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IVRS, website & app help ManipalCigna customers

Insurer launches videos inspired by real life customer stories to encourage people to gain a greater sense of control over their physical and financial health:

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, ManipalCigna Health Insurance has set as its first priority protection of the health and well-being of its employees, customers, partners and communities. The weeks prior to the lockdown, the company provided face masks to every employee and increased the frequency of office cleaning. It also ensured that hand sanitizer is made available in various parts of its offices. Besides, it also introduced checking of body temperature of employees and customers, told employees to hold all travel plans and advised those who came back from assignments abroad to stay back at home for 14 days. The company has also deployed necessary infrastructure and introduced processes to ensure safety and security of workforce and deliver on its promises to the customers.

Says Prasun Sikdar, MD & CEO of the company: “In the first instance, we ensured that our customer service and online policy purchase can be accessible digitally and on phone from the comfort of homes. Our robust business continuity plan enables our staff to work from home as effectively as they can from the office and ensures that our business continues seamlessly. We have also set up a cross functional committee to monitor health and safety of our employees and their families and the team is constantly monitoring and sharing timely advisories.”

The company has set up ‘Doctor on Call’ facility to protect its employees’ health and wellbeing, through which the employees can access the best healthcare advice whether about COVID-19 or any other ailment. Sikdar says this facility has been created specifically for all the employees, including their family, and can be availed free of charge from the comfort of their homes.


Sikdar has made it a practice to interact with his employees as frequently as possible as he feels that working from home has its own challenges, especially in terms of physical and mental health. “Recently I did a virtual coffee session on video conference app with our various functional heads and all the senior team members where each one shared their experiences of how they have effectively managed with work from home. I encourage my team members to be as flexible and creative as possible in coming up with a work arrangement that both meets the needs of the business and accommodates any limitations, they might have due to having their children or dependents in the home.”

Digital Initiatives

ManipalCigna took a number of immediate actions after lockdown to accelerate its digital platforms to maintain business and service continuity for its customers while ensuring the health and safety of its employees. Most of its employees are VPN laptop users, hence, there was no requirement for additional set-up. Sikdar says for the other few employees, the company installed corporate desktop computers at their homes. Also, to service the existing policyholders and potential customers well during this crisis it enabled its call centre staff to take customer calls from their homes. Further the sales team has been using short WhatsApp videos to explain product benefits for sales pitches.

The company is also in constant engagement with its employees and interacts with them through video calls and video conferences, while they work from home. Internal team meetings are conducted virtually through its online meeting tools.

The company has a strong business continuity plan in place and does not see any operational impact on account of this to its customers. Its team has also been focused on optimizing the customer experience and doing its best to assure customers that the company is with them digitally 24×7 to provide uninterrupted essential service from the comfort of their homes. Further, to respond to frequently asked questions, it has released COVID-19 related information on its website for enquires and online services like premium payment, claims settlement, policy renewals, buy policy online etc and updating takes place on a continuous basis.

Says Sikdar: “True to our customer-first philosophy, we are constantly in touch with our policyholders through emails and SMS to share relevant information. Through our owned social media assets, we are offering helpful, relevant product and service information. Also, inspired by real life customer stories, we have launched a new digital campaign ‘Health ke saath, health insurance zaroori hai’ to encourage people to gain a greater sense of control over their physical and financial health. The three newly launched 20 seconds videos are built on the consumer belief that people are health-wise infallible – not likely to fall sick, and that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying active was all they needed to stay fit and healthy.”

The truth of the matter is that there are some unforeseen situations like the pandemic spreading across the world and people would need hospitalization in spite taking the best of the precautions. Says Sikdar: “Based on the consumer insight is the thought of ‘Health ke saath, health insurance zaroori hai.’ Our 3 films perfectly encapsulate stories of people facing a worrying dilemma of unavoidable health situation and reinforces the fact that along with healthy habits, health insurance in essential to prepare for uncertain illnesses in the future and enhance the financial well-being.”

Usage of Apps, Platforms

Generally, every year the health insurance industry witnesses a higher growth in sale of policies before the end of the financial year to save tax. Prasun reveals: “As compared to March 2019, the sale of health insurance policies in March 2020 has also increased by 10%. Over the last one month, we have also seen a rise in online queries and sales for health insurance covers as the number of COVID-19 positive cases started growing. Thus, to ensure seamless services and support to our customers we have expanded our digital operations and ramped up the tele-medical services to on-board the new customers digitally.

Digital platforms are helping ManipalCigna’s customers to renew policies, generate claim status, and buy health insurance policies online from the safety and comfort of their homes. Sikdar says during the lockdown there has been an increasing number of policyholders transacting on the IVRS self-service tool and using the digital assets like website and the claims app for assistance regarding claims settlement, policy renewal and other necessary policy related information.

Settling Claim Digitally

Prasun elaborates: “Our claim process is digitally enabled, and we have taken steps to prioritize the assessment of claims related to the treatment of Covid-19 and will be claimable to the full extent of the coverage available under our health insurance plans as per the terms and conditions of the policy contract. For cashless claim services and for all emergency hospitalization, our policyholders can get in touch with the hospital TPA desk to initiate the cashless process. Our e-cashless facility allows customers to raise a cashless request for planned hospitalization. The policyholders can also give a missed call on the number given at our website and they will receive an SMS to download the link, using which they can login to our claims app and avail e-cashless facility.”

Policyholders can also upload scanned claim documents using the app or by logging onto claims website to initiate the claim reimbursement in a hassle-free manner.

Affordable Premium

ManipalCigna has tried to ensure that quality healthcare remains accessible and affordable to millions of people, especially in rural India. It has recently launched a new product ‘Arogya Sanjeevani ManipalCigna’ policy, in line with IRDAI’s guidelines for a standard health cover policy. “The product is good choice for the first-time health insurance buyers in India, especially for those living in similar towns as it provides an essential health cover of Rs100,000 to Rs500,000 at an affordable premium rates,” says Sikdar, adding: “The product offers medical treatment of illnesses and injuries requiring in-patient hospitalization including for infectious diseases like COVID-19 or similar such diseases and also provides cover for listed modern treatments and procedures.”

Tie-ups with Banks, NBFCs

ManipalCigna is also focusing on increasing access through multi-channel distribution architecture, wherein, each of its distribution channels enables it to increase its market reach including in tier II and tier III cities. Sikdar says the company has built a strong multi-distribution network of over 20,000 agents, 250+ major brokers, 46 branch offices and it is present in over 7000 point of sales locations across the country through our distribution network. Further, it has tie-ups with over 30 NBFCs, MFIs and corporate agents and 9 leading banks including Bank of Maharashtra, South Indian Bank, Andhra Bank, Saraswat Bank and Lakshmi Vilas Bank among others for distributing health insurance solutions. Besides, it has a network of over 6500 trusted hospitals across cities including tier 1 and 2 cities and smaller towns in India.

The other bank partners are Shamrao Vithal Cooperative Bank, Vidharbha Konkan Gramin Bank, Apna Sahakari Bank and Jankalyan Sahakari Bank. Among its NBFC partners are Indiabulls, Fullerton, Finance Buddha, Geojit, Bluechip, IIFL Wealth, Swadhaar FinServe, Hindusthan Microfinance, Manappuram and Cashpor Micro Credit.

Covid Claims Settlement

Sikdar reveals that the company has so far settled claims for 11 COVID-19 positive cases and settled an additional 15 suspected cases. “We are ensuring that all claims related to positive COVID-19 cases are assessed and processed on a priority basis,” says he.

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