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ICICI Lombard Expert Blog

Insurance Regulatory Chief Calls For Standardization Of Healthcare Costs In Cities

December 20 2017
Health Insurance Policy

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) chief T.S Vijayan called for standardized healthcare costs in hospitals within a city. He stressed that these costs should be comparable at least among hospitals in the same city to allow the insured to opt for the hospital of his choice.

"There is a need for cost standardization in the health insurance sector, at least among hospitals. If someone is having some procedure in a hospital, it should be comparable with another hospital in the same city," said Vijayan while speaking at FICCI Annual Health Insurance Conference in New Delhi.

While suggesting measures like community group insurance products, he noted that authenticity of claims by the insured could be verified by the members of the community or a group so that insurance companies are not burdened with fictitious claims.

He stressed that there should be responsibility and responsiveness in health insurance services in order to achieve the goal of affordable health insurance in the country by 2025. He asked for making the policies simpler and affordable for wider reach and better access to the needy people. Moreover, he emphasized on bringing down out-of-pocket expenses of patients, currently estimated at 62 percent of healthcare costs.

"This is extremely high and leads to impoverishment of the patients. In comparison, out-of-pocket hospital expenses in developed countries such as the US and UK are 20 per cent and in BRICS countries about 20-25 per cent." he noted.

He pointed out that the opportunity in health insurance sector is very high as the industry is growing substantially at 27-30 percent per year, while standalone health insurance companies are growing at an even faster rate of 45-46 percent.

*Source: Times of India

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