Union Budget: Make health insurance mandatory for all, Max Bupa Health says

The nation should be provided with a strong, feasible and lasting healthcare financing framework to reach out to each citizen of India, Max Bupa Health says

July 09, 2014 2:13 IST | India Infoline News Service
The Union Budget is expected to focus on health to provide fresh impetus to healthcare reforms with a focus on health assurance, preventive healthcare, innovative solutions and research & development.
Below are the expectations of Manasije Mishra, CEO, Max Bupa Health Insurance from the budget:

· Focus on Universal Health Coverage – It is every Indian’s need to have access to an all-inclusive and quality healthcare system. UHC should be the comprehensive framework for the country’s public health planning. Innovations across all touch points will be harbinger of growth and will help us accomplish our mission of getting to universal health insurance coverage in India.
· Thrust on Public Private Partnership (PPP) Model – We need to go beyond the RSBY module and reach out to a wider population to provide quality healthcare at a faster pace. Allocation of resources for PPP (public private partnership) to increase health insurance penetration and improve the overall healthcare scenario will be a positive move for the sector. We need a unified and universal system that is funded through a progressive taxation system.
· Overall Push to Health Insurance There is an impending need to make health insurance mandatory for every citizen. Owing to increased medical inflation and rise in healthcare costs, priority needs to be given to this sector. The nation should be provided with a strong, feasible and lasting healthcare financing framework to reach out to each and every citizen of India.
· Increasing the FDI limit - Insurance is a capital intensive segment. The government’s proposal of FDI hike from 26 percent to 49 percent is a welcome move. This move is expected to provide a fillip to the growth of this sector as it will have a direct positive impact on inflow of foreign investment, improve the economic sentiment and currency valuation. All this will ultimately result into better quality of healthcare and penetration of the healthcare industry. FDI hike will create a conducive environment for healthy competition and increased capital infusion.
· Providing Fiscal Incentives – For consumers, exemption of service tax from Health Insurance premium and increasing the tax exemption slab for premium paid  will be a stimulus to the industry’s growth. The demand for Tax Exemption will give a boost to the insurance sector and increase the penetration by encouraging people to invest in health insurance.

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