IRDAI Committee to expand health insurance coverage

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has set up a consultative committee to expand health insurance cover in India.

What is the committee’s purpose?

The 15-member committee has been set up for two years by the insurance regulator to achieve objective of universalization of health insurance in India. It will provide recommendations on the following aspects:

  • Detection of issues within entire value chain of health insurance sector
  • Challenges related to the penetration of health insurance in India
  • Identification of challenges faced by health insurance businesses and provide solutions for the same
  • Recommendations for appropriate product designs, including a universal standard product that is basic and simple.
  • The Standardization of procedures among insurance providers, including capture, collation, and analysis of insurance-related data.
  • Ways to integrate various health insurance services into a single e-platform envisaged by the insurance regulator.

These recommendations will be based on the changing dynamics in Indian healthcare sector.

Who are the members of this committee?

The committee will be chaired by Rakesh Joshi – a member in the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). Its other members include representatives from healthcare and insurance industries.

What is the current status of health insurance penetration in India?

According to the latest data provided by the IRDAI, health insurance premiums posted an 18.9 per cent year-on-year growth during the first half of the financial year 2022-23. This is lesser than the 28.8 per cent growth recorded in the same period last year. During the years when COVID-19 pandemic surging, health insurance premiums drove the growth of the general insurance industry. However, the ease of the pandemic witnessed the normalization of the growth of the health insurance segment. National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5), which was released in May 2022, revealed that only 41 per cent of Indian households have at least one individual covered by a health insurance scheme. The 2019-21 survey showed that there has been a notable improvement in the health insurance coverage across the country, though it was far from satisfactory.

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