Real Facts Behind Health Insurance for Poor in India

More than 260 million poor are under the poverty line, and often they confront financial struggles to protect their health individually and for the families. Health insurance is a mandatory need for both the poor and rich that helps to save their medical and healthcare expenses. Alongside the costs for the medical treatment is growing day by day, and health diseases also spreading in the same manner. A primary health insurance policy covers healthcare for the poor and supports them in the time of need. In our country, many middle-income and low-income, and poor can’t access good facilities for illness and ailments.

Economically weaker sections require well-to-do health insurance. Although some government insurance schemes are freely given to the poor, they are not fulfilling the health rights of the poor in one or another manner. Few plans don’t cover certain diseases, and sometimes the treatment is not available in the nearest hospitals; also, the poor need to travel and spend their hard-earned money on lodging. The government insurance schemes can’t justify the health rights provision for the poor. For example, there is an oxygen scarcity in the country during the pandemic, and a lot more poor people are dying due to a lack of oxygen supplies. Whereas the rich can avail expensive health treatment.

In many cases, the poor in India are at health risk by relying on government hospitals. The public hospitals don’t have emergency services every time; poor management, inadequate staff, and low-quality services are impacting the service. Hence everyone is chasing private hospitals to cure their health.

Private Vs. Public Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare for the poor in government hospitals is deteriorating daily due to a lack of doctors, equipment, and unable to handle emergencies. The poor can’t go to private hospitals due to expensive treatment and medicine; if they opt for the private hospital service, they will soon empty their pockets, sell or mortgage their assets, and leave no savings with them. Below are the medical facilities offered by special health insurance policies.

Highlights of Health Insurance Policies  

● Covering pre-hospitalization & post-hospitalization expenses
● Cashless hospitalization
● Illness cover during critical times
● Covering additional expenses

The above mentioned are private health insurance plans, and these are expensive for the poor. After the patient’s discharge, some specific treatments and tests need to be done, and accessible health care insurance for the poor through government insurance schemes may not cover these. Cashless treatment is now available at private clinics, and the government needs to implement this, and we can’t predict when this will happen. Maybe those advanced facilities are available in reputed public healthcare units but think about the rural and urban poor, and they are at life risk.

We are all familiar with the long queues in public healthcare as the wait time is very high and the process takes a lot of time, and it is challenging for the poor people who need to undergo critical treatment. We need well-nurtured treatment for the poor; hence providing free healthcare access to the poor in private clinics is the instant remedy to save lives. Based on our economic level, in the future, we can offer free health insurance for the poor and strengthen government hospitals.

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