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Govt moves, industry efforts set to transform healthcare, insurance penetration among women: experts

Kolkata, Mar 11 (PTI) Concerted efforts by the government and private insurance companies are expected to bring a sea change in healthcare and insurance penetration among women, which is extremely low at present, experts said.

Kolkata, Mar 11 (PTI) Concerted efforts by the government and private insurance companies are expected to bring a sea change in healthcare and insurance penetration among women, which is extremely low at present, experts said.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has also been taking several measures to make health insurance products standardised, seeking to enhance coverage among all citizens, including women.

In line with IRDAI’s ambitious vision of achieving 'Insurance for All by 2047,' the industry is striving to cater to diverse customer segments, ensuring comprehensive coverage and distribution.

According to P Nanda Gopal, Founder and CEO of the Insurtech platform Upsure, rising medical inflation is compelling the financially savvy to choose health insurance over other necessities.

As general literacy and awareness among women increase, they would be more active in financial decision-making, he said.

According to the National Family Health Survey India data, only about 30 per cent of women in India aged 15-49, were covered under health insurance between 2019-2021.

Nanda Gopal stated there are multiple reasons behind the low insurance coverage.

A recent survey undertaken by Future Generali India Insurance Company along with Unomer suggests that only one out of every five women (nearly 21 per cent) bought their health insurance policy independently and only one out of every three women (32 per cent) was aware of the coverage details of their health insurance.

“I think the idea (of Insurance for All) is to make sure that your product covers every single cohort which is customized to every economic segment, every social segment, said Anup Rau, Managing Director and CEO, Future Generali India Insurance.

'So, we thought that we would start over here. While we have got other innovative products, we thought we would start with the largest unaddressed minority in this country which is women by any metric,' he said.

The company has introduced ‘Health Powher' – a comprehensive policy to empower women and cater to their varied health needs.

According to the FGII Survey, nearly 75 per cent of women believe that existing health insurance policies fall short of addressing women-specific needs.

Close to 94 per cent of the respondents agree that having a comprehensive health insurance plan for women would increase participation in the purchase process.

There is a need for targeted awareness campaigns and education initiatives aimed at informing women about the importance of health insurance and equipping them with the knowledge to make informed financial decisions, said Sapna Desai, Chief Marketing Officer, Manipal Cigna Health Insurance.

“It is essential to recognise and address common health issues that disproportionately affect women, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, and hormonal imbalances. Health insurance is vital in providing financial support by covering preventive screenings, diagnostic tests, and treatment options for these conditions,' she said. PTI BSM NN

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