“There is No body to Check Rising Tariff in Hospitals”

New Delhi: Insurance sector regulator Irdai on Friday expressed concern over rising tariffs in hospitals and has planned to standardise charges for some medical procedures, an official said.

It has been noticed that rate of inflation of hospital charges at present is around 10-15 per cent and tariffs are being changed on a regular basis, Irdai member (non-life) T L Alamelu said here. “Hospitals keep on changing tariffs on a regular basis. There is no body to check that. The regulator does not allow insurance companies to raise premium every year though there is around 10-15 per cent inflation of hospital charges at present,” Alamelu said. There is a “mismatch”, she said at a programme, organised by Assocham.

“In this context, the General Insurance Council is in talks with the TPAs (third party administrators) to standardise charges for some procedures like cataract surgery and hysterectomy,” she said. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India is striving for standardisation of charges of medical procedures, she said, adding that it will take some time as this is a “tough challenge”. Currently, TPAs are being selected by the insurance companies, Alamelu said. “We plan to introduce a system in which people will have the liberty to choose their TPAs,” she said. Alamelu said the regulator is thinking to set up a health insurance forum for settlement of claims.

‎”All claims will be settled from this forum within a specific period of time,” she said. IRDAI is also planning to come out with a common health policy ‘Arogya Sanjeevani’ with standardised terms and conditions and every insurer has to offer this, she said. Alamelu said there has been a good growth in the health insurance industry for the last ten years. “From Rs 3,342 crore in 2006-07, collection of health insurance premium has increased to Rs 44,873 crore in 2018- 19,” she added.

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