Only 27% Indians have health insurance, says report

Only 27 percent of Indians have health insurance coverage, a joint report by FICCI and KPMG revealed on Monday. The report, titled “Health savings account in India”, revealed that the healthcare sector in India is largely underpenetrated with government expenditure constituting approximately 1.4 percent of the country’s GDP. On the other hand, private sector expenditure constitutes 70 percent of the total healthcare expenditure out of which 62 percent is out of pocket while only eight percent is covered through pre-financed instruments, as per World Bank Data. This indicates a significant gap in coverage offered by current products and the need for a comprehensive ecosystem of financed healthcare.

“Healthcare costs today are going up by the day due to lifestyle diseases in particular and the only way the gap between rising healthcare costs and affordability can be bridged is if the insurance sector develops a sustainable and viable mechanism,” Antony Jacob, Co-Chair at FICCI Health Insurance Committee, said in a statement on Monday. “Today with out of pocket expenses accounting for nearly twice as much as institutional expenses, there exists a real need for an all-inclusive solution towards healthcare in the Indian market.” Read here 9 reasons your health insurance claim could get rejected

Currently, the health insurance industry caters largely to institutional treatment leading to considerable opportunities in targeting outpatient treatment, with medical inflation at 15 percent, in areas such as consultation fees, diagnostics and medical expenses. There is an urgent need for a centralised health savings scheme managed by a government-nominated body or privately managed by insurers with centralised fund management, the report suggested. “This will ensure that more and more people have funds for accessing healthcare services, thereby going a long way in realising India’s goal of providing healthcare to all,” noted Shashwat Sharma, Partner and Head (Insurance) at KPMG.

Source: IANS

Image source: Shutterstock

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