The ₹60,000 crore Indian health insurance market has the potential to register a 30-35 % compound annual growth rate (CAGR) as against the CAGR of 19% in the past five years, Debashish Panda, chairman, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) says. 

Stating that better awareness, deeper penetration and innovative health insurance products can help achieve this goal, he informed the authority is in the process of facilitating that growth through a new all-in-one insurance platform - BIMA SUGAM- that allows customers to access the all products of all insurance companies at one place. 

Speaking at the 16th Health Insurance Summit 2022 organised by supported apex industry chamber CII on August 30th in Delhi, Panda says health insurance for all before India commemorates its 100th year of independence in 2047 should be the target before all stakeholders. 

“We have already initiated amendments of regulations in the sandbox that would help in innovation and experimentation. This would also give an impetus to start ups who are coming up with innovative solutions. Going forward, parametric insurance products need to come up, OPD services need to be covered, treatments currently under exclusion should be included and distribution inefficiencies need to be addressed,” he says. Panda mentions the critical role ‘awareness, accessibility and affordability’ in increasing the coverage and reinforcing the trust of policy holders. 

He stressed the need to work around optimising cost and the need for a comprehensive health insurance coverage for end to end healthcare services and include pre-existing illnesses. Health insurance needs to work closely with healthcare providers and there is a need to brainstorm new and comprehensive products for geriatrics care, and pre-existing diseases, he adds.

According to Panda, another major challenge that needs to be addressed is the pricing of products that makes it unaffordable for many parts of the society. He mentioned that IRDAI and National Health Authority (NHA) have formed a Joint Working Group on modality of seamless settling of claims.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Vinod Paul, member, NITI Aayog says that one of the biggest developments in the last few years have been the launch of PMJAY that has involved 3.56 crore hospitalisation and has disbursed ₹42,000 crore. He emphasised the need to design right products for the population, covering elderly and pre-existing diseases with minimum exclusions.

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