New Delhi: With an aim to increase the penetration of health insurance in the country and universalise the same, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has constituted a Health Insurance Consultative Committee for a period of two years.

This 15-member committee that will operate for a period of two years, will be chaired by IRDAI member Mr. Rakesh Joshi. Other members of this new panel includes a representative of National Health Authority, the Chairman of Narayana Health Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman and Managing Director of Medanta Heart Institute, Dr. Naresh Trehan, the National President of Association of Healthcare Providers India Dr.Alexander Thomas, Sr. VP of Max Healthcare, Dr. Arati Verma, CEO of SWASTH Foundation Mr. Ajay Nair, Chairman cum Managing Director of the New India Assurance Company Mrs. Neerha Kapurm, CEO of Aditya Birla Health Insurance, Mr. Mayank Bathwal, CEO of ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company, Mr. Bhargav Dasgupta, CEO of HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited Ms. Vibha Padalkar, CEO of Paramount Health Services & Insurance TPA Pvt Ltd Dr Nayan Shah, CEO of Medi-Assist Insurance TRA Pvt Ltd Dr. Vikram Chhatwal, Executive Director of Max Institute of Health Management Shri Sarang Deo and Mrs.Yegnapriya Bharath, CGM, Health Department, IRDAI, Convenor.

Announcing about the constitution of this new panel, IRDAI mentioned in its order dated 21.10.2022, “Health Insurance needs to constantly evolve to keep pace with the changing canvas of healthcare. It should be able to comprehensively cater to the needs of those seeking to purchase insurance as a protection mechanism for health expenses. It is necessary for every family in the country to have a health insurance cover. The various elements in the health insurance value chain are required to be visited periodically in order to provide an enabling environment to achieve the goal of universalisation of health insurance in the country.”

“The Health Consultative Committee would meet physically or virtually at least once a quarter and more frequently, if necessary,” the order further stated.

Speaking to Medical Dialogues in this regard, Dr. Alexander Thomas, the President of ANBAI said, “The main aim of the programme is to ensure that there is greater insurance penetration -both government and private- across the entire country with an objective of providing affordable quality care to the entire population and patients.”

“As you know that in recent times insurance penetration has increased from 5 to 40 percent and with the Government schemes this number will be further going up to even 80-90 percent of coverage. Therefore we want to ensure that insurance penetrates to every part of India and healthcare becomes affordable to people,” he further mentioned.

“It is very important that quality care is maintained. So, our aim is to increase the insurance penetration with the objective of providing affordable and accessible quality care to everybody,” Dr. Thomas added.

The terms of reference of the Committee are as follows:

a) Arrive at ways and means to increase the penetration of health insurance in India including identifying issues and challenges in the entire value chain and making recommendations to overcome them.

b) Identify challenges in carrying out health insurance business smoothly and make recommendations to facilitate ease of doing business.

c) Identify the changing dynamics in healthcare and make recommendations regarding appropriate product designs including a universal standard product that is basic and simple.

d) Identify concerns relating to policyholder servicing as well as awareness and make recommendations to address them.

e) Make recommendations regarding standardisation of procedures amongst providers including for capture, collation and analysis of data.

f) Make recommendations to put in place systems for servicing health insurance that can plug into the e-platform envisaged by IRDAI

g) Any other matter which would help in the growth of insurance penetration and deepen health insurance inclusion.

To view the order, click on the link below.

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