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The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) recently analyzed the gross health premium income in India. DS Rawat, Secretary General of ASSOCHAM, discussed India’s growth rate in total health insurance premium collection, which has increased from Rs 7,980 crore to Rs 15,000 crore. He applauded the initiatives taken by the central and state governments to promote health insurance coverage, which resulted in the growth of premiums by over 88%.
He believes that the central government must take appropriate measures to save India from the struggle of poor penetration in health insurance sector. He added that basic health insurance coverage should be provided at a nominal premium rate to all citizens.
According to the findings, the health insurance premium collection in United Andhra Pradesh dipped by more than 13% to Rs 695 crore in 2012-13 from Rs 800 crore in 2009-10. In Maharashtra, health premium collection increased to Rs 4370 crore in 2012-13 from Rs 2480 in 2009-10. As a result, the state has become the highest collector with a growth of 76%. Other states with high health insurance premium collection include Tamil Nadu (Rs 1780 crore) and Karnataka (Rs 1400 crore).
As per the ASSOCHAM Economic Research Bureau’s (AERB’s) analysis, Bihar tops the list of health insurance premium collected by the states. It has shown a tremendous growth of Rs 315 crore in 2012-13 from Rs 7 crore in 2009-10.
According to ASSOCHAM, factors contributing to the growth of the health insurance market are rise in per-capita income, expensive health care treatments, new diseases and financial burden on the poor. The health insurance market has increased at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of about 20%. The market is expected to cross Rs 32,000 crore by 2016-17 from Rs 13,000 crore in 2011-12.
In India, private insurance companies have covered more than 65% of people under the health insurance sector whereas only 35% people are covered by public insurance companies. ASSOCHAM has suggested the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority to monitor private insurance companies that may overlook the poor or weak sections of the society by focusing on the rich and upper class consumers.
(Source: This article has been adapted from the article "Health insurance premium dips in united AP" that appeared on December 25, 2014 in business-standard.com.)