Pune University researcher finds 60 per cent people in rural areas unaware about health insurance
Rural India is still not aware about health and accidents insurance schemesImage source: Sakal Media Group

Pune University researcher finds 60 per cent people in rural areas unaware about health insurance

Professor Sushma Sathe is a research student at the Savitribai Phule Pune University.

Pune: Despite the growing awareness of health insurance among the urban middle class in India due to the pandemic, there is still lack of awareness about the importance of health insurance and the benefits associated with it amongst citizens from rural areas of the country.

Professor Sushma Sathe is a research student at the Savitribai Phule Pune University. She had chosen Rajgurunagar area, which is close to Pune city, to conduct the survey about health insurance awareness. Similarly, Prayas organisation did the survey in Rajasthan and Dr Hemphill Digital Network in the country. Survey findings were surprising as it revealed that almost 60 per cent of the citizens from rural areas had no idea about health insurance.

Prof Sathe said, "I chose Rajgurunagar to review the health insurance situation in rural areas. Even in the relatively near to city place, people seemed unaware of health insurance. Few know of it, but people don't tend to prioritize it until there is a serious health crisis at home".

This research was conducted before the pandemic. Rural India is still not aware about health and accidents insurance schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Ayushmaan Bharat.

RESEARCH RESULTS

· Health insurance is considered only after a major accident or a medical crisis

· Urban India is more aware of health insurance than rural areas

· People are unaware of documents needed for health insurance, government schemes, insurance claims and returns

· Negligence in renewing insurance policy

· Avoid taking insurance as hospitals and medical facilities are at a distance

· Instead of health insurance, they invest in traditional mutual funds, FDs because of good returns

THESE MEASURES ARE IMPORTANT

· More awareness about health insurance through doctors, administrative agencies and the government

· To verify if citizens benefit from the insurance

· Those who have health insurance should get some returns, provision of exemption in primary illness, medicines and health services

· Health insurance plans are relatively more efficient in developed countries. Hence, awareness should be spread in rural India, ensuring various services and facilities to the holder.

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