News eDaily08 Aug 2018

India:Lack of awareness, affordability and low understanding hampers health insurance growth

08 Aug 2018

The IRDAI is pushing for simpler products and greater usage of technology to increase the number of people covered by health insurance plans.

“Low risk awareness, lack of affordability and low understanding of insurance products—these are some of the reasons why health insurance has not picked up so well even though the growth rate is high for the higher income group as a whole,” said Mr Subhash Chandra Khuntia who became IRDAI chairman in May. He was speaking at the Health Insurance Summit organised last week by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

“There should be simplification and rationalisation of health insurance products so that they are understood by the common people,” he said.

The IRDAI moves aim too to make the central government's ambitious Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) more accessible.

The insurance regulator will work with health insurance companies under the public-private partnership model to implement AB-NHPM, popularly known as Modicare named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“With the increase in life expectancy in the country, the need for improving insurance penetration and coverage is paramount,” Mr Khuntia said.

“The focus should be to make the process online, enhance use of technology, and increase awareness and understanding about insurance products.”

Standardised and simple products under AB-NHPM would reduce cost, increase efficiency and expand the coverage of the health insurance sector, he said.

AB-NHPM aims to cover around 100m families comprising about 500m people.

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