Health cover market needs to grow much faster: Panda | The Financial Express

Health cover market needs to grow much faster: Panda

Panda laid stress on 3 A’s —awareness, accessibility and affordability — to achieve high growth rate and deepen insurance penetration in the country.

Health cover market needs to grow much faster: Panda
In the aftermath of the Covid outbreak, health insurance played a very important role by catering to 2.7 million people, with claims worth Rs24,000 crore, Panda said.

The health insurance market needs to grow 30-35% a year to realise its potential, way above the compounded annual growth rate of 19% over the past five years, Debashish Panda, chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai), said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a CII event here, Panda called on the industry to work towards achieving the goal of “health insurance for all by 2047”. India has six standalone health insurance companies, and to facilitate seamless re-imbursements, there are 19 third-party administrators. However, it is “not enough for the size and diversity of the population”, he added.

Panda laid stress on 3 A’s —awareness, accessibility and affordability — to achieve high growth rate and deepen insurance penetration in the country.

In the aftermath of the Covid outbreak, health insurance played a very important role by catering to 2.7 million people, with claims worth Rs24,000 crore, Panda said. The Irdai has already initiated amendments to regulations in sandbox, which will help spur innovation and also give an impetus to startups.

“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,” Panda said.

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Health insurance firms need to work with healthcare providers to come out with new products for geriatrics care and pre-existing diseases. Another major challenge that needs to be addressed is the pricing of products that makes it unaffordable for many people, he said.

The Irdai and the National Health Authority have formed a joint working group on modality of seamless settling of claims, he added.

There is a need to think for a system, where “pick from home to drop to home” care could be provided, the chief of the insurance regulator said. Irdai is willing to allow suitable regulations for this purpose, he added.

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