurance provider.
A sum of Rs 600 crore in total premium was impacted this year, Star Health and Allied Insurance CMD V Jagannathan told reporters after unveiling the upgraded version of the company's 'Family Health Optima' insurance plan.
Jagannathan said in Andhra Pradesh, the company bagged the state government-sponsored 'Aarogyasri Community Health Insurance Scheme' for providing quality health care to BPL families. However, it had lost this insurance scheme as there were not many takers and the company lost Rs 200 crore on the total premium.
A company official, on condition of anonymity, said the impact was big as many did not prefer to renew the insurance scheme. "Selecting a scheme is their choice. Similarly, rejecting a scheme is also based on their interest," she said.
On the company's target for this year, Jagannathan said it would remain "flat", with around Rs 1,200 crore in total premium collections this fiscal.
On future plans, he said the company plans to launch a "high-end" health insurance product targeted at elite individuals. "After getting approval from IRDA, we may introduce it this year itself...," he said.
In Madurai, company Vice-President A M Mallesh told reporters the firm also plans to focus on northeastern states.
Tamil Nadu accounted for one-third of the premium collections in the country, he added.

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