“There exists a huge potential for growth in India's health insurance segment as there is a large section of the population between the ages of 15 and 65 with income-generating potential,” said Mr Debasish Prusty, Private Secretary to the Union Minister of State for Finance, India’s Ministry of Finance. Mr Prusty called on insurers to adopt prudent underwriting practices to improve their health insurance profitability. Health insurance premiums in India have grown at an average annual rate of 37% in the past decade, with the sector continuing to be the fastest growing segment in the local non-life industry and posting a growth of 38% in 2011.
With lifestyle diseases on the rise and treatments available to cure them becoming more expensive, the only way to tackle the problem is to prevent lifestyle diseases in the first place. It was highlighted at the conference that with almost all healthcare systems catering to curative methods of treatment, it was time health insurers did something in preventive healthcare.
Speaking on how innovative healthcare solutions will change the way healthcare is delivered in developing markets, Mr Adi Codaty, Vice President, Global Sites at UnitedHealthcare International, said that new technology could change the healthcare delivery system at much lower costs.
Dr Alok Khullar, Senior Vice President, Max Bupa Health Insurance Co, said that there is now a change in the perception of healthcare and that it is the private participation in healthcare that has brought the orientation towards preventive health.
The various sessions covered trends and developments in the health insurance industry in Asia and the world and looked at the strategies in implementing healthcare programmes with partners and TPAs, innovative products in healthcare, managing cost and efficiency support, technological advances in the medical field and creative distribution channels to reach out to all segments of society.
Organised by Asia Insurance Review, the conference attracted 105 delegates from 14 countries and was held on 24-25 April. It was sponsored by Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company and supported by the Insurance Brokers Association of India.
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