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40 cr ‘missing middle’ have no health insurance: Niti Aayog report

The report suggested a comprehensive product designed for this section to counter the absence of economical health insurance policies as they are unable to afford the existing. 

SNS | New Delhi | Updated :

A Niti Aayog report has revealed that at least 30 per cent of the population or 40 crore people, called the ‘missing middle’, are devoid of any financial protection for health.

To achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the Niti Aayog in its report ‘Health Insurance for India’s Missing Middle’, has said that the expansion of health insurance or assurance coverage is a necessary step

An estimated 20 per cent of the population or 25 crore people have health insurance and private voluntary health insurance, the report stated, adding that existing coverage gaps in PM-JAY and overlap between schemes have left a large proportion of population without any health insurance.

Those employed in agriculture and non-agricultural informal sector in rural areas and working in informal, semi-formal and formal occupations in urban areas comprise the “missing middle”.

The report suggested a comprehensive product designed for this section to counter the absence of economical health insurance policies as they are unable to afford the existing.

The Niti Aayog report says that most of the Indian health insurance schemes and products are infeasible for the ‘missing middle’ while private voluntary health insurance is designed for high-income groups which costs at least two to three times of what the “missing middle” can afford.

Affordable contributory products such as ESIC, and the government subsidised insurance, including Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PM-JAY) are closed products. They are not available to the general population due to the risk of adverse selection, suggests the report.