Pvt Health Insurers are Gaining by Covering More People, but are Losing Out on Premium

65% per cent of population is covered by private players but state owned firms score over them by collecting 61% as premium. Close to 65 per cent of the population has health insurance and is covered by private players but even then they are losing out to state-owned firms as the latter account for over 61 per cent of the premium collections. Private health insurers have outperformed the public insurance companies by covering 65% of the population.

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    However, in terms of premium it is the public insurance companies that are leading as they account for maximum share of over 61 per cent in premium arising out of health insurance.

    Private health insurance will continue to lead in terms of covering the non-vulnerable, the middle class and higher income segments of the population as they can afford to buy it.

    In case of channel-wise distribution of medical insurance, individual agents contribute majorly by providing business with 72.9 per cent share.

    However, direct business is the sole contributor in terms of premium collection with around 37 per cent share, followed by individual agents (31.6 per cent) and brokers (21.4 per cent).

    Referrals contribute a negligible 0.1 per cent in terms of both the numbers of policies sold as well as the medical insurance premiums collected.

    The population residing outside the metros and Tier-I is a bigger challenge for the industry as it results in huge cost of customer acquisition and operations.

    It added that reducing the coverage gap is a major challenge for the insurance industry as the public spending on health is quite less and also high levels of informal or unorganized labor, a greater dispersed rural population, high levels of poverty and fewer providers serving the poor make the problem more severe.

    It has been found through a study that government priorities for healthcare financing are such that they cover the basic goals of affordability, reach and quality of services.

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