Healthcare is the government’s responsibility
Last year people were so scared of Covid that the profits of the insurance industry increased manifold. Because of this, health insurance premiums in India registered a growth of 25 percent last year.
Last year people were so scared of Covid that the profits of the insurance industry increased manifold. Because of this, health insurance premiums in India registered a growth of 25 percent last year. A report by the National Insurance Academy, which works under the Union Finance Ministry, revealed that in the year 2020-21, insurance companies collected Rs 58,572 crore as medical insurance premium, while in the next financial year this figure increased to Rs 73,330 crore. The report, released at an event of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the health insurance market in India has been growing steadily at a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent, but it grew by around 34 percent during the phase of pandemic. According to NITI Aayog, 69 crore people are members of Ayushman Bharat scheme, while 26 crore people in the country are already associated with some health insurance scheme. That is, 70 percent of the citizens of the country are part of some health insurance scheme, the remaining 30 percent of the population, that is, around 400 million people are not yet part of any health insurance.
The central government also wants to connect 400 million uninsured Indians with the Ayushman scheme. The National Health Authority and NITI Aayog have prepared its draft on the subject. To take advantage of the scheme, each of these individuals will have to pay an annual premium of Rs 250 to 300, in return for which each of them will be able to get free treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh in a year. This will also include the facility of being treated in a private ward. This facility is not available in the current Ayushman scheme. The new scheme may be implemented in the next few months. Under the Ayushman scheme, treatment can be done in any hospital associated with the PM-JAY scheme of the government. Even medical facilities will be available in other states. Meanwhile, the Rajasthan government is promoting its own insurance scheme through advertisements. For the first time, a state government has done a work of winning the hearts of the people by announcing the same free facility for all the citizens.
Health is a matter related to everyone and in the changed circumstances, health care has become a very costly affair, which is not available to everyone. Health insurance is expensive and not reliable either. The problems related to health insurance of private insurance companies come out every day. In such a situation, the Chief Minister Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme of Rajasthan government is a commendable initiative. The insurance scheme of the state government includes free health insurance of Rs 10 lakh for each family, accident insurance of Rs 5 lakh and OPD and free medical tests in government hospitals etc. Under this scheme, apart from serious diseases like Heart, Cancer, Neuro, Covid and Black fungus, costly treatments like Cochlear Implant, Bone Marrow Transplant, Kidney Transplant, Heart Transplant, Liver Transplant, Knee Transplant and Dialysis are also included. More than 1.2 million people have got the benefit of this scheme in the state, which is worth Rs 1400 crore.
(Writer is a senior journalist & columnist).