A STUDY ON AWARENESS OF HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS AVAILED AMONG UNORGANISED ENGINEERING WORKERS IN COIMBATORE
Health is a human right. It’s accessibility and affordability has to be ensured. The escalating cost of medical treatment is beyond the reach of common man. While well to do segment of the population both in Rural and Urban areas have accessibility and affordability towards medical care, the same cannot be said about the people who belong to the poor segment of the society. Health care has always been a problem area for India, a nation with a large population and larger percentage of this population living in urban slums and in rural area, below the poverty line. The government and people have started exploring various health financing options to manage problem arising out of increasing cost of care and changing epidemiological pattern of diseases. The control of government expenditure to manage fiscal deficits in early 1990s has let to severe resource constraints in the health sector. Under this situation, one of the ways for the government to reduce under funding and augment the resources in the health sector was to encourage the development of health insurance. In the light of escalating health care costs, coupled with demand for health care services, lack of easy access of people from low income group to quality health care, health insurance is emerging as an alternative mechanism for financing health care. Health insurance is very well established in many countries, but in India it still remains an untapped market. Less than 15 per cent of India’s 1.1 billion people are covered through health insurance. And most of it covers only government employees. At any given point of time, 40 to 50 million people are on medication for major sickness and share of public financing in total health care is just about one per cent of GDP. Over 80 per cent of health financing is private financing, much of which is out of pocket payments and not by any pre-payment schemes. Given the health financing and demand scenario, health insurance has a wider scope in present day situation in India. However, it requires careful and significant efforts to tap Indian health insurance market with proper understanding and training.
KEY WORDS: Health Insurance, Unorganised workers, Diagnostic Monthly Contribution