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Health Insurance in India is at a Tipping Point

Jun 2, 2017
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There is no denying the fact that the health insurance sector in India is on the cusp of a major shift, one that promises to change the way medical insurance is perceived in the country. In fact, 2016-17 saw record growth of 23.8% in the health cover business, which touched ₹30,765 crore, registering a steep hike from the ₹24,784 crore, as recorded in 2015-16. This fact comes courtesy data from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) as mentioned in a Times of India news report.

There are several tell-tale signs that point to a rising interest in the level of health insurance in India.

Rising Popularity of Health Insurance in India

It gives a sense of security – Once you have used an online calculator to arrive at the health insurance premium amount that will have to be earmarked to avail health cover, what will typically follow next is a genuine sense of security. It is because incurring out-of-pocket expenditure on health is often a deterrent for most people looking at hospitalisation and they will most like stall the decision to go for an expensive medical procedure. This was also demonstrated in a research titled Health and Morbidity (2004-2014), released by Brookings India, where it was noted that having insurance cover is highly correlated with being hospitalized.

Increasing medical expenditure – The ever-rising cost of medication and medical procedures in India is now being made worse by the influx of several lifestyle-related diseases. All of this is forcing many in the country to approach medical insurance with the seriousness it deserves. If you don’t want to fall under the burden of these escalating high health costs, consider using an health insurance calculator to plan your health cover expenditure.

The great urban and rural divide – While the rural areas in India are the beneficiaries of several state and central healthcare policies and programs from time to time, such as the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM), now rechristened the National Health Mission (NHM), the urban areas lack such privileges. Did you know that compared to a rural household, an urban household spends five times more on diagnostics, 2.6 times more on medicines and 2.4 times more on doctors’ fees, as per the Brookings India report cited above? The report goes on to add that the biggest difference between rural and urban areas has arisen from the increase in average expenditure on diagnostics per in-patient case, where urban households pay more than 73 per cent of what rural households pay.

Digitization is breaking stereotypes – One of the most common barriers to adoption when it comes to medical insurance in India has been the perceived notion that claims settlement is a tedious process. Propelled by an IRDAI recommendation, several insurers have started to make the claims process faster and more transparent than ever before by digitizing the entire process, as revealed in an article on The Hindu.

Taking the above points into consideration, health insurance in India is definitely on the verge of gaining widespread acceptance. So, if you haven’t already checked out an estimate on a medical insurance premium calculator, now is the time to do so.

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