Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Health insurance in India

Health insurance in India: "But why are insurers jostling for space in the health segment? The potential premium in the Indian health insurance sector is estimated to be Rs 1,000 billion. 'Health insurance is hot and happening,' says Elizabeth M. Keim, former president of American Society for Quality, who is working with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in insurance. Public sector general insurers—New India Assurance, National Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company—command about 80 per cent of the health insurance market. But they do not offer cashless settlement of hospital bills or tie-ups with health care providers. About 76 per cent of the population pays for medical expenses from its own pocket, often wiping out family savings at one stroke. Only 20 per cent of the population is covered by health insurance.
In 2004-2005, health insurance premium collections amounted to Rs 2,000 crore which, in comparison with the total health care spend at around Rs 60,000 crore, pales into insignificance. Health cover premiums, however, account for less than 1 per cent of total premiums for life insurers and 10 per cent for general insurers of total premiums but it is an idea whose time seems to have come. Per capita health care spend in India is just $32 as against $5,365 in the US and $3,036 in the UK in 2004."
Someone is going to be making a lot of money by tapping this segment - let's hope they provide good value for money !

1 comment:

  1. Health Insurance in India are rather Medical Insurance. They focus only on tersiary care of emergent nature. Common man's needs of coverage of his day to day illnesses and preexisiting diseases remain unaddressed. We do need innovative efforts to launch heathcare insurance like NHS. Small successful efforts like 'Yashaswini' in Karnataka need to be replecated on very large scale. That can happen only with Public-Private Partnership.


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