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Sep 20 2011 6:06PM
Step up Insurance for a healthy tommorow

Experts at the Summit opined that the two big problems that bedevil Indian Healthcare today are accessibility and affordability. Health resources though available, are inequitably distributed. Better health insurance coverage and higher penetration could help resolve this issue.Speaking on the occasion Mr. A. Vaidheesh, Chairman of the Summit and MD Johnson & Johnson Medical India, said "it is not one problem but a multitude of issues which we all need to work together to address. Our objective for 2020 should be how to get at least 50% of the population have access to health insurance and adequate healthcare."IHP too had organized a roundtable conference on "Health Insurance and Healthcare Access" with knowledge partner PwC in January this year. A whitepaper released post the conference stated that while the healthcare needs continue to grow, less than 15 percent of the Indian population is covered under some form of health insurance, including government supported schemes. Only around 2.2% of the population is covered under private health insurance, of which rural health insurance penetration is less than 10%. The need of the hour is to make available innovative insurance products at multiple price points. Major recommendations included in the white paper focused on the need for public-private partnerships to meet the health insurance needs of the country, as well as government initiatives to reduce the premiums and collection costs particularly for the people from rural regions.Further at the CII Summit, Mr. J. Hari Narayan, Chairman IRDA shared similar views stating "Even though the governmental health provision system is free, in reality healthcare costs are borne primarily by patients. Over 40% of people who use healthcare services do so by selling assets or going into debt. Health insurance therefore can play an important role".Indians today, with changing demographics and psycho-graphics, demand better quality and accessibility of healthcare, and look for a tool to defer, reduce or all together avoid out of pocket payment to finance the growing healthcare needs. Health insurance is therefore finding greater acceptability. The market thus has great prospects, but it is essential for the providers to identify products that will suit and satisfy individual insurance needs.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
     
 
 
 
 
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