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Popularity of Cashless Hospitalisation in Urban India

There is a growing trend towards opting for cashless hospitalisation feature under the health insurance policy. Know how a cashless facility can be beneficial.

  • 28 Jul 2016
  • 2 min read

Know why majority of urbanites opt for cashless hospitalisation

Cashless hospitalisation is catching on fast among urban city-dwellers. Experts believe this trend is a reflection of the double-digit hike in the cost of healthcare in India in the last decade.

Substantiated by a survey on health conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), the average hospitalisation cost in India rose from ₹ 8,851 in 2004 to ₹ 24,436 in the first half of 2014, that is, approximately 10.7%.

One of the major reasons of this hike is the rising medical costs due to increased demand of specialty healthcare and drugs, and improved infrastructure. Thus, more and more patients are opting for treatment in private hospitals that cater to this demand at an additional cost.

A research conducted by Jishnu Das and Alaka Holla – World Bank, Aakash Mohpal – University of Michigan, and Karthik Muralidharan – University of California, San Diego, on quality of healthcare in private and public hospitals concluded that public hospitals fail to provide quality care and higher diagnostic efforts as compared to private hospitals. Thus, even though private hospitals overcharge, the private sector has seen a 6% increase in patients over the last decade.

In addition to this, an astounding 82% of urban Indian patients are not covered by employer-provided or state-funded insurance. In such a scenario, when one hospital visit can strain the finances of the family, cashless facility provided by insurance companies is the best way to safeguard your money that the private sector demands. Let’s have a look at the benefits of cashless facility that makes it so popular:

No need to pay immediately in your time of need

Cashless facility reduces the likelihood of you having to go through the nightmare of assembling your pooled money for an emergency. This means, you do not have to shell out your hard-earned savings, risk mortgage for loans, liquidate your fixed deposits or investments, max out on your credit card limit, or even ask your relatives or friends for money.

With options such as voluntary deductibles, you can also lower the amount of premium you pay. Voluntary deductibles, or co-pay, require you to pay a fixed amount of the expenses, while the rest is paid by the insurance company.

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Easy administration process

Insurance companies offer a relatively easy administration process. As a result, you or your caretakers do not have to be tied up with paperwork and administrative hassle during recuperation. Once your pre-authorisation is approved, you can be rest assured that your claim will be processed post-hospitalisation.

Assistance whenever you need

Your network hospital will also have a dedicated Third Party Administrator (TPA) helpdesk to assist you in sending pre-authorisation form, claim filing or any other query resolution.

Some companies also provide cashless facility through network hospitals if you need a medical treatment abroad. Which is why, with coverage spanning across the world, you don’t have to be worried about draining your finances.

Hospital takes care of documentation of illness

In case of cashless treatment, it is the responsibility of the hospital to justify the treatment you are undergoing. This not only makes the claims process a smooth sail for the insured, but also ensures that the hospital does not overcharge or extend treatments.

In spite of these benefits, lack of awareness and perception of health insurance as purely a tax-saving tool still remains a major pressing issue prevalent among urbanites. Insurance companies aim to penetrate urban, semi-urban and rural sectors through country-wide network of hospitals to help realise the benefits of cashless hospitalisation.

An additional Super Top-Up plan offered by ICICI Lombard called the health booster works over and above your health insurance to help you fight rising healthcare costs.

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