Over 98% of India’s senior citizens devoid of health insurance, reveals survey

More than 98 per cent of India’s senior citizen population remains devoid of health insurance coverage amid the increasing cost of healthcare services, according to a recent survey by leading insurtech platform Plum.

The need for comprehensive health coverage for senior citizens has become more apparent, however, the penetration continues to be a challenge. According to census reports, India has 1,380 lakh elderly citizens and is further expected to increase by around 560 lakh by 2031. 

However, only 25 per cent companies – out of Plum’s over 3,500 customer base- have parental covers. This leaves a wide gap in coverage for senior citizens, who include parents and parent in-laws.

The insurtech surveyed around 300 customers and observed that 29 per cent of employees feel that the organisation-sponsored health insurance is inadequate in terms of the sum insured. It also found that 13 per cent of employees availed super top-up as the organisation-sponsored insurance does not cover parents and family.

There has been a steady demand from employees around the need for coverage for the elderly, and one way to approach this is through super top-ups (in addition to increased parental coverage).

“In the face of the silent crisis gripping our senior citizens, Plum is committed to confronting this challenge head-on.  The 98 per cent of uninsured senior citizens is a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities they face,” said said Abhishek Poddar, co-founder and CEO of Plum.

‘’It will always be our endeavour to innovate and come up with solutions that simplify access and availability of health insurance towards the underinsured. Our goal is to contribute to the larger vision of ‘Insurance for All by 2047’, ensuring that every individual, regardless of their age or circumstances, can access the protection they deserve,” added Poddar.

Amid rising costs for basic healthcare access in India, medical coverage for parents and senior citizens has become increasingly critical. For citizens in this age group, the coverage often goes beyond basic protection, encompassing valuable supplementary benefits such as cashless hospitalisation, critical illness insurance, as well as targeted coverage for conditions such as cancer and stroke.

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Updated: 26 Aug 2023, 08:54 PM IST

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