W ith medical advancements, both the life-expectancy, as well as the expenditure on health cure for diseases like cancer, heart problems, and diabetes have increased proportionately. It is estimated that with costs around Rs.2.5 lakhs per person, the average total expenditure on one time hospitalization, including accompanying expenditure, stands at around Rs.6,225 and Rs.9,367 in rural and urban areas respectively.
Against this, more than 40% of Indians borrow money or sell off their property to meet their medical expenditure; and around 24% (around 300 million) of our population retreats below the poverty line because of hospitalization.
It is then a pity that only 1.2% of India's entire population is enrolled with any kind of health insurance. Even that cover hardly stands for the poor as only those who can afford premiums have such medical insurance. Experts also allege that most of the genuine claims are rejected on dubious grounds that the ailment existed prior to the policy! With the current liberalisation of premiums, IRDA must do a double-check!