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Demonetisation Move: Can Health Insurance Help?

A health insurance can provide great relief during demonetisation when the nation is finding it difficult to cope up with healthcare expenses.

  • 14 Dec 2016
  • 2 min read

Health insurance can help you get cashless treatment

More than a month after the demonetisation move, the nation has begun to realise its implications. The move has affected several practices and processes that require daily cash transaction. A significant area where the cash crunch has shown significant impact is the access to healthcare.

Decline in Healthcare Delivery System

In an economy that primarily runs on cash, the healthcare sector has taken a severe blow from demonetisation. There have been requests to postpone surgeries, cancellation of appointments and several patients have dropped from clinic follow-ups. Usually, national festivals, school holidays and unfavourable weather reduce the number of patients, but none of these reasons contributed in the past month.

In the Indian healthcare system, people travel from remote areas to access healthcare facilities. For example, most people that visit AIIMS in Delhi are not from Delhi alone but from different parts of North India. The cash crunch has significantly hit people's ability to move out of their hometown to access healthcare facilities.

Dip in Patient Numbers at Private Hospitals

Private sectors deliver around 70% of healthcare in the country. When government hospitals with a little or no demand on patient's pocket are facing a severe blow, it is not difficult to imagine the condition of private hospitals. Patients are coming to hospitals but not initiating the actual treatment due to lack of cash.

The common man has cut down on his healthcare expenses. Patients from the middle-class background suffering from critical illnesses have been forced to take credits. Although the inpatients are not facing serious problems, the inflow of patients has taken a severe blow despite several efforts from the hospitals.

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How Can Health Insurance Help?

comprehensive health insurance policy will help a long way in mitigating the current situation. It involves the direct payment of the services by the insurer without harassing the patients or their families. Besides, top-ups like Daily Cash Allowance even cover non-hospitalisation and additional commuting expenses.

Cashless hospitalisation facility offered by insurers help patients in both planned and emergency hospitalisation cases. It helps to avoid the avoidable, that is, you will not have to borrow money from your relatives, friends and acquaintances in your time of need.

A Move Towards Cashless Healthcare

Healthcare services in the nation need to be rendered cashless at the point of delivery. The ability to pay immediately after hospitalisation should not be a barrier to avail good quality healthcare facilities. A centralised system of prepayment needs to be developed that cover both government and private hospitals under it.

There is a need to move towards a cashless healthcare and that can only be achieved by attracting people who are not inclined towards health insurance. Incentivising the segment through free health check-ups, discounts at medical stores etc. can prove a game changer in taking the nation towards a cashless healthcare.

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