Cashless Treatment For All Insurers Regardless of Hospital Empanelment

Dhaneshwar Prasad

Patients insured by any company can now get cashless treatment at any hospital across India, even if the hospital is not on the insurer’s panel. This pathbreaking initiative allows policyholders the freedom of choosing any hospital for treatment without having to pay upfront and claim later.

The General Insurance Council (GIC) announced the ‘Cashless Everywhere’ campaign on Wednesday, February 1st, 2024. The initiative aims to reduce the financial burden on policyholders during medical emergencies.

GIC Chairman Shri Tapan Singhal explained that currently, cashless facilities are restricted to around 40,000 empaneled hospitals. If a patient goes to a non-network hospital, they must pay the entire bill upfront and file for reimbursement later. This causes delays and inconvenience.

But under ‘Cashless Everywhere,’ if a policyholder gets admitted to any hospital registered under the Clinical Establishment Act and with a minimum capacity of 15 beds, the insurer will directly settle the bill.

Here’s How The Facility Will Work:

  • The patient can inform the insurer about the admission within 48 hours before or after getting hospitalized.
  • The insurer will check the policy coverage and hospital credentials. If everything is in order, cashless approval will be provided.
  • The hospital can then treat the patient without demanding advance payment. The insurer will directly pay the hospital as per policy limits.
  • Patients will no longer need to run around arranging funds or later following up for claim settlement.

There are around 50,000 reasonably large hospitals across India. Even if not on an insurer’s panel, they can now provide cashless service if policyholders inform their insurer in time. This takes away a major pain point and provides immense relief to policyholders in medical emergencies.

Tapan Singhal of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance stated that the Council aims to continuously improve services and bring positive changes benefiting policyholders. ‘Cashless Everywhere’ is one such initiative that can vastly improve customer experience.

This development will be welcomed by policyholders as it expands their choice of hospitals significantly. Experts also feel it may potentially improve the quality of treatment as hospitals compete for insurer partnerships and customers empowered with cashless choice.

For insurers, this initiative can raise brand perception and trust. Policyholders relieved of financial stress during emergencies will remember the supporting insurer positively.

The Council plans to run an awareness campaign so customers understand this benefit clearly. As per GIC, all non-life insurers will implement this over the next few months.

So if you hold a mediclaim policy, you can now simply inform your insurer and walk into any hospital – small or big, empaneled or not – and avail cashless treatment hassle-free! This takes the customer experience with health insurance to the next level.

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Former Sony professional turned multi-business owner and stock investor, Dhaneshwar leverages his MBA to produce market, IPO and biz content and personal investments on
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