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Differential pricing policy launched by Max Bupa

Max Bupa launches a health policy Health@Companion, which can be purchased online also, a differential rate policy, wherein premium is based on the area in which the buyer of policy stays. This policy has a three – tiered rate wherein customers living in metros will pay the highest premium, and then comes the state capitals and finally the remaining part of the country. The premium will be less for policy holder residing in Tier II and Tier III cities. This policy is particularly useful for individuals living in non-metros. Other insurance companies, including PSU insurers, charge a flat rate to all customers. Incidentally, even for metro customers, the Health@Companion premium is lower than that charged by other insurers. There is another 10% discount if a policy is purchased for two-year.

Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Ltd. (Max Bupa) is a joint venture between Max India Limited and the UK based healthcare services expert, Bupa. The company's premium income has shot up 74.3% to Rs 104.67 crore between April and November 2012 compared to Rs 60 crore during the same period of the previous year. The overall health insurance industry has grown by around 12% during the same period.

According to Mr. Manasije Mishra, CEO of Max Bupa Health Insurance, lower charges for Tier II and Tier III cities reflects the lower cost of health care in those areas as compared to metros. For example a 25-year-old living in Delhi will pay Rs 2,263 a year for a cover of Rs 2 lakh. If he was living in Chandigarh, a tier II city, he would pay Rs 2,037. But if he was in Agra, a tier III city, the premium would be only Rs 1,811.

This policy also has a unique feature wherein a policy holder may be living in small city but can avail health care services anywhere in the country.  Further if a policy holder shift his residence from small city to metro city have to uprade his policy by way of making upgradation charge.

The lower premium rate offered is eye-catching for small cities but disclosing untrue information can put the claim in risk. In cases where policy is purchased online and no medical health check up is required, order to identify the correctness of the address given by the policy holder for availing a discount rate, the company will verify the residential status at the time of filing of claim. 

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