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Healthcare must become accessible and affordable

TS Vijayan, Chairman, IRDAI emphasises on a sustained focus to link the available health systems, both public and private in rural areas with health insurance
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TS Vijayan, Chairman, Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (IRDAI), today underlined the critical role of infrastructure and how a sustained focus is required to link the available health systems, both public and private in rural and remote areas with health insurance, which will hold the key to successful implementation of any universal health scheme. He also mentioned to scale up the health insurance penetration, financing for care in public health infrastructure which is quite substantial in India, needs to be looked at.

Inaugurating the ninth FICCI Health Insurance Conference, the annual flagship event on the theme – Making Health Insurance Universal and Sustainable, the IRDAI Chief said, “health spending is seen as a superior good and only taken by people who are risk taking, and hence for the people who are risk averse, it is important to incentivize them, by offering some value to them like free health check-ups or discounts, which will help in realizing our goal to make health insurance universal”.

In his Theme Address, G Srinivasan, Chairman, FICCI Health Insurance Committee & CMD – The New India Assurance, opined that the one of the major socio-economic issues the country is facing is making health insurance accessible to all, the other being its sustainability. He said, the health insurance sector can only grow, if it is commercially viable for all stakeholders.

Narendra Bhooshan– DDG (Enrolment & Updation Division and Direct Benefit Transfer Cell), UIDAI, mentioned about Aadhar being the biggest disruptor as well as enabler in digital society today, and health insurance sector, is one of the biggest beneficiaries. He stated, “Integrating Aadhar with health insurance enrolment, beneficiary identification, claim processing, hospital reimbursement, E-KYC will ensure a paperless, cashless, interoperable, secure, healthcare ecosystem in the country, and ultimately help in the growth in the health insurance sector.

On the occasion, IRDAI Chairman released two Knowledge Papers, namely the FICCI - QuintilesIMS Knowledge Paper on ‘Health Insurance in Digital India’ and the FICCI – EY Knowledge Paper on ‘Value Added Services’

According to the FICCI – EY report, the three major actionable that can empower the wellness and preventive healthcare market in India are wellness incentives embedded innovative insurance and healthcare products, wellness marketplace to support or drive the wellness benefits and an organized and co-existing ecosystem.

PJ Joseph, Member (Non-Life) IRDAI stressed on the need to educate people about the need for health insurance and importance risk pooling to make healthcare affordable. He also shared the need to focus on wellness to encourage a healthy lifestyle so that the claims can be manageable and premiums more affordable for better penetration of health insurance.

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