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400 million Indians without financial protection for health: think tank

NEW DELHI, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) — In the absence of low-cost health insurance products, nearly 30 percent of India’s population, or 400 million people, are devoid of any financial protection, an Indian think tank has said in a report.

The Indian government’s top policy think tank, the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog (commission), said in its latest report that expansion of health insurance coverage is a necessary step and a pathway in India’s effort to achieve universal health coverage.

In the report titled Health Insurance for India’s Missing Middle, the government think tank suggests both the private and public sectors build a modified, standardized product to cover all disease treatments.

It said that low government expenditure on health has constrained the capacity and quality of healthcare services in the public sector.

The think tank also noted that India’s population is vulnerable to catastrophic spending, and is plagued with impoverishment from expensive trips to hospitals and other health facilities. Enditem

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