31 October, 2020

Swindler’s List

The profit motive has led insurers into a rapacious overdrive

Illustration by Sorit
Swindler’s List

In India, we do not have social security. The infrastructure in government and municipal hospitals is pitiable; yet, the teeming masses who cannot afford private healthcare throng to these hospitals, which find it difficult to cope. In contrast, private hospitals have the latest equipment and top doctors, but the cost of healthcare is extremely high and beyond the reach of the average citizen. In this backdrop, the government wants to promote medical insurance as a social welfare measure—that is why it encourages medical cover with a tax rebate under section 80-D of the Income Tax Act.

But insurance companies think of health insurance as no different from any other insurance business, and want it to generate profits. They do not want loss-making policies. Insurance professionals implementing the mediclaim scheme lose sight of the fact that these policies are not for profit-making, but for social welfare. In fact, profit from other insurance sectors has to subsidise health insurance.

Look at the role of Third Party...



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