Insurance coverage

IRDAI forms committee to suggest ways to expand health insurance coverage in India

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has set up a 15-member committee to look into the various needs of the health insurance industry for ease of doing business and better services to customers.

IRDAI member Rakesh Joshi will lead the committee, which is expected to meet at least quarterly to discuss the progress of member-mandated activities.

The committee was given a two-year term to suggest ways to identify challenges and mitigate problems across the sector.

It will propose ways to integrate various health insurance services into the electronic platform envisaged by IRDAI, the regulator said in an order.

The broader objective of the committee is to standardize the rules allowing insurers to collect and analyze data, identify problems related to assured service, create a simple and standard product design, and make it easier to conduct business.

IRDAI said the committee would recommend measures to identify problems across the value chain to increase the penetration of health insurance in India.

He stressed that raising public awareness would be key to addressing the challenges.

The notification said the health advisory committee would meet physically or virtually at least quarterly and more frequently if needed.

IRDAI noted that health insurance should continually evolve to meet the needs of people seeking protective mechanisms for health care expenses and “keep pace with the changing fabric of health care.”

According to the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5), released by the government in May this year, 41% of Indian households had at least one person covered by a health insurance scheme. The 2019-21 survey showed a significant improvement in the country’s health insurance coverage, although it was far from satisfactory.