Healthcare Unwired - Health Insurance and Healthcare Access

PwC and India Health Progress (IHP) have released a whitepaper "Healthcare Unwired - Health Insurance and Healthcare Access" which recommends health insurance as one of the prime drivers behind increasing healthcare access in India. The whitepaper is the outcome of a roundtable meeting held on 24 January 2011 on Health Insurance at India Islamic Cultural Centre, Delhi. The conference was attended by various healthcare and health insurance industry leaders as well as policymakers who emphasized the need to bring in new health insurance schemes at different price points.

Overview of the report

  • Less than 15% 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%.
  • Health Insurance is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15% till 2015
  • The paper highlights the broad issues afflicting the health insurance sector, taking into account the views of all industry stakeholders — patients, physicians, insurance service providers, hospitals, as well as Government and regulatory representatives.
  • Some of the key issues which have been discussed in the whitepaper are requirement of a new business model, cost of healthcare, healthcare infrastructure and gaps in information around healthcare
  • Recommendations given are on the lines of creating a new business model, reducing premium and collection cost, providing tax incentives, switching from patient cure to preventive care, group coverage for employees, simplification of policies, provision for a regulator in Healthcare and a series of regulatory reforms.

For these recommendations to be implemented in successful measure, all stakeholders need to work together in a transparent manner to move towards the goal of improved coverage and increased penetration.