Importance of Health Insurance for Low & Middle-Income Groups

India has developed significantly across sectors but the medical infrastructure is still lagging behind. Despite a large network of community healthcare centres and government hospitals across the country, there is a shortage of experienced workforce and advanced medical equipment. Besides, private hospitals provide the same healthcare services at an exorbitant cost, which lower-income families cannot afford.

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      Health Insurance Coverage Statistics in India

      Enter health insurance– without it, being able to afford good medical treatment at private facilities remains a distant dream for low and middle-income groups.Statistics show that less than one-fifth of our country’s population has substantial health insurance cover. Of those who do have health cover, close to 70% are covered under different government schemes.

      This low permeation of health insurance products across India is one the major reasons why millions of people every year are pushed towards poverty and poor health. Without adequate health insurance, low income bracket people have no choice but to pay out of their own pockets to get access to good medical care – and good medical treatment is expensive.

      Skyrocketing Medical Costs and Inflation

      If we consider average medical costs in India, and then factor in medical inflation, it can be seen that the latter is growing at an average rate of approximately 12-14% on an annual basis.High medical expenses coupled with ever-increasing inflation rates make it almost impossible for those in the low income bracket to meet heavy medical costs, without an insurance plan to offer the needed financial support.

      Government Efforts

      The healthcare contribution made by the public sector is a mere 1% of the GDP - it has not increased proportionally to tend to the country’s growing population. However, the Government is undoubtedly making sincere efforts in developing health insurance for poor people. Studies have shown that the overall spending made by the Indian Government on citizens’ healthcare has seen a 30% increase of total health expenditure. Further, the out-of-pocket expenditure that citizens have to bear has witnessed an impressive 58% decrease.Though these figures are still not up to the mark in comparison to the global healthcare spending practices; it is a good start nevertheless.

      Government-sponsored health insurance schemes are also gradually gaining traction. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY), an inpatient health insurance plans for the indigent, is one the most important Government policies. Under this policy, INR 30,000 is the fixed limit for the total inpatient treatment. Poor people can avail coverage for up to five family members, at pre-fixed rates,towards 700 medical treatments and tests.

      Health Insurance - A Boon for Low and Middle-Income Families

      Having a good family health insurance plan with adequate cover is tremendously beneficial for low income bracket families – it prepares them to deal with the high expenses that sudden medical emergencies throw in their way.

      An adequately covered health insurance policy offers pre and post hospitalisation cover, reimburses/covers hospitalisation expenses, and in case of critical illnesses, the policy even pays out lump sum benefits.

      Further, cashless health insurance for poor is a blessing as it permits medical treatments to be started immediately without delay and without stressing about arranging money to make advance medical payments.

      Wrapping It Up!

      The dedicated endeavour of the insurance sector towards increasing penetration in remote areas of India, higher awareness about Government-run/sponsored programmes, and solid backing by various Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), proves that all hope is still not lost. With all these developments and continued efforts, it is anticipated that common people from the low income bracket of society will no longer be compelled to take loans, forgo their savings, or mortgage or sell their assets to avail decent medical care.

      Depending upon specific needs, one could opt for a family insurance plan or an individual health cover. However, having a health insurance plan in the first place for low income bracketfamilies is non-negotiable if a better quality of life is desired.

      The above pointers can help inculcate the realisation in people that investing in an adequate health insurance plan is a lifelong guarantee to a secure and healthy future.

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      *We will respond in the first instance within 30 minutes of the customers contacting us. 30-minute claim support service is for the purpose of giving reasonable assistance to the policyholder in pursuance of the claim. Settlement of claim (including cashless claim) is the responsibility of the insurer as per policy terms and conditions. The 30-minute claim support is subject to our operations not being impacted by a system failure or force majeure event or for reasons beyond our control. For further details, 24x7 Claims Support Helpline can be reached out at 1800-258-5881. Product information is authentic and solely based on the information received from the Insurer. Policybazaar is acting only as a facilitator and claims settlement shall be at the sole discretion of the Insurer. As per the Insurance guidelines, you are allowed to cancel the policy with-in 15 days from the date of Issuance of policy. For more details, please read the Plan Brochure carefully or talk to our advisor at the time of purchase.

      *All the health insurance plans cover hospitalization expenses including COVID-19 treatment cover up to the specified limits. You can also buy specific COVID-19 health insurance policies such as Corona Kavach Policy and Corona Rakshak policy.

      **All savings and online discounts are provided by insurers as per IRDAI approved insurance plans. #Tax Benefits are subject to changes in tax laws. GST Exemptions depend on fulfilment of qualification criteria and submission of relevant documents.

      *₹1748/month is the starting price for a 1 crore health insurance for an 18-year-old male, with no pre-existing diseases. Discount on renewal premium is subject to the number of wellness points earned in the health insurance policy. For more details about the plans, please read the sale brochure carefully to get upto 100% discount on renewal premium.

      *₹400/month is the starting price for ₹ 5 lakh Health insurance for a 30 year old male & 29 years old female, living in Delhi with no pre-existing diseases

      *₹541/month is the starting price for ₹ 10 lakh Health insurance for a 30 year old male & 29 years old female, living in Delhi with no pre-existing diseases

      *₹762/month is the starting price for ₹ 1 Crore Health insurance for a 30 year old male & 29 years old female, living in Delhi with no pre-existing diseases

      *₹243/month(₹ 8/day) is the starting price for a 5 lakh health insurance for a 20-year-old male, non-smoker, living in Bengaluru with no pre-existing diseases

      *₹2020/month is the starting price for ₹ 1 Cr Health insurance for a 50 year old male & 50 years old female, living in Bangalore with no pre-existing diseases rounded off to nearest 10.

      *₹390/month (₹13 per day) is starting price for 1 cr. Health insurance for 25 years old male, with pre-existing diseases, residing from tier 1 city rounded off to the nearest 10.

      *No medical tests are required unless requested by the insurer’s underwriter. In-case of pre-existing diseases relevant medical proof would be required as per the terms and condition of the policy opted.

      *The values taken for effective cost calculation are indicative values and may change as per the selected plan.

      *Coverage upto double the amount of Sum Insured is available on certain covers for a minimum plan of Rs. 5 Lakh on the first claim only to an individual of upto 45 years of age with no pre-existing diseases. The benefit is available with or without extra cost depending on the plan chosen.

      *Coverage of pre-existing diseases is provided by insurer as per their underwriting policy.

      *The scope of coverage may vary from plan to plan.

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