Health Insurance in India and Abroad

by Lyju Kuruvilla on  October 27, 2011 at 11:51 AM Health Insurance News
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There is a difference in the Indian Health Insurance and the American Health Insurance sectors. Some of these differences are distinct, while the others are subtle.
 Health Insurance in India and Abroad
Health Insurance in India and Abroad

The Differences are - Mandatory coverage / Voluntary coverage
Firstly, unlike in India, it is almost mandatory in the USA that each individual be covered under a health scheme. Whereas in India, it is voluntary, if an individual wishes, he can buy health insurance for himself and his family.

All the more, the almost mandatory coverage in the USA is not just limited to individuals, but to employers too. As such employers need to ensure that all the employees in the firm are covered under a health scheme so long as they are working with them. Also, the employer needs to continue coverage for a defined period even after cessation of employment. But in India, it is voluntary for companies to provide health insurance to employees.

Difference in the definition
In the USA, health insurance cover includes everything, starting from a visit to the doctor for something as small as fever, to hospitalization for the treatment of more serious diseases and operations. However, in India, health Insurance coverage is essentially limited to hospitalization. If an individual has to visit his family physician, the bill accrued therein, will not be paid for by the health insurance company. He will have to pay himself. But again, if this visit is within the 30 day pre/60 day post hospitalization, he will be paid.

In the USA, a particular law suggests that when an employee who is enjoying health insurance benefits with his current employer, resigns from the company, he will still be eligible to the health insurance benefit, for the time period until which he can find himself another job that will again give him a health insurance benefit.

But the picture is different in India. Here, an employee gets the health insurance benefit only as long as he works for the company that voluntarily provides him with it. Once he resigns, he remains uncovered, unless he has a health insurance policy of his own. He can once again, get the benefit, if the next company that he joins, also offers health insurance to its employees.

The premium rates are higher in the USA than in India. One reason for this is that the number of people having health insurance policies in India is comparatively much lesser than in the USA. Hence the premiums in the US become more, as the number of people covered are more, as the standard of living is comparatively high, the paying capacity is more too. Whereas in India, the premium is lower, so as to get more people to buy health insurance and also keeping mind the paying capacity, etc.

Online applications
Abroad mostly all formalities are done through the web - from selecting a health insurance plan, to checking out the different plans, comparing the rates, etc. In India, health insurance companies have their websites, yet, the numbers of direct online applications are much lower than those done in person.

State-wise differentiations

Each state in the USA, has customized health insurance products for people belonging to that particular state. For instance, a particular health insurance policy may be different in Illinois, from that in Texas. But in India, health insurance products are the same across states, throughout the country.

Source: Medindia

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