In India, state governments have a primary responsibility for organizing healthcare services. But they face severe shortages of staff and supplies. This pushes poor households into private providers and out-of-pocket expenses, pushing them into poverty.
While RSBY was a big step toward universal coverage, its low ceilings, exclusion of outpatient care and high costs compromise its sustainability. Further reforms are needed, including rationalizing input costs and exploring cross-subsidization.
1. It helps you save money
In India, medical expenses are very high due to several reasons. These include changes in lifestyle, pollution and bad eating habits. This means that many people don’t have the funds to pay for treatment in case of a health emergency. This is why health insurance is so important. A health insurance policy will help you pay for treatment when you need it most, and it can also protect you from financial loss.
In addition to hospitalization coverage, health insurance plans provide coverage for a range of other expenses such as diagnostic costs, room rent, ambulance charges, maternity expenses and domiciliary care. This way, you can save money on these expenses and still have enough to cover a medical emergency.
In addition, most medical insurance plans offer tax benefits under Section 80D, which can reduce your taxable income. This makes health insurance even more affordable for most people in India. It is no wonder that healthcare inflation is on the rise, and it’s important to have a solid financial safety net in place to protect yourself against rising costs.
2. It gives you peace of mind
In India, medical bills can push poor families into financial ruin. This is why health insurance is so important for people in India. While it may not be the only way to protect yourself from high healthcare costs, it is an important step in reducing your risk of financial disaster in case of a serious illness or accident.
While India has made great strides in improving its public healthcare system, there is still much work to be done. In 2018, the government launched a new national healthcare scheme called Ayushman Bharat (or PM-JAY). This new initiative will provide free health coverage to all Indian citizens, including those with preexisting conditions.
This new scheme is designed to be cashless, paperless, and portable for beneficiaries. In addition, it will allow beneficiaries to choose the private hospitals they would like to receive care from. It also includes coverage for alternative medicines such as ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha, and homeopathy. The scheme also offers tax benefits to help reduce the cost of health insurance premiums. This will make it easier for people to afford quality healthcare.
3. It gives you access to a wide range of medical facilities
In India, most healthcare costs are incurred out of pocket as the state-run decentralized health system struggles with staff shortages and lack of supplies. This means that people in rural areas often have very limited access to high-quality medical care. Health insurance can help fill this gap.
A good health insurance plan will provide you with access to a wide range of medical facilities, including cashless treatment, free preventive healthcare check-ups, and coverage for alternative treatments like AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy). Many insurers also offer maternity benefits.
In addition to this, a good health insurance plan will give you financial security against rising medical inflation. This can be especially important if you live in a city where healthcare is expensive. Health insurance companies in India offer a variety of plans, including family health insurance, which offers comprehensive coverage for all members of your family. Some policies even offer coverage for pre-existing conditions. This makes them a great option for anyone who wants to protect themselves against the rising cost of healthcare in India.
4. It helps you manage your health
In the event of a medical emergency, a health insurance plan can help you manage your healthcare expenses. Without it, you would have to pay out of your own pocket, which can strain your emergency funds and savings. With a good health insurance plan, you can save on hospitalization expenses and also get the best treatment for your illness.
The Indian government has a number of initiatives to put affordable healthcare within reach, including the Jan Arogya Yojana for low-income families and the recently launched Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) for workers below the poverty line. These initiatives have their limitations, however, including a large informal sector and asymmetry of information between insurers and insureds.
Besides, the emergence of newer, costlier diseases due to lifestyle changes and pollution is making it important for us to buy a comprehensive mediclaim policy early in life. This can protect you from financial ruin during any severe medical crisis and give you peace of mind. Also, it will help you keep track of your health and prevent serious illnesses in the future.
5. It helps you stay healthy
In today’s day and age, medical emergencies can happen at any time. And they can cost you a lot. Having a good health insurance policy will protect you from these expenses, saving you from the financial crisis. Moreover, it helps you stay healthy by providing annual health check-ups.
Having a good mediclaim plan can help you save a lot on ambulance charges and pre-hospitalisation expenses. It can also cover other costs like room rent, surgery, AYUSH treatments etc. In addition, most mediclaim policies come with a personal accident cover which will take care of any injuries caused due to an unfortunate incident.
The quality of healthcare in India varies widely from state to state. While some public healthcare facilities provide free services to poor families, others are inadequately equipped and managed. This often leads to high out-of-pocket spending by households, which can push them into poverty. To address this, the government launched a new program to provide cashless secondary and tertiary healthcare for low-income households. It is hoped that this will help reduce financial catastrophe and vulnerability for poor households.