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India’s health protection gaps biggest in Asia: Swiss Re

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healthcareIn Asia, India has one of the biggest health protection gaps which is expected to increase by 12.3 per cent annually to US$ 214 billion by 2020, reports Swiss Re. The company is a provider of reinsurance and insurance products.

Health insurance gap is the difference between the level of healthcare costs which would be required to meet the consumer needs, versus the amount that would be available to cover those costs if society’s total healthcare expenditure remained a constant percentage of GDP.

The report predicts a shortfall in healthcare financing of close to US$ 43 billion in 2020, which will require additional fiscal spending or higher out-of-pocket funding by individuals.

Only 288 million of India’s population are covered by health insurance, of which 214 million are insured by government schemes, 48 million are covered by group insurance, while 25 million use individual or family floater plans, the report added.

In addition, out-of-pocket expenses account for nearly 60 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure in India, with a minor contribution from private insurance plans and a catastrophic event will wipe out one’s entire savings.

One of the possible models to insure the entire population of the country could be that the government gives a base cover the levels above.

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