It is 2020 and every day we hear the news about development, rocket science and technology, but still, people look blank when they hear about health insurance. What would you do if you do not remain healthy? Are we seriously marvelling science and technology while ignoring health on a huge level? Is the development of medical science helping the needy section of the rural society in getting quality treatment? Sadly, the answer is “No”.
In India, the healthcare cost is continuously rising with the growing inflation rate. We, as Indians, feel proud to be the 6th wealthiest country in the world and the 4th largest defense spender. But are we moving on the right track? Well, it is pretty hard to comment on the same. The Planning Commission of India mentioned that the poverty line of India includes 250 million people out of which 200 million people are living in rural areas. Such facts depict the harsh reality of India. It comes out with several troubles. One such issue is the lack of health insurance awareness in India.
The condition of health insurance in India is not stable, as a large number of our population does not use health insurance to deal with medical emergencies. A large section of India believes that it is not worthy to invest in health insurance and hence, avoid buying such insurance plans.
National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) stated that the major reason behind the indebtedness among poor people is the escalating medical cost. Such people opt for loans or sell their assets to avail quality medical treatment. People do not follow simple steps to secure healthcare expenses.
We all are aware of rising healthcare costs, but we often ignore its importance. People usually thought that it might be unnecessary to invest in the same. What we require is proper guidance on the steps that need to be followed to prepare for unwanted illnesses in the future.
Why are Indians unaware of health insurance?
The sad truth- the rapid increase in health care costs is one of the major issues of the escalating poverty levels in India. The bond between ill-health and poor requires attention as good health is a fundamental component when it comes to the economic growth and stability of our country. The lack of this knowledge is the main reason behind the unawareness of health insurance. Below are some of the leading causes of a lack of awareness:
- Existing burdens of loans and other debts make poor people reluctant to think about the available policies which are issued in their interest.
- The biggest factor behind this unawareness is the illiteracy level. Education plays a vital role when it comes to health insurance awareness.
- In India, the right to information is one of the fundamental rights, a significant section of the country still lacks the exposure to information which is issued in the interest of the people.
- Due to the expensive services of the private sector, adequate medical service does not reach the poor and underprivileged sector of society.
Intercession of the government
The government has launched several programs in recent years such as PMJAY and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY). RSBY is health insurance that offers the required healthcare cover for the Indians who are below the poverty line. With the launch of this plan, the government aims to provide the required medical treatment without any financial burden. With RSBY, even insurance companies have come out with multiple awareness programs. It allows people of rural areas to get the required financial cover in case of a medical emergency. Roughly 130 million people are covered under this effective healthcare program. More than 36 million families have already received smart cards which allows them to avail free medical treatment.
How to make an insurance awareness campaign successful?
Although the government of India has taken many initiatives in spreading health insurance awareness, it is a long road ahead. There are a few initiatives that companies should also take for health insurance awareness. Such steps would help to accelerate growth.
- Companies should come out with health insurance campaigns that are creative and in reach of every common person. They can use TV and radio to promote their campaigns.
- Make people aware of the multiple benefits of having health insurance in monetary terms. By informing them about the financial benefits of the plan, it would be easy to increase the number of insured people.
- Making people understand about rising healthcare costs and how hard it will be to deal with unexpected medical emergencies.
- Organizing campaigns to promote the essence of health insurance in the lives of people.
Health insurance companies need to be more active in spreading the right knowledge of health insurance. With health insurance campaigns, the common masses will understand the importance of buying health insurance. Helping customers in decoding difficult clauses and fine print will help in filling the gap in health insurance awareness. Making health insurance simple for every common person is the need of the hour. Instead of focusing on increasing health insurance sales, companies should make a mindset of evolution and change. After all, health insurance is not just any other insurance product in the market, it’s a promise of protection against the medical expenses of the future.
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