The IRDAI is set to launch a consultation on allowing medical diagnostic centres and pharmacies to sell health insurance, as they are the first touch points for all wellness and health related matters across the country.
A senior IRDAI official said, "To allow insurance products at diagnostic centres and medical stores, a consultation paper will be issued soon. Only a few basic health insurance products would be allowed to be offered in order to avoid mis-selling of insurance and rules would be on the lines of MISP (motor insurance service providers) regulations of auto dealers."
Insurance companies will sign partnerships with diagnostic centres and medical stores, which would need to register as health insurance service providers. Their personnel would be mandated to go through basic insurance product training, according to a report in the Daily News & Analysis newspaper.
"Sale of insurance products will go up and more opportunities will come. But concern over mis-selling is there as the person selling the products should have basic insurance knowledge. But surely, it will help in Tier Three and Four cities," Mr Puneet Sahni, head-product development of SBI General Insurance, said.
Mr A Velumani, chairman and MD of Thyrocare Technologies, said, "There are 100,000 laboratories in the country. When people are unwell, they listen to us carefully; that will give them the opportunity to understand and buy a medical policy."