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Health Insurance Sees Dramatic Increase in Last Decade

Government schemes drive health insurance penetration, but people are applying for private insurance cover too.

  • 05 Mar 2017
  • 2 min read

Traditionally, health insurance penetration has been worryingly low in India. But, the situation is changing rapidly. According to a study conducted by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), the past decade has witnessed a sharp rise in the health insurance.

10 years ago, a dismal 4.8% of households were covered with health insurance. Fast forward to 2014-15, and this number has witnessed a stratospheric jump, surging to 28.7%. The main driver behind this increase is the government, that has rolled out lucrative and affordable schemes for the masses. Additionally, the people are also opting for private health insurance: this is apparent from the data gathered by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

An interesting observation found in the growth of insurance coverage is that penetration is higher in rural areas as compared to urban areas. In urban India, 28.2% of the households have one member covered by health insurance, whereas in an urban setting this figure drops to 28.2%. Health insurance making inroads into rural India is good news, as it improves various health indicators and improves access to those in need of medical services.

The example of institutional deliveries can be taken to elucidate the benefits that penetration of health insurance coverage has had. Institutional deliveries made up 80% of all deliveries in 2014-15, this is a huge rise from 38.7% in the year 2005-06. Subsequently, the NFHS survey notes that there has been a significant reduction of maternal and child mortality.

With the growing awareness about health insurance and the increasing number of people opting for one, insurance companies are seeing their premium collections go through the roof. Data gained by IRDAI states that, in the year 2015-16 premium collection by insurance companies have registered an annual jump of 21.7% adding up to a mammoth figure of 24,448 crore.

Also Read:

Health Cover of ₹1 Crore Is the New Norm in the Industry
ICICI Lombard Health Insurance Record 35% Growth in Jammu and Kashmir

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