It’s back – the fourth wave of COVID-19 is already on its way. With the last bout of the pandemic giving us a brief breather, people have begun noticing some glaring problems. Despite the availability of top-notch healthcare facilities, why are people still suffering from these outbreaks? Health insurance companies have always been around to support those with monetary constraints!
So, this prompts us to a bigger question,
“Why are people STILL neglecting health insurance policies?”
On the global scale, India is the second most under-insured country. As per the survey in 2018, China had the widest insurance gap (USD 76.4 billion). Following the lead, India comes in second (USD 27 billion, or Rs. 1.98 lakh crore), and Indonesia is third (USD 14.6 billion). Here, the insurance gap means the actual sum assured required for medical treatment versus the amount available.
For example, if Ms. A needs insurance worth Rs. 100 and has only taken one worth Rs. 40, the insurance gap is Rs. 60.
The IRDAI’s data in 2017 reported that India had a total of 32.8 crore life insurance policies. Assuming that each policy belongs to a unique citizen, these figures only account for 25% of the population at the time. The remaining 75%, or 98.8 crore Indians (2017), were left vulnerable to medical emergencies without financial aid. Considering that one person may hold multiple policies, the number of Indians not covered by life insurance policies could be much lower.
Unlike other developing countries, India only spends 3.6% of its GDP on healthcare. Due to this, India has one of the highest out-of-pocket expenditures at 62%. Unfortunately, those in the middle class and below can’t afford quality healthcare. Furthermore, certain misconceptions prevent citizens from purchasing health insurance policies.
Here are a few reasons why Indians avoid purchasing health insurance policies.
● Lack of Awareness: Unlike the widely publicised life insurance policies, health insurance doesn’t receive the same level of effort for advertisement
● Poor Attitude: Salaried individuals are more neglectful of their health, leading them to place health insurance at the bottom of their priorities
● Lesser Funds: False beliefs that health insurance premiums are pricey; this is due to poor knowledge about the variables involved in the calculation
● Distrusting Insurance Providers: Shared beliefs that health insurance claims are rejected by companies
● Home Remedies: People’s reluctance to visit doctors or go to the hospital prevents them from seeking the benefits of health insurance
Most people’s resistance to health insurance policies is due to misinformation and poor research. You could easily enquire about the company’s claim settlement ratio by checking the figures. It will help you pick the right insurer for hassle-free claims. Or, learn about the different variables judged to estimate your total premium, like age, pre-existing conditions, no. of dependants, residence, etc. It’s just that easy and simple, folks!
The Union Budget 2022 assured citizens that initiatives like AB-PMJAY will provide the bottom 40% of the population with comprehensive hospitalisation covers. Another 18% of the population remains insured through other government and group health schemes. However, retail health insurance has penetrated only 3.2% of the over 138 crore population, leaving 38.8% without policies.
With these myths and misconceptions debunked, it’s time to focus on the goodness of health insurance policies.
Don’t let unforeseen medical emergencies catch you by surprise. Purchasing health insurance for yourself and your family is the best move for 2022!