Nearly 60 per cent of patients delayed their treatment due to the lack of knowledge of any health insurance cover, as per a study by the Pristyn Care Data Labs. It further revealed that 67 per cent of respondents believe that their health insurance policies are difficult to understand and don’t give a holistic view of the benefits provided. Officials said there should be a counsellor at the hospitals who will create awareness or provide correct details related to health insurance whether it is cashless or other types of insurance.
The results come from a survey answered by more than 1,100 respondents and insights from internal data of more than 4,00,000 patient interactions around health insurance. Some of the other challenges faced by patients while claiming insurance were the deduction of money at the time of claiming (24 per cent) and complex paperwork (17 per cent).
India also has a rich history of alternative medicine. Treatments like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, homoeopathy, and naturopathy are commonly practised in the country. According to the study, a vast majority of people want these alternative treatments to be covered under health insurance.
It is followed by cosmetic procedures (plastic surgery, weight loss treatments) to be covered by health insurance providers at 21 per cent. The study suggests that almost 50 per cent of patients feel a long waiting time for approvals is the biggest pain while filing for an insurance claim.
Harsimarbir Singh, cofounder at Pristyn Care said, “the patient's journey starts from buying health insurance, meeting a healthcare provider, receiving a diagnosis, getting treatment, paying for the services and then claiming health insurance.”
“Among the dozens of healthcare pain points, a long waiting time for the claim approval is the biggest pain point as one vastly underestimates the costs associated with medical treatments,” he added Singh said that India has the lowest rates of health insurance penetration and Covid-induced medical inflation has caused people to delay surgeries.
“Elective surgeries are not life-threatening but any delay can impact the overall quality of life. Regular health check-ups, cashless coverage, and the best medical facilities at the best hospitals are all benefits of having health insurance, which will keep one’s family assured. Finding the right health cover can add more healthy years to anyone’s life,” he said.
Senior health officials from the civic hospitals said they have come across many such patients who do not have a single knowledge of the health covers they have taken. At the time of any emergency or operation patients have been asked about any policy or Health cover they have taken which can be claimed but more than 70 to 80 per cent are clueless about it.
“We have learnt that there is no proper awareness related to health insurance due to which there is need of health insurance counsellor who will help patients and their relatives to have a good policy with less number of papers,” said a doctor