Healthcare in India: Why Health Insurance is the need of the Hour

Get a health insurance and have yourself covered against illness and accidents

A healthy lifestyle and healthy living are not always the key to staying healthy. Very often, despite our best efforts, we fall sick and the resulting medical expenses leave us with depleted bank balance and peace of mind. To avoid these kinds of situations it is important to get health insurance for ourselves and our families.

If you do not get your health insurance on time, then a sudden medical emergency could send your financial goals haywire and may even land you in debt. According to a joint report published last year by WHO and World Bank, more than half the people that have plunged below the poverty line because of medical expenses in India.

In order to protect yourself from burgeoning medical bills, it is necessary that you choose the right kind of health insurance for you and your family.

With a population increasing exponentially, healthcare in India falls far short of expectations. India ranks 145 among 195 countries in terms of healthcare access and quality index. Among the BRIC and newly industrialised nation, India spends the least on healthcare at $75 per person. Out of this, only 30 percent comes from the public healthcare spending. The major chunk of 70 percent spend comes from private spending. The healthcare sector in India needs a major boost from the government.

The problem in the Indian healthcare system is not restricted to government spending but probably starts from here. Government hospitals in urban areas are infamous for gross negligence and resulting deaths of patients. Rural healthcare centres are very few and generally very far away. They lack adequate facilities in terms of medicines and types of equipment.

As a result, more people are turning to private healthcare to avail better healthcare facilities even though the cost is much higher. Having a health insurance is therefore very essential. Even in these days and times, medical expenses are covered from out of pocket as India is grossly underinsured.

With the increase of an aging population and incidence of lifestyle diseases, the spend on healthcare is poised to go up in the next few years. The private healthcare sector is fast filling up the gaps left by its government counterpart. The downside of getting a good treatment from a private hospital is, of course, hefty medical bills. So, it is wise to get a good health insurance policy on time which provides adequate coverage.

A good health insurance not only covers hospitalisation but also OPD, medicines and sometimes alternate healthcare costs like Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturapthy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) treatments.

The National health protection scheme (NHPS) launched recently by the government is expected to cover 10 crore poor families. There is, however, no government healthcare scheme for the rest of the population. In the absence of government support, it is important to get your own health insurance policy.

While buying health insurance policies please keep the following points in mind. With inflation in healthcare sector growing in double digits, it is important to get coverage for the right amount. Make sure that the hospitals you are likely to visit are covered with no limit on room rent. A good policy will have daycare treatments covered with no co-payment or limitation clause.

Eat healthy and keep your life stress-free, but do not forget to buy your health insurance which will take care of you in times of distress!


ManipalCigna Health Insurance Company Ltd (Formerly known as CignaTTK Health Insurance Company Limited) | CIN U66000MH2012PLC227948 | IRDAI Reg. No. 151 
Reg. Office: 401/402, 4th Floor, Raheja Titanium, off. Western Express Highway, Goregaon (East), Mumbai- 400 063 | Toll free number – 1800-102-4462 | Website address –
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