Insurance Shares Surge after Announcement of National Cover Plan

The shares of insurance companies such as SBI Life Insurance, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company (ICICI Pru) and HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company have experienced a big spike in value after the announced of the 2018 budget. Share prices soared by around 9 percent on BSE in intra-day trade closely after the Union Budget for 2018-19 was announced.

The scheme will provide each family with cover worth RS 500,000 for medical reimbursements under the National Health Protection Scheme. Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley said that the plan will seek to protect 500 million people and will go down as the world’s largest health protection scheme.

“We will launch a flagship National Health Protection Scheme to cover over 100 million poor and vulnerable families (approximately 500 million beneficiaries) providing coverage up to Rs 50 million per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization,” the finance minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech for FY 2019, said.

The program will be the world’s largest healthcare program funded by the government and Jaitley promised to oversee a smooth implementation process and adequate funding for the program.

Among the individual stocks, SBI Life Insurance has rallied 9% to Rs 721 on BSE in intra-day trade. HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company up 4% to Rs 445, while ICICI Pru up 3% at Rs 420 on BSE, as compared to 0.59% gain in the S&P BSE Sensex at 01:50 PM.

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