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What is the Importance of Micro Health Insurance Plans in India?
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Why are Micro Health Insurance Plans important?

India has achieved exponential growth in various sectors over the past few years; still, it comes under the list of developing countries. A data by the World Bank in 2019 revealed that nearly 65% of the population of India belongs to rural areas. These rural people are more susceptible to various diseases and injuries. They should get proper medical care and attention that will help them to combat various diseases. But very often, these people travel to semi-urban or urban areas to get proper healthcare treatment. They must be covered under health insurance that will help them to tackle untoward medical emergencies. Moreover, this deadly COVID-19 is spreading like a fire in every nook and corner of the country, thus, it is essential for rural people to secure themselves with various health insurance policies. To offer the utmost financial support and help, micro healthcare insurance enters the field.

What is Micro-Insurance?

Micro-insurance in India is a special type of insurance that is ideally designed for people who earn meager income or whose savings are quite low. Micro healthcare insurance is a boon for people with low income living in rural India, as it offers extensive coverage and benefits under the plan. Most of these rural people earn money either by farming or doing small business activities. Under any healthcare emergency, they find it difficult to deal with as they can’t afford the treatment costs and medical services. During this perilous pandemic, it is all the more important for everyone to cover themselves with adequate health insurance.

What is the Importance of Micro Health Insurance Plans in India?

Some beneficial features of micro health insurance are

  • Since this is a micro-insurance plan, the sum assured is limited under the plan.
  • The range of sum assured amount is between Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh
  • Micro-insurance companies are putting their best efforts to make these kinds of insurance policies affordable to the poor. Thus, premiums are quite low for these plans. The prime objective of these plans is to offer quality healthcare at an affordable rate.
  • The coverage of micro-insurance is granted for one year
  • A policy buyer can take the entire policy as a family floater plan to cover every member of the family. This is not mandatory for customers.
  • If a person wants to purchase this policy, he/she doesn’t need any pre-healthcare check-ups. Because the sum assured amount is quite low for this policy.
  • The policyholder should be 65 years or less
  • Micro insurance comes with a life-long renewal benefit. This is the best feature of micro-insurance.

 

Importance of Micro Health Insurance Plans

Apart from the above features, below are some benefits that are covered under micro insurance plans.

  • Micro insurance plans offer coverage for pre-hospitalization expenses
  • These plans also bear the costs of daycare treatments
  • Once you purchase a micro insurance policy, there is a documentation process that you need to follow to initiate the claim.
  • Micro health insurance policies ensure that policyholders don’t need to face the extra hassle while raising claims. Their claim processes are easy and convenient for post-hospitalization expenses.
  • Some underprivileged people can’t even afford the cost of an ambulance charge in case of healthcare emergencies. These plans assure that the cost of an ambulance is covered via schemes.
  • Most Indian health insurance companies have a great network of hospitals and healthcare centers. A policyholder can get cashless facilities at these hospitals in case of an emergency.

 

Current Status of Micro Health Insurance in India

At present, there are only a few established health insurance companies that are offering micro health insurance plans for providing better financial cover to people with low-income in rural India. Apart from these eminent health insurance companies, the Indian Government has also launched multifarious schemes.

  • The popular health insurance scheme is the Ayushman Bharat Scheme or the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana PMJAY that offers coverage of Rs. 5 lakh at a low premium rate of Rs. 30. Ayushman Bharat, the government’s flagship scheme, was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2018. This scheme possesses twin pillars of Health & Wellness Centers (HWCs) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) with bidirectional linkages between the two for offering extensive services across the continuum of care. All premiums for Ayushman Bharat will be paid by PM CARES.
  • Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana or AABY scheme is another applauded health insurance scheme that is specially designed for individuals who are associated with 48 specific occupations including fishing, weaving, carpentry, handloom, and more. The premium cost of this policy is also nominal.

 

Micro health insurance plans are advantageous for the economically weaker section who need financial assistance at the time of health emergencies. These insurance plans are quite successful in India. Nowadays, social awareness is also increasing against various diseases and people are becoming cautious and responsible about their health. Many NGOs and semi-public organizations are also extending their help in this context. They are organizing various healthcare camps and are providing basic health services to these underprivileged or below the poverty line people. The government is also taking various steps by introducing several healthcare schemes. Overall there has been rising awareness about the importance of health insurance and micro health insurance plans are immensely helping in making it affordable for the economically weaker section too.

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