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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report

71% Indians lack health cover

BS Reporter in Mumbai | December 22, 2006 02:49 IST

As much as 71 per cent Indians are not financially protected against any major illnesses while 72 per cent of people will not be able to sustain themselves and their dependants financially for more than a year if their main source of income was eliminated due to sickness or accident.

These findings are part of a unique survey titled "Health Matters" Index 2006, conducted by Tata AIG Life Insurance Company Ltd (Tata AIG Life) to assess the awareness and the need for accident and health insurance as well as critical illness covers in India.

The survey was conducted on a sample size of 1,200 working men and women above 25 years of age across Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Bangalore. The target respondents belonged to socio-economic Class A and B with an income of over Rs 3,000 per month.

65 per cent of the respondents felt that they were unable to meet the rising healthcare, hospitalisation and surgical expenses, and 67 per cent were extremely concerned about accidents and disabilities adversely affecting their financial stability. 43 per cent did not feel the need of having health insurance cover. This is significantly alarming and indicates a lack of awareness towards the relevance and the need for health insurance, in the backdrop of rising healthcare costs and an increasingly stressful life.

When it comes to various benefits offered by accident and medical insurance products, the survey revealed that 65 per cent respondents rate cashless hospitalisation as an extremely important attribute in selecting a medical insurance product. Besides, the respondents prefer no-claim bonus and refund of premium kind of health insurance covers.

Based on the findings of the survey, Tata-AIG Life has designed certain standalone health insurance products, and will be filing them with IRDA soon.

41 per cent of the respondents said that post-retirement, they would prefer private hospitals while 27 per cent expressed a desire for public medical care.

Interestingly, the survey revealed a high preference among respondents (about 79 per cent), who expressed their desire to purchase health insurance products for their children.

The survey revealed that the average age of owning an insurance policy in India is 28 years which is a positive sign and indicates a growing awareness amongst the youth towards the need and importance of insurance.

Speaking about the survey, Bimal Balasingham, director, Tata AIG Life Insurance Company said, "The 'Health Matters' Index survey is an initiative aimed at assessing and understanding the needs and expectations of consumers for insurance products. The findings of this survey will aid us in customising suite and offering innovative insurance solutions to the Indian consumer."

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Number of User Comments: 6

Sub: Health cover

For working class this stats. is quite disturbing and onus should be on the employers to devise suitable contributory cover. What about senior citizens? In ...

Posted by T.P. Viswanathan


This is not a news at all.Every wise down to earth indian who has never been an NRI ,or IIT or IIM knows that the ...

Posted by Nilesh

Sub: Make it mandatory

I have a insurance cover for more than 10 years and yet face problems while getting the claims approved. Simple reason is Health Insurance companies ...

Posted by Bhavin

Sub: 71% Indians lack health cover

The saying that some body tried to light a cigerette from a burning house is realistic when one goes by the findings of the survery ...

Posted by Kunuthur Srinivasa Reddy

Sub: hmm

And yet people say India is making progress and developing

Posted by werisehigh



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