Number of health insurance schemes to be enhanced

The Narendra Modi government is conscious of the need to provide universal health coverage and steps are being taken to increase the number of health insurance schemes, parliament was told on Friday.

We are conscious. We are increasing the number of health insurance schemes so that we are able to bring down the out of pocket spending in India which is the major reason for pushing people down the poverty line in our country, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

She was replying to supplementary questions from AIADMK member K. Ashok Kumar, who claimed that more than 80 per cent of India’s population, especially those belonging to rural India, is not covered under health insurance.

Only the rich and those who have access to communication are able to take advantage of such schemes, he said.

Minister of State for Finance Santosh Gangwar also said the government is aware of violation of rules by health insurance companies.

In a written reply, Finance Minister Jaitley listed out 13 insurance companies which have violated health insurance regulations.

These include New India Assurance, Bharati Axa General Insurance, Bajaj Allianz Gen Insurance, Future General Insurance, L&T General Insurance, Shriram General Insurance, Max Bupa Health Insurance, United India Insurance, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance, ICICI Lombard and Reliance General Insurance.

Gangwar, however, said people were availing insurance schemes like Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana which provide insurance cover at a very low premium.

BJP member Udit Raj demanded action against ICICI Lombard, saying it is a bogus company.

Gangwar assured that if there was any specific complaint, the matter will be looked into.

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