If you are employed in a company that provides you with a medical cover of ₹5 lakhs. Including your parents. You have exhausted about ₹4 lakhs, due to a parent’s chronic health issue. Somewhere around the ninth month into your year long policy, you meet with an accident and your company-provided cover can only provide you ₹1 lakh, but your hospitalisation and surgery is expected to cost you about 6 lakhs. What do you do then?
In November 2022, Indian families spent more than ₹120 billion on healthcare expenses, according to estimates from the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey by CMIE. Urban areas contributed 42.3% of the total spending, while rural areas accounted for the remaining 57.7%. People with monthly earnings below ₹8,000 spent around ₹344 on health, while the wealthy households spent about ₹1,275 during that time.
Safe to say that healthcare expenditure for every household in India is on the rise.
Healthcare costs rise: Insurance falls short
Yet, when it comes to insurance penetration, these numbers tell you a different story.
As per a recent article published on Forbes Advisor, here are some statistics on India’s health insurance coverage:
In 2021, approximately 514 million people across India were covered under health insurance schemes, which merely covers 37% of the people in the country. As per Niti Aayog’s report, nearly 400 million individuals in India have zero access to health insurance, and around 70% of the population is estimated to be covered under public health insurance or voluntarily private health insurance. The remaining 30% of the population—over 40 crore individuals— remains devoid of health insurance. Amidst these challenges, we are also on a mission to ensure ‘insurance for all by 2047.’
Innovation happens during adversity and insurance is no exception. Super Top Health Insurance is now emerging as a shield against medical expenses and acts as a steadfast companion that understands the intricate interplay between health and a family’s wellbeing. Experts say super-top-up health insurance is more beneficial and cost-effective because it is applicable when total expenses cross the deductible in a policy year. Moreover, the deductibles are paid only once a year. If one has a chronic ailment and requires hospitalisation more than once a year, a super top-up plan will be the ideal option. It is also ideal for senior citizens who may undergo frequent medical procedures.
A ‘product’ of market demand
As per census reports, India has 138 million elderly persons and the number is further expected to increase by around 56 million elderly persons in 2031. Yet, only 25% of companies (out of Plum’s 3500+ customer base) have parental coverage. This leaves a yawning gap in coverage for senior citizens, who include parents and in-laws. There has been a steady demand among employees around the need for coverage for the elderly, and one way to approach this is through super top-ups (in addition to increased parental coverage).
Plum surveyed around 300 of its clients’ employees and learned the following:
· 29% of employees feel that the organisation-sponsored health insurance is inadequate in terms of the sum insured.
· 13% of employees availed of super top-ups as organisation-sponsored insurance doesn’t cover parents and family.
Hence, it is advisable for an individual to have a super-top-up health insurance policy for themselves and their loved ones. Availing it is a seamless process. One can avail of it individually through various websites or through their employer's group policy partner; compare different plans and select the one that aligns with their unique needs. Interestingly, the super-top-up policy availed through the employer’s insurance partner comes with additional advantages: portability despite one leaving the organisation being the most unique and innovative, other benefits ranging from tax advantages to cost-effectiveness, etc. These plans assure a holistic approach to health security, making them a prudent choice for families and individuals.
Abhishek Poddar, Co-Founder and CEO of Plum