India’s grim reality: More than 98% of seniors lack health insurance due to rising costs, survey reveals | spcilvly

More than 98 per cent of India’s elderly population remains without health insurance coverage amid the rising cost of healthcare services, according to a recent survey by leading insurtech platform Plum.

The need for comprehensive health coverage for older people has become more evident, however, penetration remains a challenge. According to census reports, India has 1.38 lakh elderly citizens and this is expected to increase by around 560 lakh by 2031.

However, only 25 percent of businesses (of Plum’s more than 3,500 customer base) have parental coverage. This leaves a wide gap in coverage for seniors, including parents and in-laws.

The insurtech surveyed around 300 clients and observed that 29 per cent of employees feel that the health insurance sponsored by the organization is not enough in terms of the sum insured. It also found that 13 percent of employees availed of a super top-up, as the organization-sponsored insurance does not cover parents or family.

There has been consistent demand from employees around the need for cover for older people, and one way to address this is through super top-ups (in addition to increased parental cover).

“In the face of the silent crisis affecting our seniors, Plum is committed to meeting this challenge head-on. The 98 percent of seniors uninsured is a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities they face,” said Abhishek Poddar, co- founder and CEO of Plum.

”It will always be our effort to innovate and find solutions that simplify access and availability of health insurance for the underinsured. Our aim is to contribute to the broader vision of ‘Insurance for all by 2047’, ensuring that every individual, regardless of her age or circumstances, can access the protection she deserves,” Poddar added.

Amid rising costs of access to basic healthcare in India, healthcare coverage for parents and seniors has become increasingly critical. For citizens in this age group, coverage often goes beyond basic protection and encompasses valuable ancillary benefits such as cashless hospitalization, critical illness insurance, as well as specific coverage for diseases such as cancer and stroke.

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Updated: August 26, 2023, 08:54 pm IST

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