IRDAI Chairman Mr T S Vijayan yesterday called for standardisation of hospital healthcare costs within a city, and suggested measures like introducing community group insurance products to reduce distribution costs.
He stressed that healthcare costs should be comparable at least locally or within a city, and at least among hospitals.
"This analysis could be done procedure-wise in a particular city to allow the insured to opt for a hospital of his choice," Mr Vijayan said at a health insurance conference.
He also said that the authenticity of claims by the insured could be verified through members of a community or group so that insurance companies would not be "unnecessarily burdened with fictitious claims".
He placed a premium on insurers making their policies simple and affordable for a wider reach so that these are accessible to the needy and the uninsured. Out-of-pocket payments by patients are currently estimated to be 62% of all healthcare costs, reported The New Indian Express.
Lauding the goal of achieving "inclusive, accessible and affordable health insurance by 2025", Mr Vijayan said: "To this could be added another aim, that of responsibility and responsiveness in the delivery of health insurance."
He said that the health insurance sector is growing at 27-30% a year and standalone health insurance companies are growing even faster at 45-46%. Still, health insurance penetration is 0.2%, so the market offers huge opportunity, he pointed out.