Health Insurance Essay

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KEY AREAS FOR STRENGTHENING RURAL HEALTH INSURANCE Dr.Ponnammal F. Joseph Health Insurance was started in India in 1987 and four Public sector non-life General Insurance Companies offered health insurance policies popularly called “Medi-claim” Insurance policies in India. This Policy was not a successful before liberalization as the awareness had not reached the public and the product was not marketed as it should have been. Moreover with development of the Indian Economy many corporate hospitals have started coming up in a big way and liberalization of the Insurance industry has given an impetus to health insurance industry. As per the IRDA data there were 38, 28,495 health insurance policies 163,45,575 persons with a total premium of Rs.1,947 crores in2005-06. In the year 2006-07 health insurance premium has increased to Rs.3, 200crores. IRDA is playing an important role in the development of health insurance and is expected to promote the health insurance to rural mass in a reasonable and affordable cost. Government of India and the State Governments are also making efforts to popularize health insurance as a social commitment. The Health care system in India needs special attention especially in rural areas. Rural India requires more medical care than the urban population because they are more vulnerable to ill-health. Of the country’s total population 70% lives in rural India and majority of them work in unorganized sector. In India only 22% of the population has been covered by insurance and the situation is worse in the rural areas. Here the rural Insurance must be seen in a social perspective and not as a business prospect. A proper strategy will enable the insurers in promoting rural health insurance in India. The strategies for rural Health

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