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City slickers shrug off health cover

Cracks in the umbrella Urban Indians in the lower income group are unlikely to buy health insurance policies, the Indian Financial Scape survey of 35,000 households conducted by Delhi-based economics research firm Indicus Analytics, has found. Graphics

health and fitness Updated: Sep 29, 2012 02:44 IST

Urban Indians in the lower income group are unlikely to buy health insurance policies, the Indian Financial Scape survey of 35,000 households conducted by Delhi-based economics research firm Indicus Analytics, has found.

In fact, in the income group of below Rs 75,000, fewer than 2% of the households in the southern part of the country buy mediclaim. Even in the highest income group of Rs 1 crore and above, a basic insurance product like a medical cover is only owned by just half the households.

According to various estimates, only 320 million people or 26% of India's population are covered under some form of medical insurance. In other words, large uncovered sections of the populace are forced to meet medical costs via out-of-pocket spends, causing immense financial burden. Lack of financial resources also forces poeple to forgo medical care. Graphics

Key Takeaways
The pan-India ownership of health insurance policy by households is low as 26%.

In the lowest income group of below Rs 75,000, the average ownership is below 2%.

The Rs 1 crore-plus income household in western India is the most savvy with about half the households having medical cover.