What is Health Insurance?
Health insurance is a contract between the insured and the insurance company to cover for medical emergencies that we consider ‘accidental and sudden’. The insured is expected to pay a specific premium amount regularly to utilize coverage benefits. Premiums are fixed not based on one’s income but on an assessment of risk status and coverage benefits. Health insurance policy once issued to a person can be renewed annually or monthly depending upon the insurer chosen. Health insurance policies are specifically designed to pay your medical expenses. The policy can be purchased both individually and for a group. The concept of health insurance dates back to seventeenth century. ‘Accident Insurance’ was the first form of health insurance available in late nineteenth century. Accident insurance was first introduced in the United States offered by Franklin Health Insurance Company, Massachusetts (founded in 1850). Before the development of health insurance, patients were expected to pay medical expenses from their pockets. During the middle to late twentieth century, conventional ‘disability insurance’ evolved into modern ‘health insurance’ programmes.
Health Insurance schemes
Central Government of India has its own health insurance scheme since 1954, and is called as Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). It aims at providing comprehensive medical insurance coverage for Central Government employees. Some of the benefits offered are outpatient facilities, and preventive and promotive care in dispensaries. This scheme is mainly funded through Central Government funds with premiums ranging from Rs 15 to Rs 150 per month based on the salary scales.The year 1999 marked a new beginning for the health insurance in India. With the passing of Insurance Regulatory Development Authority Bill (IRDA), the doors were thrown open to the private players. Some of them are Bajaj Allianz, ICICI Lombard, Royal Sundaram Group and Cholamandalam General Insurance. Added to these private players, there are insurance schemes offered by NGOs which are also called community-based health insurance. Community-based health insurance schemes are generally targeted at the poorer population who live in community. Making profit is not their intention but to provide access to the health insurance services.
Health Insurance statistics
Only 85m people in India are covered under health insurance. That means, hardly 10% of the total population. Among them only 10.8m people are covered under insurance companies, the rest are covered under government and company schemes. Health insurance in India contributes 9.6% to General Insurance market. There are several reasons why the health insurance market is considered as loss making portfolio. Some of them are lack of spread of risk, lack of adequate underwriting guidelines, inadequate claims control, inadequate distribution etc. Added to all these, coverage for pre-existing diseases is still a question.
Health Insurance Online
Online purchase of Health Insurance is instantaneous, time saving and eco friendly. You can avail the privilege of evaluating several health insurance plans by prominent insurance companies before buying. ‘Compare tool’ in E India Insurance is specifically designed to help you access different health insurance quotes. You cannot buy ‘health’ but can stay secure buying health insurance policy of your choice to face any medical emergency.