Go Active to stay healthy 24/7

The mobile app can take charge of your health, says Ashish Mehrotra

Ashish Mehrotra, MD & CEO, Max Bupa, in an interview, talks about the changes that have swept the health industry and how the company’s new product, Go Active, can make a difference.

What are the key changes seen in the health insurance industry in terms of products over the last five years?

The health insurance industry has grown at 20-23 per cent CAGR, a fairly sizeable growth. The large part of this growth was driven by increased awareness and improved features. Early entrants, including people like us, have also played a significant role.

One key change was the introduction of lifelong renewability. Max Bupa, in its first product itself, ensured that the customer gets lifelong continuity and renewability, which later became law. Two was the comprehensive coverages. Of the total spends on healthcare, what is covered in-hospitalisation expenses, which obviously constitutes a large portion when one has a health problem. But a chunk of expenses is also on daily care, which insurers cover now. It is in this regard, products such as Go Active come with a lot of innovation. So, these are the few significant shifts, but the big change that is waiting to happen is the Ayushman Bharat — the much-needed plan for people to get access to health.

What will be the structure of the Ayushman Bharat plan? How will it work?

The Centre has outlined the framework for the policy. It will be offered by the State governments. There is a lot of work in progress on their side with regard to pricing, the package, the network hospitals, and so on.

Insurance companies are being engaged to share feedback and experiences from the erstwhile RSPY scheme. The features of the product will be decided by the government for a cover of up to ₹5 lakh. The scheme is expected to drive awareness that will have a direct implication on the country’s mortality, GDP and other growth drivers.

On the life insurance side, there is a big jump in online sales; how is it on the health insurance side?

There is a significant shift on the health side too. If you consider Max Bupa, almost 25-30 per cent of our volume is through the electronic platform. We have also automated and made things really simple; 70-75 per cent of our applications come in electronically. Our own application — Insta Insure —– which our agents and bank partners use, also brings in a good number of applications.

In one of our partnerships with banks, we have created a very simple platform called Saral. Here, the bank teller punches the requisite details, gets the data and policy is issued to the customer within a few minutes. Similarly, we moved a step forward when we launched Go Active early this year. Though everybody can take this product, it is specifically targeted at the youth. We made a paradigm shift from taking care of hospitalisation expenses to being an active member in driving wellness. This digital product has a built-in health coach that gives an early age discount for the rest of your life; it also has an inflation protection — the sum insured increases every year without any cap.

What is the innovation in Go Active?

One, it has fundamentally changed the way insurance was being offered and, second, it encourages younger people to buy the product. If you are below 35, you get a 10 per cent discount for the rest of your life.

Go Active is the first product of this kind in the market. We are seeing many people buying the product. All this is significantly changing the way health insurance is perceived; now, with a mobile application, you can take charge of your health on a 24-hours basis, wherever you are.

How have you taken the digital drive forward?

We did not have the expertise on the digital platform. So, we have got the best of the health tech company to partner with us. GOQii, which probably has the lion share in the Indian market (about 22 per cent on the devices), has partnered with us. They provide coaching services. Practo has given us access to a large number of doctors. Then we have 1MG which specialises in pathology and diagnostic tests..

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