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This September, Mumbai-based IT services firm iGATE Patni allowed its employees to include their live-in partners for health insurance benefits. Within a month, 36 employees filed such requests. A declaration by the employee and details of the partner were the only requirements to avail a health insurance cover of Rs 2.5 lakh each.   Only the spouse or immediate family were...

Prudential Financial Inc.'s PRU -2.18%  third-quarter profit rose 29% in its financial services business on a jump in premiums, as a surge in realized investment gains countervailed much higher insurance and annuity benefits.   However, its operating earnings, which exclude investment effects, dropped more than expected.   Shares were down 3.1% at $52 after hours.   Adjusted ...

Four years ago, I bought a Rs5 lakh health plan from a life insurance company. I recently learnt that life insurers only give benefit plans and not health cover. What is the difference? Should I exit? General insurance companies offer indemnity health plans that cover medical expenses. Few life insurers offer such policies. They mostly offer benefit plans such as hospital cash...

The festive season and splendour of Diwali brings to mind beautifully decorated and illuminated homes sparkling with diyas, stores full of exciting new merchandise beckoning eager shoppers with exciting offers, with the silence being frequently broken by the chirpy sounds of fire crackers. Occasionally we are saddened to read about unfortunate and unnecessary casualties in this...

The penetration of medical insurance is extremely low at ~ 15% (including all types of insurance - Central Government Health Scheme, Employee State Insurance, Group Health, Individual Health etc). There are concerted efforts initiated by Government as well as Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) to improve the reach of health insurance to all sections of the society...