Citibank and Apollo Munich provide over 16 million households with health insurance services

These NCDs have high prevalence rates, of which around 50% occur in the urban middle class and rich strata of society in India

March 21, 2014 10:29 IST | India Infoline News Service
Citibank India and Apollo Munich announced they will provide specialized health care services to cater to India’s urban emerging affluent and affluent customers of over 16 million households across eight cities, growing at 9% annually.

Citibank India, amongst the leading distributors of wealth management products in 2013, will now offer a complete suite of specialized health care solutions from Apollo Munich to its clients across emerging affluent, affluent, high net-worth and non-resident Indians. These services will combine financial protection as well as health & lifestyle management support for non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancers and tumors. These NCDs have high prevalence rates, of which around 50% occur in the urban middle class and rich strata of society in India.

Shobana Kamineni, Director, Apollo Munich Health Insurance said, “India is hit by the double whammy of high incidence rates of communicable diseases, along with a rising burden of chronic diseases. Our lifestyles have drastically changed over the last few decades. Due to sedentary habits, erratic working hours and growing stress, it is a challenge to adopt healthy lifestyles. The direct outcome is a significant increase in so-called lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. We are not only plagued by diseases of the developing nations, but are increasingly being plagued by the problems of the Western World.”

Besides NCD management, India’s health insurance industry has to also address the high level of unfunded expenditure. McKinsey estimates indicated the country’s health expenditure at approximately INR 3 trillion or 4.0% of the GDP, of which out-of-pocket spends contributed to a high 61% of total health care expenditure. Separately, India’s health insurance premium market grew by 16.57% to approximately INR 157 billion in FY12/13 per Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, indicating a low level of penetration relative to health expenditure.

“The higher out-of-pocket expenditure of around 61% incurred by consumers to address medical and health needs, coupled with around 38% of emerging affluent without health insurance, demonstrates the potential to serve this segment. As a consumer’s income rises, so does his or her confidence to invest in specialized health services. This partnership with Apollo Munich will provide our clients with innovative and specialized health care solutions,” said Kartik Kaushik, Deputy Country Business Manager, Global Consumer Bank, Citibank India.

Health insurance policies today need to serve the financial requirements of a customer as well as provide comprehensive medical management. Per internal studies conducted in the last quarter of 2013, four out of five emerging affluent and affluent consumers are optimistic of their financial future. They are motivated by a desire to live and provide a comfortable life to their families and want programs that help them guard against medical emergency needs. Apollo Munich, a partnership between Apollo Hosiptals group, the largest hosiptal group in Asia and Munich Health, a global health insurance provider, specialize in delivering programs that combine protection with preventive healthcare to lead a healthy and quality lifestyle.

Antony Jacob, CEO, Apollo Munich Health Insurance said, “The needs of the urban mass affluent and affluent segments are significantly underserved. Only 20% of the urban population has some form of health insurance. At present, there is no comprehensive solution available in the market that provides integrated financial protection and health & lifestyle management solutions. Citibank’s enviable distribution capabilities and wealth management expertise, together with Apollo Munich’s unmatched healthcare and health financing expertise is the ideal partnership to address this sizeable opportunity.”

Ashish Mehrotra, Retail Bank Head, Citibank India said, “We provide innovative financial solutions to our clients, based on our deep insights in their patterns of saving, protecting and investing their wealth. Through this partnership, we are addressing the health insurance needs of the emerging affluent and affluent segments, leveraging our strong digital banking and client centric relationship management approach.”

Citi, with close to 600 branches in the region, operates Asia’s leading retail bank with over 33 million retail accounts. In 2013, Asia generated 27% of Citi’s net income, making the region the largest for the bank outside of North America. Citi continued to invest across the 18 markets in which it operates in the region including making important progress on the goal to be Asia’s leading digital bank.

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