Star Health to raise Rs.300 crore fresh capital

Chennai, Oct 14 (IANS) Stand-alone health insurer Star Health And Allied Insurance Company Ltd is planning to raise around Rs.300 crore from a private equity investor by the end of this fiscal, said a senior official on Wednesday.

“As per our business target, we may need around Rs.300 crore as additional capital by the end of this financial year. We are planning to raise it from a new private equity investor,” Star Health’s executive director S. Prakash told reporters here.

He said none of the existing investors in the Rs.362 crore equity based insurer are planning to take the exit route as the company is doing well.

Founded in 2006, Star Health is a joint venture between leading Indian businessmen, ICICI Ventures Funds Management, Sequoia Capital, Tata Capital Growth Fund, Alpha TC Holdings Pte Ltd, Singapore and Oman Insurance company UAE.

“We are targeting a premium of around Rs.1,900 crore this year up from around Rs.1,472 crore earned last fiscal,” Prakash said.

Queried about the new insurance covers proposed by the Star Health he said the company plans to cover bariatric surgery, pain management therapies and is in the process of designing a top-up policy-additional cover over a basic policy.

“Bariatric surgery cannot be termed as cosmetic surgery as obese person runs the risk of getting other ailments like heart, diabetes and others,” Prakash said.

“It will be better to allow the person to undergo the bariatric surgery so that he is healthy rather than facing the risk of paying claims for other ailments that he may contract,” he added.

According to him, Star Health’s focus is on retail customers as group insurance policies are not profitable.

He said the health insurance portfolio is logging a healthy growth and soon the total premium may cross the premium earned from insuring motor vehicles.

He said government owned non-life insurers and stand alone health insurers are logged growth in the health insurance portfolio last year whereas the private non-life players are not.

According to him the total health insurance premium earned by the industry was around Rs.20,443 crore during 2014-15 and is expected to touch Rs.55,000 crore by 2020.

He said standardisation of rates by hospitals would be helpful for the common man and would enable the growth of health care service providers and also the insurers.

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