Growth in premiums for the health insurance segment has dropped to 25% in the current fiscal from 35% registered in 2010-11 primarily due to a fall in the number of government-driven schemes and the economic slowdown.
In 2010-11, the total premium for the health insurance segment was estimated at Rs 13,000 crore.
“Considering that penetration of health insurance is very minuscule in the country, the drop in growth is not very encouraging though the private players have recorded a healthy growth rate even in the current fiscal,” Damien Marmion, CEO, Max Bupa told HT.
However, with a month left for the fiscal year to close, insurance companies are hoping that there would be some spurt in the health insurance premium collection as many may buy the products as a means to save taxes, said an analyst of the sector, who did not wish to be identified .
According to the industry body ficci, steps must be taken to increase health insurance penetration in the country, which currently covers only 15% population. A National Sample Survey Organisation data suggests that about 65% of the country’s poor get into debt and 1% fall into BPL category each year because of the health issues. According to estimates, by 2025, around 189 million Indians will be at least 60 years of age.
The PSU insurers — National Insurance Company, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance — together manage about Rs 6,000 crore of health insurance business in the country.