why-health-insurance-premium-increase
By Okbima 29 May 2024

Why Health Insurance Premium Increase? Know The Actual Reason

 

Health insurance premiums increase due to rising healthcare costs, an aging population, and using of new medical technologies and treatments. Health insurance premium is the amount paid by an individual or a group to an insurance company to get health insurance coverage. 

The premium is paid on a monthly or yearly basis and helps cover the cost of medical treatment. Health insurance provides coverage for hospitalization, doctor's consultations, diagnostic tests, surgeries, medications, etc. Let’s understand why health insurance premiums increase.

 

Factors Affecting Health Insurance Premium In India

There are so many factors that increase the premium of health insurance such as increasing healthcare costs, inflation, aging population, increased incidence of lifestyle diseases, etc.

  1. Increasing healthcare costs: Healthcare costs in India have been increasing due to advancements in medical technology, rising demand for healthcare services, and higher costs of medical procedures and treatment.

  2. Inflation: Inflation plays a significant role in increasing health insurance premiums as it impacts the overall cost of healthcare services, medication, and medical equipment.

  3. Aging population: With an increasingly aging population in India, there is a higher demand for healthcare services and medical treatments which can cause higher insurance claims and that’s why health insurance premiums are increasing.

  4. Increased incidence of lifestyle diseases: Diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity are on the rise in India due to changes in lifestyle, diet, and lack of physical activity. These chronic conditions need ongoing medical treatment which can cause higher health insurance claims and premiums.

  5. Insurance fraud: Fraudulent claims and abuse of insurance policies by policyholders can also increase health insurance premiums as insurance companies have to cover these additional costs.

  6. Government regulations: Changes in government regulations and policies related to healthcare and insurance can also impact premium rates. For example, the introduction of new regulations that need insurers to provide more comprehensive coverage may increase premiums.

  7. Catastrophic events: Natural disasters, pandemics, or other catastrophic events can cause a higher number of insurance claims which can increase the financial burden on insurance companies, hence health insurance premiums can increase for policyholders.

  8. Administrative costs: Administrative costs associated with processing claims, managing policies, and other operational expenses can also impact health insurance premiums.

  9. Medical inflation: The cost of medical treatments, procedures, and medication is generally increasing at a faster rate than overall inflation which can increase insurance claims and premiums.

  10. Competition in the insurance market: Increased competition among insurance companies can also increase premiums as insurers look to maintain profitability and offer more comprehensive coverage to attract customers.

 

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Impact Of Higher Health Insurance Premiums on Policyholders

The higher premium of health insurance can impact policyholders which can affect their financial budget to access healthcare services.

  1. Decreased affordability: Higher prices for health insurance may make it too expensive for some people, especially those who don't make much money. Hence, some individuals and families won't have insurance, which can cause money problems and make it harder for them to get the medical care they need.

  2. Increased financial burden: For those who continue to pay for insurance despite the higher premium can affect their budgets. Hence, consumers have to reduce their other expenses, such as groceries or other essential items to afford insurance coverage.

  3. Limited healthcare access: Increasing insurance costs may stop people from getting the medical care they need because it becomes too expensive. They might end up not getting treatment or waiting longer than they should, which can make their health problems worse and cost more money in the future.

  4. Decline in overall health: If consumers are unable to access affordable healthcare services due to higher insurance premiums, their overall health may suffer. Preventative care and timely treatment for chronic conditions may be neglected which can cause more health issues.

  5. Consumer dissatisfaction: Higher premiums can reduce consumer satisfaction with their insurance coverage, as they may feel that they are not getting sufficient value for the cost. Hence, consumers will find alternative insurance options to get health insurance coverage.

 

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Government Steps To Reduce Health Insurance Premiums

Government steps to reduce health insurance premiums are regulating the insurance industry, subsidizing premiums for low-income individuals, increasing competition in the insurance market, etc.

  1. Regulate the insurance industry: The government set up regulatory bodies to monitor and control premium rates charged by insurance companies. This can help prevent excessive price hikes and ensure that premiums are affordable for consumers.

  2. Subsidize premiums for low-income individuals: The government provides subsidies or tax deductions to help low-income individuals afford health insurance premiums. This can make healthcare more accessible for those who are unable to pay the full cost

  3. Increase competition in the insurance market: The government encourages more competition among insurance companies by allowing new players to enter the market. This can help to lower the premium rates and provide consumers with more affordable options.

  4. Price controls: The government sets price caps on health insurance premiums to prevent them from increasing beyond a certain level. This can help protect consumers from price hikes and ensure that insurance remains affordable for all.

  5. Improve public healthcare services: By investing in and improving public healthcare services, the government reduces the burden on private health insurance providers and helps keep premium rates lower. This can also ensure that individuals have access to quality healthcare without having to rely solely on insurance coverage.

  6. Encourage preventive care and wellness programs: By promoting preventive care and wellness programs, the government helps reduce healthcare costs and lower the overall demand for health insurance.

 

Read More:

Health Insurance For New Born Baby: Benefits, Types & Required Documents

Health Insurance Age Limit In India: Impact Of Age On Health Insurance Premiums

Does Health Insurance Cover Therapy?

Grace Period In Health Insurance: Meaning, Benefits

Government Health Insurance Schemes for Senior Citizens 2024

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, health insurance premiums increase due to various factors such as rising healthcare costs, an aging population, and the increased incidence of lifestyle diseases. This can have a significant impact on policyholders which can cause increased financial burden, limited healthcare access, decline in overall health & consumer dissatisfaction. 

The government can take steps to reduce health insurance premiums by regulating the insurance industry, subsidizing premiums for low-income individuals, increasing competition in the insurance market & promoting preventive care and wellness programs.

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