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Star Health launches insurance policy for rural India

Eying the giant rural market, Star Health Insurance has launched insurance policies for rural India.

Registering a humongous compound annual growth of rate of 36 percent over last five years, the health insurance provider company Star Health Insurance plans to open 300 more outlets across India, focusing on the hinterlands of the country.

Rural areas are facing poor healthcare infrastructure, health services and tremendous shortage of doctors. The public sector healthcare facilities such as public health centres and community health centres are the only option in the villages. In this circumstance, this move, which would attract private players, is seen as a booster for providing healthcare services in the remote areas of the country.

“Our innovative products, easier settlement and highest hospital network for cashless treatment have made our company the fastest growing among the standalone health insurance companies,” says V Jagannathan, CMD of the company.

It currently has 720 branches and close to 6,600 network hospitals across the country. With the proposed branches, it will become a 1,000-branch network, and will double this number in the next financial year.

To coincide with its expansion plan, it will launch a rural healthcare policy - Star Care- with an annual premium of less than Rs 2,000 for an insured sum of Rs 100,000 per annum. As an added advantage, if the insured is admitted to a government hospital, the company will pay Rs 1,000 a day for the insured during the period of hospitalisation.

“At a time when average annual health insurance premium hovers around Rs 7,000, we hope, will be well received in the market,” Jagannathan added.

For the year 2013-14, the company registered gross premium collection of Rs 1,090 Crore, up from Rs 860 Crore in the previous year. With Rs 552 Crore topline so far this year, Star Health leads the pack of standalone health insurance companies. In addition to the organic growth, 32,138 policyholders migrated to Star Health from other insurance companies so far this year while the outward migration stands at 6,692.

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